So, I guess this means ICON Bridge goes live in April.

The ICON Foundation released its latest monthly development update late last week.

As in previous months, the ICON team made “significant progress on ICON 2.0, BTP architecture, BTP integrations and ICON Bridge.”

ICON 2.0

The ICON team spent March focused on migrating the Governance SCORE — that’s the smart contract that manages the adjustable characteristics of the ICON network — to Java.

You’ll recall that in ICON 1.0, SCORE were written in Python. However, ICON 2.0 supports Java SCORE, which require no audits.

Anyway, while the team was migrating the Governance SCORE to Java, they ran into a few issues with implementing network proposals.

To resolve these issues, the team is working on making the submission of network proposals a two-step process:

  • Approval or rejection of a network proposal.
  • A transaction to enact the proposal if approved.

Additionally, the team updated the ICONex Chrome extension and the preptools Python package — that would be the P-Rep management command line interface.

BTP and ICON Bridge

The ICON team also made “significant progress on the architectural design of BTP.”

That progress includes:

  • Finalized the design plan for BTP 2.0. In particular, 2.0 will implement an “Arbitrary Call Service” that “offers a framework for making generic cross-chain smart contract calls, which provides developers with the flexibility to make unique and complex cross-chain dApps that are not bound by the limitations of a purpose-built bridging service.”
  • Taking steps to lower ICON and non-ICON Light Client costs. For the non-technically minded, a Light Client “allows users to sync with a blockchain in a cryptographically secure manner without having to store the whole blockchain.” You can use them “to find out the state of an account, check that a transaction was confirmed, or watch for logged events.”

BTP — and the light client thing — apparently has ICON strategist Scott Smiley pretty stoked:

Never been more excited to be working on the ICON Project. With all the focus on cross-chain, the research I’ve done has shown nobody has prioritized security and decentralization the way BTP does. On-chain light clients are the answer, and they are coming.”

On the BTP integration side, progress has been made on integrations for Harmony, Algorand and NEAR Protocol.

They’ve made progress with integrating BTP partners into ICON Bridge, too. In particular, they are testing the ICON Bridge backend on Binance Smart Chain, and have started the ICON Bridge integration on Harmony.

The ICON team rather intriguingly ended its update with this line:

We are excited to continue working on bringing BTP and ICON Bridge to life in April.”

According to ICON’s team, this means they are working so that ICON Bridge goes live in April while developers continue to work on BTP’s infrastructure.

On Twitter, this has evoked a great deal of anticipation, skeptical voices noting previous hints at March notwithstanding.

You’ll recall that ICON Bridge is a “BTP light” that will serve as an interim solution while the ICON braintrust finds a solution to the high gas fee problem.

BTP has most of BTP’s functionality, but instead of the BMV contract, ICON will serve as the sole relay operator to pass messages and verify transactions between chains.

The first integration of ICON Bridge will be with BSC, which you can learn more about here.