ICE and SNOW: A Quarter in Review

So, how are things going at ICE/SNOW, our favorite Polkadot parachain and EVM-compatible extension network for ICON?

Pretty well, if their recently published first quarter update is anything to go by.

ICE/SNOW’s “most tangible progress” in the first quarter was the launch of Frost, the testnet of the SNOW blockchain. Frost gives developers a space where they can give SNOW a try.

SNOW is ICE’s canary network, and a parachain of Kusama, Polkadot’s canary network.

At the time, the ICE/SNOW team called the launch of Frost a “critical first step toward implementing our vision for SNOW and, eventually, ICE.”

The team has also been working hard to integrate core Substrate pallets.

Pallets are essentially modules of code that add functionality to Substrate, the blockchain software development kit (SDK) developers use to create Polkadot parachains.

In particular, they are apparently close to completing the core logic for the Airdrop pallet, and will spend the coming months focusing on security and testing “to ensure a smooth airdrop claiming experience for the community.”

The Airdrop claim for SNOW should happen in Q3.

The ICE/SNOW team is currently focused on a number of technical developments in April, including:

  • Completing multiple release for Frost Testnet runtime
  • Implementation of Runtime configuration and chain spec for Arctic
  • Private relay chain and Rococo Testnet setup
  • Enabling Wasm ink! smart contract
  • Continuing development of the airdrop pallet and claim.

Meanwhile, for developers, the ICE/SNOW team began building out a GitBook repository to house developer-related resources.

Wanna learn how to use Truffle? Or how to run an ICE node locally? The GitBook is the place to go.

The team said, “If you’re looking to build on ICE, we highly recommend reading through the GitBook to get started.”

Another good place to go is ICONOsphere’s “A-Z of Building dApps on ICE” series. Or the ICON Project Discord’s #ice_dev_discussion channel.

What’s happening in Q2?

In the second quarter, the ICE/SNOW team’s primary focus will be on:

  • Deploying the Arctic parachain to Polkadot’s Rococo testnet
  • Launching SNOW on Kusama via crowdloan campaign.

To recap, this is what a crowdloan campaign is:

Crowdloan allows a team to crowdsource DOT (for Polkadot slots) or KSM (for Kusama slots) to use to bootstrap its parachain auction. So ?rowdloan allows people to contribute by agreeing to lock up their own DOT (KSM) until the end of the lease. Teams can reward their contributors however they see fit, and can structure their crowdloan in various ways, hosting it either natively on Polkadot (Kusama) or on a 3rd-party platform.”

Judging from the team’s quarterly roadmap, SNOW won’t actually launch on Kusama until Q3.