As ICON builds out blockchain interoperability connections through its groundbreaking Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) technology, it is useful for Iconists to become familiar with compatible blockchains. This article is the eighth part of a ‘BTP series’ in which we take an introductory look at all the blockchain networks that will be joining the ICON community. Be sure to also check out the other articles in the series:

Although development of BTP has not yet been finalized, a “lite” version of the technology called ICON Bridge will soon be launched, finally opening the doors to interoperability between ICON and other BTP-compatible blockchains. In addition to the blockchain projects linked to above, ICON will also be bridging to Edgeware, a standalone blockchain building a smart contract platform for the Polkadot ecosystem.

Let’s take a look at Edgeware and get to know what it’s all about.

What is Edgeware and Why is it Great for BTP Developers?

Edgeware is a Proof-of-Stake smart contract blockchain with a community-managed treasury. It’s built as a modular platform for building Dapps on.

They launched their mainnet in September 2019 as an experiment for demonstrating the effectiveness of on-chain governance. After working out some bugs, they relaunched the project in early 2020, and are now working toward integrating with Polkadot as a parachain.

Edgeware is similar to Astar Network (which we reviewed last week), in that it allows developers to deploy smart contracts through both Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) or the more modern WebAssembly (WASM). Edgeware also supports C, C++ and Rust, all popular and robust programming languages. The breadth of coding and interconnectivity options available makes Edgeware a very strong option for ICON’s BTP developers to consider when building out the interoperability of their projects.

Edgeware also leverages Substrate, a framework for building blockchain projects common with many Polkadot chains. Substrate makes it possible to extend the blockchain’s functionality through add-on modules — written in Rust on Edgeware — which open up a range of options including native staking, governance elements and smart contract execution. Because Substrate modules can easily interact with each other, Edgeware’s smart contracts can also easily interact with other modules, such as the treasury and blockchain governance. This makes for a very flexible system that may prove useful to BTP developers.

As a community-governed blockchain, Edgeware makes it easy for developers to request funding for projects that benefit the blockchain — such as BTP interoperability projects, perhaps? And there’s also the ICX$200 million fund that ICON set up to kickstart BTP projects. Truly, BTP developers have a lot of monetary opportunities to fuel their projects.

Edgeware is billed as one of the best projects in the Polkadot ecosystem. It’s very fair and community-centric, focused primarily on building value for the Polkadot blockchain project as a whole. While there aren’t yet any compiled lists of top Edgeware projects, they do have an impressive list of partners on their website — and ICON is named there, too.

Team and Token

Edgeware was developed by UK-based Parity Substrate, the Polkadot project that built the aforementioned Substrate framework. The Edgeware project was founded by a San Francisco-based company called Commonwealth Labs, which previously created a thread forum platform called Commonwealth. Many of the initial concepts behind Edgeware originated in forum thread discussions on Commonwealth.

Edgeware’s token, $EDG, was the first in the world to use a locked drop token distribution technique, in which investors temporarily locked their ETH to receive the initial airdop of the EDG token. It’s a very popular cryptocurrency, having one of the largest distributions of any ERC-20 token, spread out among more than 15 million unique addresses.

For more information about Edgeware, please visit their website or follow them on Twitter.