The ICE Network team recently wrote an informative post on:

  • What Substrate is, and
  • Why it’s being used to build ICE and SNOW

To make a long story short, Substrate is the open source framework that lets people quickly build customized blockchains. Or as Substrate itself puts it:

Substrate enables developers to quickly and easily build future proof blockchains optimized for any use case.”

It comes with native support for connecting to Polkadot and Kusama, where it is the framework of choice for building parachains.

Substrate’s highly modular system also allows projects to “create, compose, and publish custom blockchain components.” This is really nifty, because it lets ICE and SNOW incorporate ICON’s BTP as a fundamental part of the network design.

This plugs ICE and SNOW into ICON’s BTP interoperability network, which includes Binance Smart Chain, NEAR, Harmony and other fine blockchain networks near you.

That also means ICE and SNOW connect Polkadat and Kusama to ICON’s BTP interoperability network. As the ICE and SNOW team recently wrote, “BTP brings massive use cases and value to Polkadot parachains like Acala.”

Needless to say, it theoretically works the other way, too, with BTP bringing massive use cases and value to ICON.

But wait, there’s more.

Substrate provides two smart contract virtual machines that let developers deploy and execute Wasm and EVM smart contracts. In plain English, this lets ICE and SNOW bridge ICON and Ethereum.

That’s a big deal. And here’s why:

By running on their own native tokens, $ICY and $ICZ, ICE and SNOW will provide practical alternatives for dApps seeking to circumvent the exorbitant gas fees of the Ethereum network.”

The ICE team summarizes:

Building with Substrate allows ICE and SNOW to seamlessly integrate with the broader Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem by connecting with a wide array of Substrate-based parachains, while also giving it the flexibility to customize its build and thereby leverage core ICON interoperability technology, BTP. Furthermore, Substrate allows ICE and SNOW to expand ICON’s interoperability network to include Ethereum, by making ICE and SNOW Wasm and EVM-compatible networks.”

Or in other words, ICE and SNOW connect ICON and its BTP partners to the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems, while also connecting ICON to the broader Ethereum ecosystem.