The ICON Foundation’s Min Kim recently sat down for the latest in his AMA sessions.
He spent much of the session discussing ICON Bridge, the centralized “BTP lite” solution released while developers work out the kinks in BTP, as well as BTP itself.
The first question Min addressed was whether ICON Bridge would have a significant impact on the network.
The short answer was yes, though maybe not right away.
Min said, “”Yes, it will have a significant impact. But not overnight. It’s going to take a little bit of time.”
He explained that although bridges are already having a large impact in terms of the value they create and how they can expand current applications, we’ve only seen them used for simple token transfers. They haven’t been used for arbitrary contract calls.
“Once we have BTP, arbitrary contract calls will allow developers to be more creative and expand the digital asset offerings,” said Min, pointing to things such as enabling governance votes from one chain to another.
“Overall, we believe that BTP will improve the user experience when dealing with multiple chains. And we believe BTP is the most secure cross-chain solution or interoperability solution out there.”
You’ll recall that BTP’s Arbitrary Call Service will offer “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.”
Min then talked a bit about the ICON’s 200 Million ICX Interoperability Incentive Fund, which will be allocated over the course of five years to fund projects to incentivize the use of BTP technology and the development of cross-chain use cases.
According to Min, they have not used the fund so far, but that’s because it’s still early.
He said, “We have not used any of this, because we’ve just launched our first use of it through the Harmony cross-bridge minting, which was very cool, but that was just one purpose.”
Still, there has been interest in using the fund, and applications are coming in, and ICON is working to prioritize the really important integrations and projects, especially given bear market conditions.
“We did get some interesting applicants, and we’ve asked those applicants to hold and wait. I still think some of this fund can be used initially, and it will be used initially for audit purposes to ensure the bridging solution is safe and secure. But yeah, we will continue to roll out the use of the 200 million ICX for this purpose. Unfortunately, the current bear market has decreased the value of all crypto assets, including ICX, so we’re trying to be smart about the funds we have available to be sure we prioritize the important integrations and projects first.”
Lastly, Min said that ICON Bridge would support ERC-20 tokens, which are used for creating and issuing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
He explained that ICON was working to integrate Ethereum, which uses Solidity, while noting that development for BSC — which also uses Solidity — is mostly complete.
“We think a lot of the contracts and codes could be repurposed for Ethereum,” he said, though he also cautioned that every chain needs its own testing time to avoid exploits.
Still, he said as we move forward, chain integrations would likely grow faster, and with work on Solidity contracts complete, developers could build on this and move a bit quicker.