The ICON Foundation has released its development update for June. Let’s take a look at what the ICON team managed to accomplish over the last month.
On the ICON 2.0 front, Goloop — ICON’s Go-powered blockchain engine — got updates and upgrades, as usual.
The ICON Foundation has also submitted a network proposal to fix a couple of technical issues, which was subsequently applied, though the Foundation did kindly remind sub-validators that rotate into block production to please take part in network proposal votes.
Put another way: if you run a node, please, with sugar on top, pay attention to network proposals.
This is where all the fun development is going on, which is no surprise, given the importance of the interoperability solution to the future of the network.
In terms of architecture, perhaps the biggest development was the completion of the reference implementation for the Arbitrary Call Service.
As we should all know by now, 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.”
OK, but what’s a “reference implementation?” Well, from Wiki:
“In the software development process, a reference implementation (or, less frequently, sample implementation or model implementation) is a program that implements all requirements from a corresponding specification. The reference implementation often accompanies a technical standard, and demonstrates what should be considered the “correct” behavior of any other implementation of it.”
Or perhaps put even simpler, it’s an example implementation written by the developers to show how the program — in this case, the Arbitrary Call Service — is supposed to be used.
Anyway, according to ICON, the completion of the reference implementation means developers can now “deploy their own BTP components to use the ACS, or build with the specification in preparation for the official xCall implementation on ICON Bridge and BTP.”
As for integrations, well, the good news is that Wonder Game’s presale demonstrated that BTP — well, its lite version, ICON Bridge, anyway — can successfully mint NFTs across chains.
The bad news is that soon after, Harmony’s own bridge solution got exploited for about USD 100 million.
While the hack had no direct impact on BTP, the ripple effects are impacting the entire Harmony ecosystem. So the ICON team has decided to delay launching ICON Bridge on Harmony, at least for the time being.
Instead, ICON will be focusing on BNB Smart Chain for its first integration on ICON Bridge. That integration should be finalized next month.
The ICON team has apparently run into trouble integrating NEAR Protocol into the current version of BTP, too, so they have “pivoted to supporting NEAR Protocol via ICON Bridge for the time being with planned support for BTP 2.0 in the future.” Now, BTP 2.0 is the full version of BTP for market release, so how this really changes anything, we’re not quite sure.
The ICON team is also working to streamline BTP and ICON Bridge integrations.
You’ll recall as well that in ICON chief Min Kim’s most recent AMA, Min explained that developers can use their work in previous integrations to expedite future integrations. For example, once you’ve integrated one Solidity or Substrate-based ecosystem, it becomes much easier to integrate other Solidity or Substrate-based ecosystems.