So many companies want to make the jump into blockchain, but don’t know where to begin.
Enter ICON SDK by ICONLOOP, the ICON network’s chief technology partner.
This package of proven blockchain modules will ease the burden on developers by giving them a toolbox of tried-and-true blockchain engines, wallets, trackers and other solutions that have been fully tested on ICON.
ICONLOOP CTO Edward Ryu says ICON SDK is in its early stage of development, but it’s starting with a good set of building blocks.
“It’s not being made purely from scratch,” he says. “We’re packaging existing elements like Goloop, ICON Tracker, ICON’s wallet and BTP into a solution so that corporations and groups that want to create and run their own blockchains can.”
Everything you need to build a blockchain
Edward explains that when companies want to build their own blockchain network, they have a ton of things to consider.
For example, to make a mainnet, you not only need a blockchain core, but you also have to conceptualize and implement token economics and incentive systems. And on top of that, you need wallets, trackers and other tools to make your network go.
If you’re developing all these things on your own, be prepared to spend a lot of time and sleepless nights designing, building, testing and launching them.
This is why ICONLOOP is building ICON SDK. “Now developers don’t need to build all these things,” says Edward. “They can simply use our package instead.”
“We will include everything a company needs to create its own mainnet,” he says.
ICON SDK will include:
- Blockchain Core
- Loopchain (including Go-based goloop — and an Ethereum-compatible version, eloop)
- Ethereum-compatible VM & API
- Wallet extensions
- Support for sidechain governance
- Support for token economics
- Data Storae Technologies
- BFS (Blockchain File System)
- PDS (Personel Data Store)
- Developer Support
- Client SDK
- Ethereum tool compatibility support
- Light Node and Simulation Node support
ICON SDK also includes ICON’s premier interoperability solution, the Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), which would enable networks built using ICON SDK to frictionlessly interoperate with not only ICON, but also with other networks in the BTP ecosystem, including Polkadot, NEAR Protocol, Algorand and soon possibly Ethereum.
(Note: BTP transactions will generate fees that will benefit the entire ICON ecosystem, including ICX holders)
Edward explains that at its current level of development, ICON SDK already includes key tools such as blockchain core, block trackers and wallet support. This is more or less what ICON SDK will include when Phase 1 is released to the public, probably in January of 2023.
After that, the team will add EVM compatibility — which would allow services built on Ethereum to operate on networks built using ICON SDK — and support for decentralized storage. The former is particularly tricky, says Edward, as the technological differences between Ethereum and ICON make achieving 100% compatibility difficult.
While ICON SDK isn’t the first blockchain SDK on the market, it may be one of the most feature-rich.
Edward compares ICON SDK to the popular Cosmos SDK by Cosmos, another interoperability-focused blockchain network.
“ICON SDK provides less work for developers,” he says.
“With Cosmos SDK, outside of the modules provided by Cosmos itself, you need to develop other functions yourself or use third-party solutions. But with ICON SDK, everything is in one package.”
Parameta and Havah: ICON SDK evolved
ICONLOOP is using the embryonic ICON SDK to build Parameta, ICONLOOP’s blockchain framework aimed at corporate clients. Parameta includes all the tools included with the basic version of ICON SDK, but with added consulting and technological support services.
“With corporations, you need to customize the incentive systems, so we provide customizing services, too,” says Edward.
And indeed, there is already a product being built on Parameta, the upcoming NFT gaming and entertainment platform Havah, the mainnet of which will be launched in mid-October. Several games are currently in development, with release expected around the end of this year.
In addition to games, Havah will also support things such as NFT-based IDs, NFT minting and NFT marketplaces.
Edward is especially excited about Havah’s interchain capabilities.
“You need to bring NFTs into Havah to use them in games, and for this it uses BTP,” he says. “And unlike other bridging solutions, it’s completely trustless and the only one that connects heterogeneous blockchains.”
ICON: It just works
Edward joined ICONLOOP four years ago after working in a healthcare company. He confesses that prior to receiving an offer from ICONLOOP, he knew little about blockchain.
“I took a look at blockchain, and thought it was a technology that could change the world,” he recalls. “And I thought it would be worth the challenge. And then, like now, there was a lot of technology for blockchain that needed to be developed. So I came here.”
Edward is particularly proud of how far the ICON blockchain network has come.
“ICON keeps developing well,” he says.
“When we decentralized, I wondered if we could do it. But we did. And when we went to ICON 2.0, we had to migrate the data, and that turned out well, too.”
Edward says this compares favorably to some other blockchain networks out there.
“When you look at Ethereum, it took a long time for them to go to Ethereum 2.0, and they’re still not done,” he says. “And we did it all in just one year.”