October is looking like a significant month for Icon.
This tweet today from the Icon Foundation (who develop the Korea-centric blockchain) confirms that Icon 2.0 is ready to go.
The migration is expected to occur before the end of October.
How big is this upgrade? Huge!
Icon 2.0 represents a huge set of changes:
Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP)
Icon vision from iconrepublic.org
Icon's vision is to "hyperconnect the world". Icon 2.0 will push in this direction using BTP - Icon's protocol for the interoperability of heterogeneous blockchains. I talked yesterday about how interoperability was going to be the buzzword of Q4; here it is again already.
Through BTP, Icon 2.0 will be able to reach out to other smart-contract enabled blockchains, potentially transforming itself into the center of a huge network. Connected blockchains will be able to transact and transmit data in a trustless manner, allowing for the development of cross-chain applications.
Why launch one new network when you can launch two?
Icon 2.0 will also see the launch of the ICE blockchain, an EVM and eWASM compatible blockchain. EVM and eWASM means that it is compatible with Ethereum's current smart contract operating system (EVM) as well as that proposed for Eth 2.0 (eWASM).
Why launch another chain?
One reason is to attract development. An EVM compatible blockchain can immediately attract applications developed for Ethereum and other EVM compatible blockchains. And there are a lot of them.
Another reason appears to be a division of resources. The ICE blockchain will focus on applications, bringing new projects to Icon's existing userbase. The ICON network will focus on the interoperabilty and cross-chain side of things through BTP.
Of course, ICE will be BTP compatible from the get-go, linking it into the ICON network from the start.
ICE tokens will be airdropped to ICON holders on a 1-1 basis. Which is nice.
Language changes and performance upgrades
It's goodbye to Python for Icon 2.0. And hello to a new Golang blockchain engine and Java smart contracts. Because much faster and more secure.
This is undoubtedly hugely important and much work but if you know enough to be interested you know more than I can tell you already. Did I mention there's going to be an airdrop???
All in all, there's a lot about to happen!
Patterns are emerging...
Interoperability and networks:
I talked yesterday about interoperability. Lots of blockchains seem to be travelling down this path. I'm getting a feeling we'll be looking at one big blockchain network in the not too distant future. It's the internet of blockchains.
The short cut to smart contracts
You want smart contracts? Compatiblity with Ethereum? The quickest way is to throw out a new blockchain. And then rely on interoperability to link it in to what you've got already.
We've seen this kind of thing before. Binance Smart Chain brought Binance a smart contract chain to go with Binance Chain. Both are Cosmos compatible so can already link into a wide range of blockchains and each other.
It does raise the question as to whether people should invest in Eth. Ethereum is aiming to be the world computer. But if you can run equivalent smart contracts on other platforms with airdropped tokens for gas, then why wouldn't you go with the cheaper option? Eventually the cost for running the same transaction on different chains should be the same (I think?). Which either means the Eth market cap is coming down in the long run. Or you've pre-bought one hell of a lot of button presses.
Would Hive benefit from a smart-contact-sidechain? Spin one up tomorrow.
Not financial advice. Please do your own research.
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