KuCoin AMA With ICX & SNOW Network — ICON's Entry Into the Polkadot Ecosystem

2022/07/25 10:44:03

Dear KuCoin Users,

Time: July 19, 2022, 10:00 AM - 11:38 AM (UTC)

KuCoin hosted an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session with Mohamed Elshami, the CTO of Web3Labs, the Head of Engineering of Bridge23, Abhinayak Swar, and the CTO of MouseBelt, Galen Danziger, in the KuCoin Exchange Group.

Project Introduction

ICON Network

ICON Network is a layer-one blockchain building BTP (Bridge Transmission Protocol), a multichain bridging solution that is scalable, chain-agnostic, and secure. Serving as the hub that connects partner blockchains with all other BTP blockchains, ICON helps support cross-chain token swaps as well as more generic messaging features like cross-chain smart contract calls.

Blockchains connected to the ICON ecosystem include Binance Smart Chain, Near, Harmony, Moonriver, Polkadot, ICE/SNOW, and Ethereum, amongst others.

ICON is also a robust L-1 blockchain, hosting a thriving ecosystem of dApps that includes DeFi protocols (Balanced, Omm), NFT platforms (Craft), games, and more.

Official Website: https://icon.community/

Follow ICON on Twitter and Discord.

SNOW Network

SNOW is a long-term incentivized network for cross-chain DApps backed by the ICZ token. SNOW will also serve as a 'canary network' for ICE on the Polkadot Relay chain. Supply and other token economic behaviors on SNOW will be the same as ICE, but token distribution will be different in order to support the goals and attributes of the network.

SNOW comes packed with a set of top-tier features such as Full EVM and eWASM-compatibility, BTP cross-chain interoperability optimization, and the backing of a vibrant L1 community.

On SNOW, you can innovate without having to make guesses on tokenomics and game theory. Among other things, SNOW will use a parachain crowdloan to obtain its initial parachain slot on Kusama.

Official Website: https://icenetwork.io/snow/

Follow SNOW on Twitter.


Mohamed Elshami — CTO of Web3Labs

Mohamed is the Chief Technology Officer of Web3Labs, a blockchain solutions provider for enterprises that is part of the working group of ICE and SNOW networks and leading the core blockchain development.

Over his 15-year career, Mohamed has worked at J.P. Morgan and Bank of America as a lead architect and software developer, delivering key products in finance. Mohamed is passionate about Web3, open-source, and interoperability.

Abhinayak Swar — Head of Engineering (Blockchain) of Bridge23

Abhinayak Swar is the Head of Engineering of Bridge23, a blockchain development company that is part of the working group of ICE and SNOW networks. Bridge23 leads developer growth for ICE and SNOW by building toolkits, developer infrastructure, documentation, and tutorials.

Abhinayak Swar has over 10 years of experience in software engineering in Web3, health care, applications security, and information security. At Bridge23, DotSlash87 leads product development of DeFi dApps, NFTs, and developer tools.

Galen Danziger — CTO of MouseBelt

Galen Danziger, CTO of MouseBelt, has over a decade of experience in software, five of which have been focused on the blockchain industry. He has helped to deliver multiple smart contracts and financial applications.

With Galen, the MouseBelt team leads business development for ICE/SNOW through its wide network spanning across blockchain industries, university demographics, and the general crypto community and contributes to the developer growth and program management of ICE/SNOW.

Q&A from KuCoin

Q: What is the SNOW Network?

Galen: SNOW is an EVM/WASM compatible parachain. It started to help meet the needs of ICON’s developers and serve as an extension network, bringing ICON to the Dot/Sama ecosystem.

EVM/WASM compatibility means that it will support both solidity (like Ethereum) and INK! Smart contracts (like Astar). Its main value proposition (outside of support for common developer tools/smart contract platforms) is support for BTP - ICON’s bridge.

Q: What new value does SNOW bring to the Kusama network and the broader Polkadot ecosystem?

Galen: SNOW offers three (3) primary value propositions, namely EVM compatibility, BTP optimization, and an extension of ICON to the Polkadot ecosystem:

1. EVM Compatibility - This network with a working EVM supports the deployment of any solidity contract. It will serve as a low-fee execution environment for dApps.

2. BTP Optimization - SNOW will deploy BTP (ICON’s decentralized call service). This helps connect chains outside of the Dot/Sama ecosystem to it.

With XCM, parachains are very good at communicating and sending assets. However, chains outside the Dot/Sama ecosystem must use a bridge to send data. Therefore, BTP will be strongly supported on SNOW, using not just deployed smart contracts but also pallets in the blockchain’s runtime. This will help applications from ICON, BSC, and some other EVM-compatible chains to communicate with Kusama.

3. SNOW will connect Kusama to a rapidly expanding network of 100+ dApps and 100,000+ active wallets. This connectivity results in a flow of Kusama’s tokens to and from all different BTP partners, giving a significant boost in liquidity, yield farm aggregating, and cross-chain DApp infrastructure.

Q: Compared to other parachains focusing on interoperability, how does SNOW stand out?

Mohamed: There are many great projects on the Dot/Sama ecosystem, offering interesting specializations in DeFi, privacy, scalability, privacy, and identity. However, the Snow is unique in bringing a new dimension to interoperability. SNOW offers a specialized environment for cross-chain dApps through coss-VM support and diversity of smart contracts language Ink!, Solidity, and even Java from the ICON side.

BTP intends to be a fully trustless bridge, and we have some plans to integrate XCMP with BTP to extend the functionality of XCMP beyond the Dot/Sama ecosystem. For example, imagine the ability to perform remote smart contract calls from any parachain via Snow to all blockchains integrated with the ICON BTP hub.

This video could be helpful, too.

Q: What are some stand-out features of the SNOW blockchain?

Mohamed: SNOW is built with Polkadot Substrate, which is a powerful technology enabler. We have plans for several great features to build on SNOW, such as on-chain governance and the ability to extend that to ICON's network.

A key feature of SNOW is optimizing the gas cost surrounding the BTP on-chain light client verification contract. One of the ways we can do that is to re-implement parts of BTP in the native Substrate, which will, in turn, give us a greater degree of control to cover transaction costs. Furthermore, some of the BTP transfers could be potentially feeless.

Another key feature is the use of Substrate/SNOW native assets. This is a better solution than the standard ERC-20 tokens to represent currencies since they are issued natively on-chain.

Q: Can developers build on SNOW? If so, how can developers get involved?

Abhinayak: Yes! We have a live testnet called Arctic developers that developers can start building on today. Details for the Arctic testnet can be found in the ICE network documentation:


We chose EVM & WASM compatibility for their developer-friendly environments. Solidity for EVM and Ink! for Substrate provides easy tooling and dApp portability for new and experienced developers alike.

All the tools & libraries of the EVM ecosystem like Hardhat, Truffle, Remix, and Openzeppelin work with SNOW/ICE. New developers can easily access robust documentation through docs.icenetwork.io, which offers building instructions and multiple tooling tutorials to start with the SNOW & ICE networks.

SNOW will also have a variety of developer tooling kits and funding programs like the ICED Grants program, Bug Bounty Program, and a 15% token allocation future incentives. Grants will first be awarded for core infrastructure projects, funding developers to build libraries, SDKs, frameworks, explorers, and scripts for ICON Bridge & BTP, and tooling kits for cross-chain DeFi, Gaming, and NFT dApps.

Q: What are the key aspects of SNOW's tokenomics?

Galen: There token allocation breakdown is as follows:

35% as an airdrop to ICX holders

5% in crowdloan rewards for KSM contributors up to this amount

50% to Community Incentives. These include retention rewards, liquidity incentives, and developer incentives

10% for Future Reserves - these go to accomplishing platform goals like securing another parachain slot

You can check the blog post for more information here.

As an act of good faith, the SNOW team won't take a token allocation directly for team contributions. Instead, they will help to show SNOW's value on Kusama and take a team share from the ICE parachain when it launches on Polkadot.

Free-Ask from KuCoin Community

Q: Do you allow suggestions and feedback from the community? Are we allowed in decision-making and taken into consideration?

Mohamed: We believe in the open nature of blockchain. Because we are building SNOW/ICE for the community, we will maintain direct communication channels to listen to community feedback. For the moment, however, since we are in the early development phase, most of the decisions are still being made by the core teams.

As SNOW/ICE development progresses, we will enable public participation of network validators and enable on-chain governance with democracy features.

Q: How can users stay updated with your project? Are there channels, including local communities, where users can get all the latest updates?

Abhinayak: To join the ICE and SNOW community, head over to the official ICON Discord. Once you’re there, you’ll be able to keep up with the latest news and developments in the “ICE + SNOW” section.

The ICON Discord also has an address registration system where you can register your wallet addresses to participate in giveaways, quizzes, and other special events. As an ICE and SNOW community member, be sure to register your DOT and KSM wallet addresses!

Q: What are BTP’s greatest challenges?

Mohamed: Gas fees are the largest challenges when implementing trustless bridges with on-chain light client verification since it requires continuous synchronization of the other blockchain.

BTP 2.0 is working on solving this problem by introducing a compressed representation of BTP blocks produced on the ICON network.

Q: Partnerships and collaborations are the backbones of making every project more widespread. Can you list some of our partners with us?

Galen: SNOW/ICE has partnered with a few wallets, an oracle, and other core infrastructure to help both users and developers. We will provide more details on these partnership in the coming months.

Q: Do you have tutorial videos so we can get to know your project more clearly, or do you have a YouTube channel or something? Can you share it with us?

Abhinayak: We have a YouTube channel for the SNOW/ICE network where we have some content and will post more content in the future.

You can also refer to this YouTube channel content on ICE/SNOW/ICON networks.

Q: Can you list 1-3 killer features of this project that makes it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your project has that you feel most confident in?

Abhinayak: SNOW has three (3)killer features that make it stand out!

EVM compatibility

BTP optimization

A vibrant L1 community

Kindly visit our official website and read much more about this.

Q: How many team members do you have? Do they have enough experience in the blockchain field? Do they have any experience working in crypto and non-crypto projects?

Galen: There are above 20 members collaborating on ICE/SNOW from MouseBelt, Bridge23, Web3 Labs, and ICON. The teams have shipped multiple blockchain/cryptocurrency applications in the past, as well as non-crypto software.

Q: Are you planning to promote your project in countries/regions where English is not good? Do you have a local community for them to understand your project better?

Abhinayak: The ICON Discord is the home of ICE and SNOW communities. We currently have Korean and Spanish language channels that are actively moderated. Jump into our Discord today.

Q: Where can I buy your tokens right now?

Abhinayak: SNOW Tokens will be available on exchanges for trading once the SNOW parachain is officially onboarded into the Kusama ecosystem. We cannot provide information about which exchanges will list ICZ at this time.

Giveaway Section

KuCoin and ICON (ICX) have prepared a total of 7,000 ICX to give away to AMA participants.

1. Free-ask section: 275 ICX

2. AMA activity: 6,725 ICX

Quiz: 5,250 ICX

Price Guess: 1,050 ICX

Participation Rewards: 425 ICX

. . .

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