Substrate is an open source framework that allows teams to quickly build highly customized blockchains. It comes with native support for connecting to Polkadot and Kusama right out of the box.

Although both words are often used in the same sentence, Polkadot and Substrate are not dependent on each other. Parachains can actually be built and maintained without Substrate and chains built with Substrate don’t necessarily need to be connected to Polkadot or Kusama. However, these examples are much less common, as Substrate is an SDK with which you can build customized parachains that easily integrate with Polkadot or Kusama.

Furthermore, Substrate’s modular system, known as FRAME, allows projects to create, compose, and publish custom blockchain components. This composability feature allows the ICE and SNOW team to incorporate ICON’s interoperability component – Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) – as a fundamental part of the ICE and SNOW network designs. This allows ICE and SNOW to leverage the interoperability network already built on ICON, which connects Binance Smart Chain, NEAR, and Harmony, among other ecosystems.

Finally, Substrate provides two smart contract virtual machines which allows for the deployment and execution of Wasm and EVM smart contracts. This means that by building with Substrate, ICE and SNOW will be able to bridge ICON to Ethereum as Wasm and EVM compatible networks. By running on their own native tokens, $ICY and $ICZ, ICE and SNOW will provide practical alternatives for dApps seeking to circumvent the exorbitant gas fees of the Ethereum network.

Hopefully, by now it’s clear why ICE and SNOW are being built using Substrate, but here’s a quick summary just in case:

Building with Substrate allows ICE and SNOW to seamlessly integrate with the broader Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem by connecting with a wide array of Substrate-based parachains, while also giving it the flexibility to customize its build and thereby leverage core ICON interoperability technology, BTP. Furthermore, Substrate allows ICE and SNOW to expand ICON’s interoperability network to include Ethereum, by making ICE and SNOW Wasm and EVM-compatible networks.

For more detailed information about Substrate, be sure to visit the official Substrate website.