CPS Proposal: Glacier Network - A Layer 2 EVM Rollup built on top of ICON

CPS Proposal: Glacier Network - A Layer 2 EVM Rollup built on top of ICON


Built on top of the ICON blockchain, Glacier Network is an EVM-based layer 2 rollup network. It inherits all of ICON’s security and decentralization, while still being blazingly fast and scalable.

Neither zk or optimistic Rollup, Glacier Network is a “proofless Rollup”, which provides easy upgradability, no potential optimistic dispute and no computationally extensive cryptographic proof, while remaining transparent and secure. More details about this can be found in the “Proof-less” section below.

What it will contribute to ICON

Glacier Network has three main benefits it can offer to ICON:

  1. Glacier Network helps ICON to scale up even further, with even higher transaction throughput and cheaper fees. But here’s the kicker: Glacier Network Network is built as a rollup - a type of layer 2 scaling solution that has the same capability of a normal blockchain, but fully inherits security from layer 1.

  2. Glacier Network brings EVM compatibility to ICON, which helps developers from all EVM-based chains to build on ICON easily and conveniently utilize their already existing skill set and toolings. Through the integration of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, we believe the dapp ecosystem of ICON can be pushed much further, with an increasing number in a variety of dapps.

  3. Glacier Network leverages the decentralization of ICON with the decentralized sequencers system. There is no barrier like: stake needed or governance token needed. Anyone can run a sequencer node right from a personal computer.

What makes Glacier Network special?

  • Glacier Network is a layer 2 rollup scaling solution on ICON.
  • Glacier Network has the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) as its contract execution environment.
  • Glacier Network is proof-less, requiring no zk proof or optimistic fraud proofs to function, being easily upgradable, while remaining secured and transparent.
  • Glacier Network has fully decentralized sequencers - something that has not been achieved by other rollups in the field currently.

The rollup

As a layer 2 network, specifically a “rollup”, Glacier Network moves state data and computation off-chain, while keeping some data on the layer 1 for security.

To be more specific, transactions sent in a rollup are collected by nodes called “sequencers”. Sequencers will then pack some of the transactions into a “batch” (or a “rollup block”) and upload the batch onto the layer 1 via a transaction. The special part is that these transactions are not executed or verified on-chain. User nodes will read the transactions from the chain and run them off-chain with their own independent state.

From that, what we have done is to shard the transaction execution process as well as state storage from layer 1 to a different environment of the layer 2. The aggregation cost is also there, where normally people would have to pay for individual transactions on the layer 1, but here, the sequencer packs transactions into a batch and single-handedly submit the batch on-chain. In addition, there are heavy compression tricks of rollups to make transactions even lighter, which is the key point resulting in more transaction throughput which helps scale the layer 1. Batches are also only stored as a note of a transaction in ICON (or “calldata”, depends on how each chain call it), which does not interfere with the layer 1’s state storage, which is gas-efficient!

Unlike some existing layer 2 scaling solutions like plasma chains or state channels such as Lightning Network which are limited to small parties making constrained transactions, a rollup like Glacier Network has full capabilities of a normal layer 1 blockchain network. You can create transactions however you like to whoever you like without complicated setups and quirky steps.


Glacier Network has the EVM as the core contract execution environment. It is fully compatible with the original EVM that is from Ethereum and in fact is based on an EVM implementation of an existing Ethereum client, which works perfectly well with our rollup model. The transaction format, the address format, signatures, etc are also the same as the original Ethereum.

Using the EVM, Glacier Network can:

  • Enrich the ICON’s application ecosystem with more dapp potentials as well as ports of existing EVM-based dapps.
  • Onboard developers with existing skills and toolings related to EVM-based dapp development.


“Prooflessness” is by far the most unique design of Glacier Network compared to other rollups.

In the previous sections, we have seen the mentioning of nodes “running transactions” off-chain. But what if the transactions are faulty? The solution is simple, you just need to skip those transactions and only execute ones that are valid according to the predefined consensus rules. This actually works, the only reason that many rollups like Arbitrum or zksync requires optimistic fraud proof or zk proof is because they are reliant on the layer 1’s native token, which introduces the act of bridging the token between the layer 1 and the layer 2. If they submit a faulty bridging transaction, you can not just skip it like you would in Glacier Network’s model, because layer 1 says otherwise without no proof. If we were to use our own native token for the rollup, then everything’s fine, and that’s what we do with Glacier Network.

The prooflessness model is very powerful in that:

  • It is efficient: Glacier Network requires no potential optimistic dispute and no computationally extensive cryptographic proof.

  • It solves the upgradability problem: Glacier Network does not need to be upgraded through a centralized multisig or token governance which is controlled by the rich. The community can change their consensus rules to create a hard fork for an upgrade - something that can not be done with traditional rollups.

Why is Glacier “Proofless” but still remains transparent and secure?

“Prooflessness” remains secure and transparent because user nodes verify and execute transactions independently on their own, which is only possible due to Glacier Network having its own token and minimal reliance on the layer 1.

Decentralized sequencers

“Prooflessness” makes decentralized sequencers easy: Since sequencers can submit batches freely and nodes will discard any transaction that are faulty, sequencers don’t need to worry about the duplication of some transactions that they might falsely submit from losing a slot to another sequencer. This means that decentralized sequencers with Glacier Network can be done much easier, without clunky stakes or bonds like Optimistic rollups.

Glacier Network’s sequencer is fully decentralized, anyone can become a sequencer in the network if they wanted to. There is no stake needed, no governance token needed whatsoever, you can run a sequencer node right from your personal computer, just be sure to have some ICX to pay for gas when submitting rollup batches.

Our team

Minh Phu, blockchain infrastructure developer, having experience in building layer 2 rollups, creator of Bullet Network - an optimistic rollup, which won the Polygon BUIDL IT : Summer 2022 Hackathon. Previous winner of the Polkadot Hackathon: North America Edition - ICE network challenge.

Duc Nguyen, blockchain infrastructure developer having experience in building layer 2 rollup and cryptography, also a winner of Polygon BUIDL IT : Summer 2022 Hackathon with Bullet Network - an optimistic rollup.

Quan Nguyen, blockchain infrastructure developer, previous winner of the Polkadot hackathon’s - ICE network challenge.


Finish testnet version of the rollup + EVM. 1 month
Integrate Ethereum JSON-RPC, adding supports for existing EVM-based toolings and wallets, release full documentations for developers. 1 month
Launch mainnet of Glacier Network. 1 month


3 developers at $6,000/month: 3 x $6,000 x 3 months = 54000 $

We are looking for P-Rep to Sponsor Us

We are currently searching for a P-Rep to sponsor us and would be delighted to discuss further.

You can contact us via tele @quanvamuaxuan or through email at npquan2209@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading!