Anti vote-buying


ICON Network differs from a Proof of Stake Network in that it aims to reward contribution, appropriately named “Proof of Contribution.” In order to receive rewards, ICONist performs proper due diligence and vote for productive P-Reps and P-Reps then fulfill their duties in running nodes and contributing to the ICON ecosystem.

In the real world, vote-buying happens when a political party or candidate in an upcoming election tries to purchase a voter’s vote. Vote buying can take different forms, such as monetary exchange, as well as an exchange for goods or services that are required. Vote buying is illegal in many countries and is punished by law.

P-Rep should convince ICONists to vote for them using their proposals, their contribution to ICON Network, their community involvement, their team make-up, and their value proposition and plans to grow the ICON Network.

At this moment in time, there is no formal vote-buying definition or any system of punishment for vote-buying in any ICON documentation.

We would like to further discuss and hope to come to an agreement regarding appropriate definitions and scope for vote-buying, and then discuss ways we can prevent it in the ICON Network.


Does it count self-vote ?


What are we trying to solve here? Is it a philosophical question what is vote buying and what is not, or is it unproductive allocation of rewards?

In real world, you can’t pay your voters, but you can’t buy yourself a winning spot either. The latter is possible in ICON and I think it’s perfectly fine as long as it does not collide with fulfilling of other duties and rewarded resources are allocated to good use rather than boosting your staking income.


Our target of this is not self-staking, but to make clear and undeniable rules around what constitutes vote-buying, or providing incentives for others to vote for one self. There is currently no formal definition of this is the ICON network.


I also agree this is a problem. I stated this in another post, but overall I am looking for solutions to solve these problems at the protocol layer. For vote-buying, we need to find a way to dis-incentivize vote buying. The line of thinking I am currently exploring is removing (or lowering/adjusting) the incentive to receive more votes. If there is no significant economic incentive to receive more votes people will not be inclined to buy votes. I will share a more detailed outline of my thought process in a separate post after putting more time/thought into it.

Initially, I liked the idea of DQing P-Reps that engage in this behavior, but this is not a sustainable solution for a decentralized network. It relies too much on off-chain politics. I’d like to see P-Rep DQ proposals only being used for technical reasons, such as what we have done already (DQing nodes that lost private keys).


I agree with you on this point. DQ could be easily weaponized in political conflict.


While removing the incentive for more votes would get rid of incentive for vote buying, it would also limit competition. I feel strongly that we need to keep competition.

One of the most challenging areas of vote buying is identifying it.


I identify Vote-buying as a process in which voters receive extra incentive by voting for a particular P-rep. The definition Vote buying indicates that you: Buy Votes -> You pay someone to vote on your behalf.

When I say Pay I am talking about direct incentive; not services, dapp utilizations. I think it’s too complicated to define indirect Vote-buying.


We can prevent voters to sell own votes.
Prep can votes for themself with full amount that they have, but voters cannot, only 1/5 or 1/10 of full amount for 1 prep and voters will must choose at least betweens 5 or 10 prep if they want to get rewards.


I agree with you, that self voting is not and should not be an issue! To invest and keep re-investing in your own company is a normal process in every business model.
But buying the voters votes when you promising to pay them back in any form for their votes given to you is an issue and is an illegal act of trying to manipulate the system in your behalf in many countries elections.
It is easier to find the problems, but much difficult to find the solutions for those problems. So, I like the idea, that everyone who raises a problem should also provide and solutions as well(at least their point of view of how this problem can be resolved).
I already mentioned a few thoughts about a solution to this problem, but still, need to be work on it in more details and I will post it out here when it is ready.
See the link here: