BIG PROBLEM with P-Rep Governance Model! We need to solve this right now!

This should be spoken out. I have had enough.

Here is what I think and this is what I have observed over the past few months. We are having an internal conflict, communication breakdown and disorientation among the P-Reps. Min is clearly not happy with the majority of the P-Reps. Min has high expectations, ambitious goals, wants ICON to become a global leader.

But most of the P-Reps just fail to meet the cut. Not all, but most. The governance meetings have extremely poor participation rate. People simply don’t care, can’t be bothered. Even when there is a meeting, it is just a couple of P-Reps talking and sharing their opinions. It is a waste of time. Nothing concrete and substantial. Nothing progressive and action-oriented. There is no incentives or penalisation for P-Reps. This model is clearly not working because we are not influencing how we want P-Reps to behave. We are just letting them be whatever they feel like.

This is what I think should be done. You can’t just simply decentralise it and leave all the P-Reps to do their own stuff. Think about it. If you want ICON to be big, can you just let a bunch of random people from the world and run ICON? And then just let them do their own thing, and trust that they have the same ambition as you?

Anyone can be a P-Rep, there is no criteria of joining, no talent filters, no expectations so you invite low-quality P-Reps. This is the 1st problem. I can say more than half of them wants to be P-Rep just for the sake of having higher staking rewards, you think they care about ICON network?

Secondly, decentralising 100% invites this big vacuum of gap. P-Reps don’t know what to do, there is no standards, no guidelines, no expectations, no common values, no shared vision or goals. Min always call out P-Reps to do more. But what is the kind of standard that P-Reps should follow? I think we should first have some sort of central authority FIRST, maintaining order before slowly decentralising it and trusting the P-Reps to run it. Maintaining order is meant by maintaining the standards and quality or expectations/guidelines.

Third, we have to change the model in a way that penalises the P-Reps. We must make it such that if you are in just for the rewards, you will lose. You will waste your time and it is not worth the effort. But if you can build something and get things done, we will reward you heavily. That should be the model.

Fourth, we must set high standards and KPI on criteria to measure productivity. There should be a competitive model that works like the index. Only the top few makes it into the index. If you are inefficient, you are out. This creates a self-mechanism model where only the best are serving ICON.

Fifth, we need more communication, more talent, more substance. Stop talking and get things done on meetings. Be action-oriented in meetings. Don’t just talk talk talk and share about how great you think ICON is but yet everyone moves on with their own life the next minute the meeting ends. Set up clear action plan and penalise people who fails to follow. All these things need a central authority.

Six, A complete decentralise model means there is no clear leadership. Nobody knows who is in charge, and so everybody is in a chillax state.

Seven, you can clearly see how this is a big problem. We got to act now and act fast. At this rate, it is clearly not sustainable and not healthy. We should flush out all the P-Reps who are inefficient and useless. I have to be harsh here. Think about the big tech companies like Tesla, Apple, Google, do they give a shit if you sucks? If you suck you are not qualified. As simple as that.

If Min really wants to set high standard of ICON, then MAKE it happen. You also have a role to play and not rely on P-Reps completely. Because you know that won’t happen. A decentralise model like this will certainly not give you what you envision ICON to be.

To be honest, I am losing trust and faith in ICON if we don’t get this sorted out. Min just throwing everything down to P-Reps under the name of “decentralization” is going to go really bad. ICONLOOP has high standards from their products and I trust them. But now you are saying okay, ICONLOOP is going away, you P-Reps take over from now on? Whoa… what do you ICONists think?

We invest in ICON because of the the ICON team, not P-Rep. But now the bigger picture is shifting to we are investing in the P-Rep teams to build the future of ICON. If that is the narrative I am out. If you want P-Rep to take over, that is fine. But at least make sure they are up to standard? At least make sure they are on par with ICONLOOP?

Sorry for the rant. But I hope internal order is stabilised and controlled. Right now it seems that we are breaking apart. Just my 2 cents worth. I really hope I am wrong in this. I believe in the future of ICON, but not P-Reps.

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Issue with ICON is that there are too many low productive P-reps who are being paid fat checks in coins. The productive ones aren’t getting votes because they’re busy working and not spending too much time on social media.

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More work needs to be done on measuring productivity and behaviour incentivisation/motivation. If you want ICON network to be heavy, then based P-Reps performance pegged it to say “no. of transactions”, “no. of users”, “no. of downloads”. The idea is to align everyone’s actions towards what you hope to achieve as an organisation.

In short, design a system such that the P-Reps actions and behaviours are in alingment with ICON’s goals. That means an incentive/penalty system that influence P-Reps to do things that you want them to do. If you can do this right, it will be a big step forward.

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Hey Tyler,

Thank you for your commentary, and I certainly will admit that I agree with literally everything you said. This original system was designed with too much optimism and idealism, that voters would immediately put a stop to any unacceptable behavior by shifting votes and the best teams would rise to the top based on what they have built for ICON.

I can assure you that these issues are front & center for a dedicated team at ICON, and I believe much of this is addressed in IISS 3.0 and the Contribution Proposal System (penalizing p-reps for lack of governance effort, lowering p-rep rewards, and creating a fund for specific ecosystem developments). I would say the Delegation Pilot Program is also hoping to solve some of these issues. I’ll also say there are some actions that can be taken now to lessen the damage, such as dramatically lowering i_rep so it’s not so profitable to simply run a node and campaign for votes.

All of this is an experiment, it’s not just ICON that has these issues. But I can assure you that the ICON/ICONLOOP team is not simply handing over everything that has been / will be built to group of psuedo-anonymous entities, arbitrarily selected by altcoin traders/stakers, who may or may not have any relevant experience in blockchain ecosystem growth and development. This is a process, and perhaps it happened too quickly without enough testing. We can admit our mistakes, and I appreciate you taking the time to point them out. Having said that, I’m confident that we’re on a path to a more sustainable economic and incentive structure.

Your feedback is heard loud and clear and it would be great to discuss specifics over DM on Telegram (@benny_options).

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Very good post! Thanks for taking the time to write it. @Benny_Options hit pretty much all the points that I wanted to say.

I’ll just emphasize that we’re not relying on P-Reps completely. We’re nowhere close to that stage. But, we want to move towards that direction. And, my goal is to make that happen.

Every company/project/network has a BIG problem. And, we’ll always have a BIG problem of our own. It’s just that the problem will be different at different growth stages. And I believe we’ll solve this problem like the other ones we’ve solved in the past.

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@tyler64

Dude you are so right on everything. Glad you spoke out! People’s feelings are hurt when told they suck.

At any job, if you suck, you are canned/fired. We can’t have sensitive people who do not deliver; cry over someone giving better direction.
If they feel mistreated, they may use Social Media to cry out loud, cause FUD because their feelings are hurt. If I cry at work, I won’t have a job. LOL

I hope this is addressed too! @minhx

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I agree. I think we need more talented and ambitious individuals or teams to run ICON like yourself who shares the same vision. This is what I think would work well for ICON, just like in any other organization. Reward HEAVY on those who are talented and committed. Keep them close and work with them best. Don’t let them go. Else they would flock away to other platforms like ethereum.

But the next question is where do we get the extra funds to reward talents? Simple answer. TAKE IT AWAY FROM SUCKY CRAPPY P-Reps who are not doing shit, or think they are doing something big but in reality they are not.

That is the 1st solution.

Then next question okay so how do we evaluate which P-REPS are sucky and crappy? They might think they are good in their own eyes. Then u need a way to measure productivity and performance. A detailed comprehensive way to say which are the good ones and bad ones. And a way that would filter out bots to artificially drive those KPI figures up.

That is the 2nd solution. We need to work on an evaluation model to filter out good and bad P-Reps. And we need a good throuhgh one.

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Definitely not wrong here. There is a lot I think we (the royal we) have learned about ICON’s potential and pitfalls and there is a fair amount of data to act on accordingly.

I haven’t said it and I’m not sure I even should now. It’s largely out of character for me and I’m sure it falls within the realm of “conflict of interest” as a P-Rep myself, but here goes:

There are a few P-Reps that I have observed that absolutely deserve to be rewarded. They have and continue to build on ICON. But, to be frank, with the capital most of these teams have collected in the past 7 months I could have put together a quality team of devs and actually have built and delivered on at least one solid application, and likely more, in that time. I would know, since I do that for a living already.

I’m not going to pretend that our contributions, as a P-Rep, thus far are “meaningful”, but what I was able to put together in a few weeks before and after decentralization still outclasses the development contributions of most of the P-Reps. And, sadly, I don’t think my contributions are that significant at all. I hope that will change eventually, but that requires a lot of work and since I work on ICON part time, that is further impacted - but still I have still done more then many Top 22’s.

To be frank, it’s been discouraging to try and engage P-reps with tools and ideas only to have those same p-reps earn rewards in a single day what we earn in a month with little or nothing to show after half a year, and many are clearly liquidating vast amounts of ICX with no explanation, even occasional, at all.

Hopefully this doesn’t come off as whiny. This isn’t a plea for more rewards, but I feel like my opinion might help some people realize that the rewards many of these teams are collecting are vastly outpacing the output of the teams.

And, while i’m at it there is one other thing i’d like to bring up. Many teams are completely relying on ICX (apparently) to fund their operations. While this might make sense for some teams, It’s my opinion that what we earn as P-Reps should not be used to fully fund people’s salaries. I think, at best, teams should be able to supplement existing businesses and organizations with their P-Rep rewards, but not dependent upon them

But that is functionally impossible to enforce, I know, so it feels like there definitely needs to be a quality standard among P-reps and meaningful metrics to grade us by.

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Absolutely agree with everything you have said, thank you for sharing your opinion and feedback!

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I agree with all of these points. Our whole prep plan was also according to how icon planned the prep system. If we have rewards we see that as a support of the community. We plan projects and execute it with necessary dev outsourcing if we don’t have it we just wait till we have. Outside that everything we did is from the commitment from our free times. Our team was 3 member which is all developers. I am running 2 company so I don’t do much of coding for several years other members are also working full time. In the end, we onboard several developers from other chains to icon ecosystem and I see that as a big contribution more than what we put out as a project under our prep name because we need developers to work on the public chain to keep building and trying.

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I also agree on almost everything that you said (maybe I wouldnt go as far as ‘Im losing faith in Icon because of that’ but still…)

Almost as Im not sure about the ‘filtering’ of preps by skill, experience etc. Although I see the necessity for higher qualified preps to be picked to lead the system, it would be very difficult for such ‘criterias for joining’ to be implemented in a fair way. I think that a much better strategy would be for Icon to actually ‘invite’ better skilled preps and that way replace the current not working ones in a non-intrusive way.

In order for this to work though, we need to find a way to deal with another major problem - the stagnant votes as otherwise that effect might be nullified as the voters will stay where they have initially voted at. I think that if we put our minds to it, we can easily solve this problem as well (and just in time for IISS 3.0). Off the top of my head we can set a requirement for the voters to switch/confirm their vote every month and if they dont, the system can automatically re-assign the votes that have not moved to either: all preps, to a random prep, to chosen pilot program participants or whatever other option we can think of.

That way whoever wants to vote for a specific prep can do so but will have to confirm that he still is happy with them each month and if they would not bother - others will pick for them.

Whatever we pick as solution. we would need to set up some precautions so its effect does not result in another problem, but we can figure it out if we put our minds to it

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stagnant vote is caused by the lack of clear criterias to evaluate P-Reps. You see there are more than 70-80 P-Reps. Voters hold a ton of other coins other than ICX. They won’t spend days going on about to research which P-Reps are good or bad. They would just put it all on ICON Foundation to be safe, or the top few on the basis that they think the top few are good if not they won’t be at the top.

However, if we have a clear transparent dashboard on every single P-Reps productivity level, work progress, contribution % to the ICON network, work done or etc. I know there are transaprency groups. Everyone is trying to figure out ways to improve transparency among P-Reps. But it still doesn’t quite make the cut.

That’s why I mentioned we need clear evaluation model on P-Reps. So the Founders have to first decide what criterias they want to set for ICON. Then based performance metrics on those KPI goals. If not it is really all over the place as we are seeing right now.

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I know what you mean, however I dont think that its the only issue. Even when there were 20-30 preps and most of them were constantly spamming social media about their achievements, there were a ton of people that were ‘bragging’ that they voted for the top 3/5 as they would not like to waste their time to decide on who to vote for when they are getting the same rewards for voting for any of the teams. Most of them have not moved their votes ever since (I assume that most have not sold as well as we are not very far pricewise to where we were a year ago).

So all that Im saying is - you are absollutely right that the info should improve but without dealing with the voter apathy/stagnation problem, the effect will not be huge. One thing that I have learned in the last year is: Dont understimate how lazy/silly some people are even when their profit is on the line

In regards to the prep evaluation: I personally have had numerous discussions about that with @Benny_Options, however each time I get fired up on presenting a solution about it, it comes down to the same problem: who, how and in what way will evaluate them. If you only look at who: will it be other preps (conflict of interest), iconist (thats what they are supposed to do now - what are the results), automated system (correctly set to engulf all types of contribution with no circuvention possible and able to evaluate automatically with no human interaction… almost impossible), a combination of those…

I thought about it for quite some time and couldnt find a solution. If you are able to find one, dont hesitate to share :slightly_smiling_face:

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That was a good read, it kinda talks about the elephant in the room.

Our team has already talked about it here [Contribution Proposal] DeFiCON - ICON Decentralized Finance

The current Stake and reward distribution model need to be revisited as it relates more to the traditional Proof of Stake (POS) or Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) rather than the intended Delegated Proof of Contribution (DPoC) governance model. For the various reasons that will be addressed later in the paper, the Proof of Contribution is showing characteristics of a rather restrictive model where reward/return rates are favoring the “lazy” nodes.

During our work the foundation came our with IISS 3.0 changes and announced CPF so we kinda sidestep with the continuation of the proposal. We give them credit for coming up with the changes as it was a clear sign they recognized the problem too. Both proposed changes were more than positive.

In general, our team is supporting accountability and transparency from day one as it is a clear contribution indicator.

I am still positive as I am waiting for IISS3.0 and CPF to be implemented and I do hope that after reading discussion like this that Foundation will ensure these improvements come out soon.

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I totally agree and this is clearly a problem, perhaps a large one amongst many others the project face, but that’s just normal progression of a public project with an innovative approach.

I was invested in ICON since ICO and relatively close to the project from day 1, did I see the problem arising, yes but you will need to deal with them one problem at a time.

Since decentralization the main issue was to secure 22 Preps, then to hit the 100 mark, now that we have an abundance number of Preps and candidates the target will be to up productivity, filter out the weak members and set standards.

Now that we are officially a Prep, I can see 4 categories of Preps:

  1. Self Staking Preps (we are a decentralised model and yes this should be acceptable, IE if you mine Eth or BTC no one should care, and the same approach applies)
  2. Dormant or below par Preps with a number of stagnant votes who add 0 value to the network
  3. Hard working Preps with a fair vote value
  4. Hard working Preps with an insufficient number of votes and therefore we are pushing them to leave to better rewarding project or incentivising them to do less.

You would hope the voters can be educated and canny about their votes, but its not the case, so I would like to think that we need to prioritise fixing the second category which then by default will resolve the problem in category 4.

The CPF, Bond… part of the IISS 3.0 are a huge positive development and mean to resolve some of these issues:

  • Preps who normally dump their tokens are having to save for the bond and therefore resolved the downward selling pressure for the short term.
  • Penalising Preps instead of Iconist to up KPI (node productivity, governance meetings/votes etc)
  • CPS to incentivise iconists to contribute and therefore bypassing reliance on Preps or at least the dormant or the less performing ones (point 1 & 2)

Another separate problem i see, we need to differentiate in between hard work and strong business acumen, whilst working hard is respected and desired we would need to strike the balance to ensure our hard work is efficient and not in vain.

On a separate note, as a final statement I would like to think that since we have joined the community 2.5 months ago we set high standards & took pride in our work as we would like to be held in high regard by the community (Voters, fellow Preps & Foundation).

Thank you!

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I like the last comments about how votes can be stagnant and your ideas of making the votes move.

If the iconist does not vote, no staking rewards. It looks like at least we all have different ideas and can pivot…

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I agree with @ICONPLUS.

This is the natural expected order of how the project overall will evolve after decentralization, the priorities shifts after each step concluded or obstacle surpassed, first it was securing 22 P-Reps, then hitting 100 and now we can focus on optimizing the P-Rep model and allow for valuable teams to rise in the ranks and even though I recognize the points made by @tyler64 I believe that we are actually achieving this and you can see it in the way the top 100 list of P-Reps has shifted, although it clearly has been a slow process, my opinion it is that is already occurring.

With that said, of course we can improve, and we should work to make the process of having high-quality P-Reps rise through the rank faster, but is important to carefully analyze the changes that we will be making because we unknowingly might make it more difficult for good small teams to survive if aggressive actions are taken.

In my opinion IISS 3.0 will make highly positive changes to achieve this, requiring a 5% bond, having a Contribution Proposal Fund managed by the top 22 these are all great steps in the right direction, the only thing that I believe is not being addressed in IISS 3.0 is the subject of vote stagnancy and ICONist not spreading their votes accordingly to P-Reps contributions and added value to the network.

Sadly this problem of vote stagnancy is something that is easy to identify but not that easy to resolve, but I believe that 2 clear and defined steps can be made to improve this.

  • First, randomize the P-Rep list in the ICONex wallet, and add a searchbar at the top to filter teams by name. This will have 2 positive outcomes:

    • the first is that by randomizing the list of P-Rep it will even out the probability of receiving delegating to all teams, there will always be ICONist that will vote simply for the sake of voting, randomizing the list will achieve a more spread distribution
    • the second is that by adding a searchbar at the top, the ICONist that do know for what P-Rep to vote based on previous research will easily find the P-Reps that they are looking for.
  • The second change we can add is adding a voting pool. This pool will serve as a catch-all for ICONist that either don’t know who to vote for or don’t care and simply want to stake and get their rewards. All the delegations received in this voting pool will be allocated as votes to a set of P-Reps and the decision will fall on the Top 22 the same way the will decide on how to distribute the funds of the CPF. In order to make this as efficient as possible many restrictions can be made, for example:

    • P-Reps would need to apply for this the same way the Foundation delegation pilot program works but the decision will be made by the top 22
    • create well-defined metrics and KPI for teams to prove how they have a positive impact a set of detailed general goals like the ones described in the latest ICON Newsletter (increase on-chain transactions, increase active wallet counts, increase awareness in untapped regions, etc)

In my opinion, these are 2 very structured and defined ways we can improve vote stagnancy and the P-Rep Governance Model overall.

@minhx @Benny_Options

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One step at the time!

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This is such a good post. So many of the P-Reps suck so badly, but sadly there isn’t really much we can do about it. It’s laughable that the community has asked for Trezor support since 2018; voters have poured millions of $ to P-Reps, yet no one has taken the initiative to do it. If someone just paid a developer a fraction of that amount, it’d probably be done in months if not weeks. The Trezor example is just one of so many examples how P-reps have failed to give back to their voters.

The problem with decentralization is that everyone “owns” ICON. When everyone owns something, then really no one really owns it. So many free riders and P-reps who are all talk.

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Sadly as far as I understand it Trezor won’t accept ICON integration because ICX is outside the top 30 market cap coins. Terrible service from them for our Trezor users

Do you know many others who want support, could put together a joint petition/request?

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