Changes to Contribution Proposal System (CPS)

Hey everyone,

I wanted to float the idea of making a change to the CPS so that validators elect a fund manager to make decisions on their behalf instead of doing all of the voting themselves. The fund manager would also create and promote RFPs.

At least initially, I would be the fund manager to establish cadence and how to operate, and then on some interval (ie bi-yearly or yearly), election takes place.

Here is my reasoning and perspective on why I am proposing this change:

  1. Validators role is to secure the network by confirming whether transactions are valid according to the rules of the network. Approving / rejecting proposals and progress reports is not associated with securing the network.
  2. I believe that allocating some of the ICX emissions to on-chain grants is at the very least an interesting idea, and can see why it is potentially a good idea. However, I feel that its potential is limited because the decision making power is open to an unrelated role and suffers from the pitfalls of design by committee.
  3. Proposals are open-ended, but in reality the ICON network has a very targeted set of goals. This became significantly moreso the case after the network proposal, Balanced Enshrinement for ICON, passed.
  4. Currently, the CPS has many voters involved but no unifying plan or vision. I believe that currently outcomes of the CPS are the responsibility of no-one and the ICON network would benefit if instead outcomes are the responsibility of a leader. I believe consensus makes sense in the context of validating a network but does not fit well in the context of managing a fund because network validation is decided on a closed set of rules whereas fund management is not.
  5. It would alleviate validators from having to review and vote for proposals and progress reports each month.

Validators that participate in the CPS, please let me know your thoughts.


This sounds like a great idea to make the use of funds from CPS far more efficient. One thing I’d include is a fail-safe in the case that the fund manager (yourself) becomes compromised/malicious in some way. For example, maybe a method (e.g. disable()) that if called by enough validators, will shut down the CPS for the time being.

Other than that, sounds good to me.


That’s a great idea for sure. In addition to the election cycle, validators can kick the fund manager at any time. I am thinking they can either replace them with another fund manager or fall back to voting themselves so that it’s not necessary to have a replacement in case they need to act fast.


agreed with the proposal

to summarize the logic would be that validators approve the fund manager for a set time, validators can also reach a quorum to kick the fund manager and in the case it happens it falls back to the validators.

I have a couple questions:

  • what is the conditions for the approval of the fund manager? is it a vote that many people can propose themselves and it gets approved by simple majority of the validators?
  • is there any incentive for someone to propose themselves as fund manager? if we want veted members of the ecosystem to eventually become fund managers we would need to offer an incentive for it

This is a good idea, specially now that the network has a laser focused mission.

A bit of funds should be allocated to compensate this new role imo.

An idea to consider would be to change the voting phase to an “opinion phase” were validators can “agree”/“disagree”/and add feedback. Basically the same that exists now but just to express an opinion.

This would remove a bit of pressure from the fund manager, and also add more perspective to his final decision.

Opinion phase → No real power, just expressing opinions.
Final decision → Fund manager, who can agree or disagree with validators opinions.

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These are the conditions:

  • Fund manager is elected by validators who choose to participate in the election.
  • A validator who is also a nominee for the fund manager is not eligible to vote.
  • Validators vote on nominees through ranked voting.
  • A designated validator (ie. the ICON Foundation) announces a request for nominations the second week of January through standard communication channels (Discord, TG, Blog, Twitter, etc.).
  • Nominations can be collected via the designated validator’s preferred means. Let’s say for example that they use a Google form to collect nominations and that the form has the following questions:
  • Email Address
  • Name of Nominee
  • Email address of Nominee
  • Why would you like to nominate this person to manage the CPS fund?
  • How has this nominee demonstrated their eligibility for candidacy?

Eligibility of candidacy is defined in a document on Github somewhere that states something along the following:

  1. Reputation: Candidates should have a proven track record of positive contributions to the ICON community, such as participating in governance, developing on the platform, or actively engaging in community discussions.
  2. Relevant Experience: Candidates must possess relevant experience in at least one of the following areas:
  • Blockchain technology and its applications
  • Grant management or administration
  • Project evaluation and due diligence
  • Financial management and budgeting
  1. Conflict of Interest Declaration: Candidates must declare any potential conflicts of interest and agree to recuse themselves from decisions where such conflicts may arise.
  2. Proposal Submission: Candidates must submit a detailed proposal outlining their qualifications, vision for the grant system, and strategies for effective management and distribution of funds.
  3. Community Support: Candidates should demonstrate a level of support from the ICON community, which can be assessed through a combination of factors such as community endorsements, forum discussions, and social media engagement.
  4. Commitment to Transparency: Candidates must agree to operate transparently, regularly communicating with the community and providing updates on the grant system’s progress and decision-making processes.
  5. Language Proficiency: As the ICON community is global, candidates should be proficient in English to facilitate effective communication with a wide range of stakeholders.

For incentives, I was thinking that the fund manager would receive 2% of the monthly emissions that go to the CPS. My reasoning is that the CPS handles money, and everyone else involved (the sponsors and the approved proposers) gets paid. Although validators did not previously get paid for participation in the CPS directly, they do get paid for securing the network. I also believe that their lack of direct incentive to participate limits the quality of the participation, but because there is no checks and balances it is difficult to implement a direct incentive.

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This is a great idea. The fund manager would need to operate in a transparent way where anyone, not only validators, can provide their opinion. For example, it is intended that proposers initially post to this forum for public Q&A and feedback. However, in practice, this does not occur much because it is not enforced and the effort does not match the engagement.

As far as who has the power, I see a few options:

  1. The fund manager has full vote power and replaces validators.
  2. Validators can choose to retain or delegate their power to the fund manager.
  3. The fund manager has no power and instead provides their opinion.

I prefer option 1 because it is the simplest and separates roles the cleanest.