CPS: proposals becoming more considerate with $ICX value dropping

The last CPS round only catered for ~$196k in proposals. It seems the current bench mark for certain projects is $45k-60k. This means at the current $ICX valuation CPS can only cater for around 3-5 projects at a time and there doesn’t seem to be room for other projects to go ahead.

I suppose projects at that valuation could possibly apply for half the amount for half the time, just to allow other projects to get up and running?

I also see issues with cps proposals:

  1. lack of prototypes - high valuations given to teams without anything to show that they can actually deliver. Inexperience is fine, but where is the prototype?

  2. overvaluation for certain tasks - we are better off as a community burning the ICX (or storing for BTP incentives) instead of paying x20. We can maybe counter this by having standards of how much it really costs for x-task.

  3. cps should not pay regardless of the outcome. Your work ethic should pay for your success. Many projects on other chains start off without funding. Maybe we can work on a system where a portion of cps fund gets paid on succesful launch?

  4. CPS projects to open source and contribute back to the community.

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Hey Ali - thank you for your thoughts on the CPS, I’ll spend some time this weekend thinking about your points.

Outside of the UI/UX upgrade we’ve started for the CPS, there are two major ideas I’ve been working on that hopefully can help solve a couple issues currently apparent w/ the CPS:

  1. Prioritization/Waitlisting Mechanism
  2. Properly Aligned Incentives

#1 is close to being ready for sharing, #2 is further away as it’s more complex.

One thing I know you’ve talked about in the past which I agree with is we need to find additional income streams for the CPS treasury.

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I don’t think $60k is overpriced considering the cost of a software project. Software engineers are fairly expensive to employ.

A complex project might involve designing a UI, implementing a smart contract, implementing the UI, and possibly a backend component for complex offchain logic. All of the tasks might need coordination and a PM helping keep the project organized. Then, especially since it is handling money/wallets of users, there should be extensive testing. This can easily require a team of engineers over months, a pm, a designer and possibly a QA tester. After all development is done, smart contracts might need an audit. This can easily run $30k+ on its own.

Additionally, ICON is not the only blockchain out there. If you compare to ecosystems like harmony, it gave out much more extensive grants to attract developers building interesting/innovative products. In a world with many blockchains to build on, developers will likely opt to build on a platform that fully covers their costs, instead of partially.

I do agree that CPS could change how some approvals happen. Maybe a ranked choice system of approvals, or a waitlisting process would be a better way to give out grants. In this instance, I think the fee on the sponsor for failing to approve the grant should not be in place.

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The issue isn’t necessarily the $60k valuations, that was only in reference to being more considerate if price drops, if CPS can only handle $196k then that only covers 3 projects.
I noted 4 other bullet points, that don’t necessarily relate to total project valuations.
It’s important we create standards for CPS, because right now, it seems like ‘first come first serve / approve whatever’.

Additionally, I have seen projects go for CPS without posting on forum. This doesn’t follow the standard, that allows for vetting and an analysis of potential options. I could for example submit a $196k project at the first second of submissions, will others have room ? No.

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Other potential problems that are coming to me are valuations of marketing within CPS proposals.

I am not totally against funding marketing for projects, but some projects don’t seem like they need it, and there needs to be a fine line between CPS funding and the funding of projects through token and nft salses. Which could be: fund barebone operations to get me to a stage of sales.

The striking problem remains: without an open standard created between node operators, node operators will remain scared to downvote each others proposals, as fears of being side-lined / revenged.
These are my opinions.

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I agree and would like to work with the community to create these open standards.

I don’t think the CPS should be used to make projects profitable, but rather put them in a position to be profitable.

Otherwise the CPS is just a venture fund, in which case it should get a share of these profits.

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“The striking problem remains: without an open standard created between node operators, node operators will remain scared to downvote each others proposals, as fears of being side-lined / revenged.”

There is 100% truth to this. Maybe we can implement anonymous voting where the names of the P-Reps aren’t disclosed.

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CPS probably needs to be rebranded to “ICON Ecosystem Fund” as well. Makes sense with ICON inflation funding it as well as our top ecosystem delegates “governing” the fund.

Hopefully this will psychologically help the protocol feel a bit more like the community has ownership of these funds, and could cause more due diligence/questioning on projects to occur.

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The cps is on-chain. Currently, there is no feature to make transactions anonymous.

The best way is if we all sit down together and agree a set of principles

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Anonymity could help a lot, and would be accomplished if votes were not done by nodes, but some other system. For example, a new token for CPS or simply use staked ICX.

However, that would open up other problems, like CPS only being secured by a small amount of staked ICX because so much is already in DeFi and such. The current system is quite secure imo, but has its political issues

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I think a set of standards for common items might be good, but it needs to be flexible enough that projects aren’t pigeonholed by it.

As an example score development might be an example of something we could agree on a standard with, but not all scores and projects are built the same of course, so it might come down to just defining unit costs/hour as acceptable rates or something.

It would be nice if projects could prototype or provide some measure of capability and work up front, but this will be situational too.

Overall I think the wait list and prioritization features are a step in the right direction though!

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I mean it would be a bit of a pain and not sure if it could be implemented but could each P-Rep not assign a fresh address to do their voting and use the node accounts for sponsoring. They would need to make sure transactions don’t link back to their main address so perhaps all fresh address get funded a small amount for voting transactions. I know this is not 100% anon due to someone needing to check/assign the address and it maybe opens up a security risk to but an idea that maybe someone smarter than i can work with and improve to make more anon/secure.

It is indeed impossible to do this privately haha. If a P-Rep is supposed to get weighted voting based on their delegation, not possible to obscure that.

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Ah my bad, completely forgot about the weighted vote :joy: :man_facepalming: