IISS Enhancements


I want to highlight that I whole-heartily appreciate this discussion. These discussions are the foundations of nation building and the construction of infrastructure. So I truly am grateful that you started this discussion Benny Options :+1:.


Hey Corey,

Thanks for the response and I’m glad you appreciate the debate. I want to clarify a few things and respond to a few of your points below:

1.) Lack of P-Reps: I would argue that part of the reason we are not at 100 nodes is the massive barrier to entry we have self-imposed to our network. This is not the fault of the community or P-Rep teams, but an unforeseen consequence to the design of IISS. The current system incentivizes an immense amount of time to be spent garnering votes from the community on social media, and incentivizes attacks on teams that are not meeting a subjective benchmark of contribution. In my proposed system, somebody that wants to contribute would simply submit a Contribution Proposal and wait for ICX holders to either approve or reject. Somebody that wants to run a node would just buy enough ICX to be in the top 100 and start running a node, or, if they want, try to convince people to vote for them instead of risking their own capital. The current barrier to entry is much higher than on other networks. High barrier to entry in our early days is detrimental to the growth of our network and community.

2.) Communism: I think you are missing some key aspects of the proposal. There is still an economic incentive to become a block producing Main P-Rep (need more votes/ICX for this), and also an economic incentive to set up more nodes (need a certain amount of votes/ICX to qualify). Equal rewards for all Sub P-Reps does not mean equal rewards per entity. Entities can set up multiple Sub P-Reps to earn more rewards if they have enough ICX/votes. More ICX holdings/votes = more nodes = more money. There is also a scarcity to the number of nodes (currently 100, but could also be changed), so the barrier to entry on the ICON Network will then be equal to the cost of the ICX delegation to node 100. If node number 100 has 1 million ICX delegated to it, then the barrier to entry to our network will be 1 million ICX.

3.) I think you are missing what I mean by protocol level adjustments. Creating rules and regulations and turning P-Reps into police/judges/courts is not a decentralized autonomous network. It is a network that requires regular human intervention/oversight to maintain best practices. There is no reasonable way at the network layer to autonomously force P-Reps to produce some sort of meaningful transparency report. Instead of creating off-chain policies and turning P-Reps into police/judges/courts, we need to create a protocol that does not require enforcement by humans. We need a protocol that incentivizes the actions that we want, this is the purpose of cryptoeconomics in a blockchain network. What we want is a secure/stable/decentralized blockchain and contribution to the ecosystem. While many P-Reps may still choose to contribute in this different system, I would expect many people (myself and yourself included) to defer to the Contribution Proposal System to get funding for projects/initiatives to help grow the ICON Ecosystem. ICON Core is a good example of something that would instead request funding from the network via the Contribution Proposal System. Another good example is your podcasts - you would submit a proposal for weekly podcasts and, if approved by ICX holders, receive steady ICX payments for your work. Direct rewards for direct contributions.


If so, how is it different from current model ? Decentralization means more nodes controlled by more unique entities. Especially for main validators.
With the new model, a single entity can control multiple nodes and leech ICX by doing

  • Buy enough ICX and take over top position ( same as self-vote )
  • Do whatever it take to attract vote from community ( exactly what happened with current model, but worse with new model because that entity doesn’t even need to be bothered with contribution and policed by other PReps at all )

The most important point is, assume we reach 100 nodes, but if those nodes are controlled by a very small group of entities, it is still very centralized, nothing change.

I know you are trying to take mechanism from other chains and apply to ICON, but it is not that simple. Equal reward works in other chains with many other conditions and ICON hasn’t satisfied them yet ( e.g. high number of main validators ).
It is like picking some good component of a system and put it to other system, and expect them to work. No, it probably cannot work like that. The system must be well-designed from the beginning with fit-together gears.

By the way, I didn’t even mention potential failure of Contribution Proposal System if it still use the same voting mechanism as PRep election.


Thanks for chiming in. Perhaps I’m missing something but regarding the proposed:

1: This appears to be like the same system we have today. One can buy votes or get votes through work, which is essentially what the system is today. There would just be a cap at which an increase in the number of votes does not add profit. I think this adds more issues (outlines in 2)

2: This seems much worse than the current system. If we incentivize people to make more nodes, then whales with self votes could take over the entire network… because you can spread votes. You can’t spread votes from the community. Ubik would have 16M votes for 1 node and teams with significant self stake would have 1M for 10 nodes and have 10x the profits and 10x the governing votes with less overall votes? binance velic icon and whales would control all. Then they can vote for their own proposals and control the entire system. From a technical perspective, teams running multiple nodes hurts decentralization. If two teams run 50 nodes, then that essentially is just 2 clusters with high centrality performing all of the blockchain work. If a whale can easily spread votes and put all their nodes in the same location, I think we will very quickly have a centralized network with a few kingpins controlling it behind many nodes that they own.

  1. I don’t think we have appropriate technology to fully self govern. Some areas can, but many cannot be written into code. That is why p reps are needed and trusted by the people to make appropriate decisions. Some can be automated, but much cannot. I believe we need written rules and associated penalties, and then it makes the voting much simpler. Perhaps some automation could occur, but I believe p reps main duty is governance.


Hey buddy! First and foremost I want to thank you for taking the time to outline the intricate components of this proposal; it truly means a lot not only for me but the entirety of the community. I appreciate you outlining these distinguishing factors of this proposal, I will humbly say I didn’t think of it this way and I whole heartily appreciate you chiming in. Thank you so much for this, it makes a lot more sense now on my end. I always appreciate your diligence, patience and contributions. Cheers and thank you again for the clarification!


Thanks for chiming in, Scott.

1/ On this point, I agree that there is a relatively high barrier of entry for grassroots teams to attract votes from the community as you touched on. However, this is something that was openly encouraged for several months - for P-Rep candidates to market and differentiate themselves in a competitive atmosphere. In fact, it was one of the main themes of ICONSENSUS. This is a direct function of the system ICON designed and marketed openly for several months.

Additionally, competition is not necessarily a bad thing, at least I don’t think. It brings out the best in people and I’m not sure how this would be accomplished in a system where there is virtually none. There will also not be that large of an economic incentive to run a node as rewards would be disproportionate to a P-Rep’s votes, nearly identical across the board. So, in terms of attracting more P-Reps, I think this would have a negative impact on current and future ones. Current ones will have to scale down their teams and they are likely already amidst financial uncertainty as this proposal is being discussed.

Under your new proposed system, you also mention the issuance of “Contribution Proposals”. Will this not overlap with EEP/DBP’s?

Under the current system, P-Reps are incentivized to contribute to the network in ways outside of the minimum requirement of running a node. While running a P-Rep node is undoubtedly the most important requirement, it feels like the design of the system has been skewed and we’re attempting to “gut” the very thing that sets P-Reps apart from other DPoS based networks - Contribution. In fact, under DPoC, ICON’s consensus model variant it places vast importance on “contribution” outside of being strictly a validator as opposed to other DPoS based blockchain networks (Lisk, Bitshares, EOS, etc).

The central philosophy of the ICON Network reward distribution is fair compensation based on relative contribution. Each participant can demonstrate their contribution through the ICON Network’s unique contribution evaluation system. In the end, contribution is the most important value shared within the ICON Network, and therefore will be the sole standard in the network. Delegated Proof of Contribution (DPoC), as described herein, is the sole justification for electing representatives.

The above quotation was taken from Ricky Dodds medium post earlier this year going in-depth on DPoC.

To move from this initial conception and propose major changes to the roles and responsibilities of P-Reps seems a bit misleading for all the teams who were heavily involved in marketing themselves, engaging with the community, and even being apart of the ambassador program - spreading these same initial ideals across several different content mediums and audiences.

I’m not sure if that’s the best way to go.

2/ I feel providing the means for P-Reps to set up more nodes is attempting to solve a problem of scarcity of the number of P-Reps by diluting currently existing ones. This can have some negative impacts as @thelionshire pointed out, including but not limited to heavy centralization.

We are already facing a problem of centralization as the top 3 main P-Reps all have ICON affiliations and/or partnerships. The number of votes proportionate to these entities accounts for roughly 37% of all votes. Additionally, the top-ranked team (ICON Foundation) has nearly double the amount of votes as the 3rd ranked team - ICX_Station.

Without intending on sounding like a broken record, this is hurting decentralization at the moment and a few solutions have been proposed to combat this problem and aid decentralization of our network. For the most part, I haven’t seen any discussion on the solutions proposed outside of yourself in ICON related social channels.

I would like to hear more discussion on this from the Foundation.

Additionally, a "protocol level solution" could be considered to combat the problem of vote disparity and incentivize ICONists to not delegate towards larger P-Reps. This has been a topic of relevance recently in networks like Cosmos and Ethereum. "Proportional Slashing" could very well encourage distribution of votes to lower-ranking teams who will not suffer as high of a penalty as those higher ranking. While the "burn" is not currently active for main P-Reps, it could be something to consider as it will hurt larger P-Reps more and incentivize ICONists to distribute their votes to teams who would not suffer as high of "slash" under various circumstances.

These penalties will likely not be very often but I believe it is something of equal consideration to take into account.


3/ I just suggested a protocol level adjustment above but, @thelionshire’s point holds here, in my opinion.

I don’t think we have appropriate technology to fully self govern. Some areas can, but many cannot be written into code. That is why p reps are needed and trusted by the people to make appropriate decisions. Some can be automated, but much cannot. I believe we need written rules and associated penalties, and then it makes the voting much simpler. Perhaps some automation could occur, but I believe p reps main duty is governance.

Proof-of-Stake is still new, this is further evident by PoS based blockchain networks accounting for roughly 5% of overall market capitalization. Many are experimental models.

Money can pay for development of any project that sits in a repo. To foster collaboration is difficult though, which makes experimentation important. The P-Rep system in ICON seeks to encourage validators to lead on these community-oriented projects.

Furthermore, as @thelionshire pointed out, the technology is just not there for a fully autonomous Digital Nation. AI is based on rules, you can have self-learning networks, but at the end of the day, behaviors need to be defined by an algorithm.

As you yourself have stated in the past @Benny_Options, P-Reps should focus on price and short-term solutions to grow the network. I’m unsure how this can be followed if the P-Reps are “stripped” of their duties in governance and contribution.


Don’t really see the issue here. Spreading your votes around means you can run more nodes but that doesn’t mean you will participate in governance since that is restricted to the top 22 spots. A single entity running multiple nodes is still possible in the current system so I don’t really see the concern here. A whale with 10 M ICX can split his votes and take spots 8 and 9. I’m all for many people running nodes and there shouldn’t be a cap on that. Individuals who spread around their votes are doing so at a cost. They have to purchase the tokens to do so. The two main issues with the current system are; ‘contribution’ and vote concentration at the top (Big issue since network resources are concentrated at the top). The current system doesn’t resolve these issues. Since we are now dealing with hypotheticals, whales in the current system don’t even have to write a proposal. They can buy themselves in and contribute as little as possible with no accountability while earning bulk of the reward for dev’t. At least with the new model, they have to make a proposal with expectations if they choose to contribute and ICONist will have a say with their votes. The current system just relies on faith/trust in a few teams which is risky. Many people believe VELIC isn’t doing enough with the rewards they are receiving. This is because the current system doesn’t require them to do anything. They can run a node and still claim they are ‘contributing’. I’ve seen UBIK propose that a 3 month report should be a requirement. If I report on how I’m maintaining my node, wouldn’t that satisfy this requirement? Or will I face DQ if my contribution doesn’t meet the criteria of a few teams at the top. What happens if i choose to not submit anything at all since I don’t need votes and voted myself in. Plus just like Benny indicated, barrier to entry is high. Some want to just run a node with no ‘contribution’ so why force them to ‘contribute’.


First, if you notice, you will see that top 3 P-Reps are ICON-affiliated. Just do the math

  • ICON Foundation 17%
  • VELIC 11.3%
  • ICX Station 9%

The sum is 17 + 11.3 + 9 = 37.3% which is a LOT.
Yeah, ICON themselves take a big responsibility in causing top concentration of vote. They must do their duty of reducing stake rate first, then suggesting other teams.

What prevent one entity from running multiple nodes in top22 ? Assume that entity has a lot of votes, by doing that they can gain more both profit and power.
Also, even if they run multiple nodes in sub 22, it still negatively affects the decentralization of the whole network. What we really need is more unique entities rather than more nodes.

See ?, we all know current model has its own issue, but the new one cannot solves those issues at all, it even comes with potential worse issues. At least, the number of main Preps must be increased significantly in order to consider new model ( harder to take over top22 )

For unreasonable high reward of top Preps, we just need a better distribution formula, like square root function approach proposed by Scott Smiley.

Contribution Proposal System still requires trust, community will be probably the one judging proposals, and they must trust proposer as well ( even for teams with clear milestones and track record ). As I said, issues of Prep election will very likely repeat themselves again. Especially with simple voting system and UX of voting tool.


Like i stated earlier, an entity running multiple nodes doesn’t guarantee they will get into the top 22 and participate in governance. Also, they are doing so at a cost. Plus, this is possible even in the current system and we cannot prove that all 68 P-reps currently runnings are unique. For someone to do this, it requires capital. Its not free. A single entity can run multiple nodes on any chain on the market assuming its permissionless so I don’t see how that is an issue when the current system allows it.

I don’t see how ICON spreading around their vote (picking winners and losers) solves the ‘contribution’ issue neither does a new distribution formula. Unless we are willing to accept that P-reps in the top spots can make the bulk of network resources and contribute as little as possible or nothing at all. These issues are bound to happen. At that point, why not just call it a proof of stake rather than a proof of contribution. Why force people to write proposals about contribution also.

With Trust/Faith, at least with the new system, teams who fail to deliver could face rejection from ICONist with their next proposal so it won’t be in their best interest to do nothing. With the current system, a whale who votes himself into the top spot can choose to contribute or not and there is nothing no one can do about it unless the other P-reps are willing to DQ people who fail to ‘contribute’. Which will be terrible for ICX. I guess my whole point is there is no accountability in the current system. We are just at the mercy of P-rep candidates and take whatever they give while having no power to remove them if they act in their interest rather than the network. A viable ecosystem should have checks and balances.

When big exchanges and self voted whales move in and take up the top spots, this will become an issue. I strongly believe that most of the inflation rewards should go towards development, which ICONist will have a say with the new system. The current system basically comes down to giving someone your money and hoping for the best.


I assume they get enough votes. Of course everything has its cost, with current model PRep must convince community or buy ICX to self-vote. Same to new model.

Again, I never said current model is better, but the new model is not superior either. They are probably come with the same set of issues.

It is about the limit number of main validator slots, of course one entity can run multiple nodes, but if there is more slots, it is harder to take all top positions. Same happened to EOS with only 21 main validators.

Actually they should unstake some of their ICX rather than vote any teams. The effect of concentration is mostly caused by them. At least, doing that should help.

You totally forgot community ? After several months, if top PReps don’t do any significant thing, community will likely notice and remove their votes. Unless majority of ICONists don’t care at all, in this case, the new model will not work either.

It definitely is Proof of Stake, every chains with staking mechanism are proof of stake by nature. For specific chain, the concept of Proof of “some fancy name” is just extra protocol on top of PoS that help to mitigate caveat of PoS.

ICONist can also do exactly that do non-contributing PReps. What is new here ?

With new model, whale can also buy ICX and vote for their own proposals, nothing changes again.

Why no accountability ?, if you can prove that some specific PRep is acting in its interest, just do it and community will take action. Again, if ICONists don’t care, it is pointless, even with new model.

With new model, big exchange can still do exactly what they can do with current model, even easier ( not being policed and DQ at all ). They will vote for their own proposals, and easily take over top22 with their money. No offense here, but I can’t believe you don’t see that.

All ICONists do have a say with current model, it is their votes. Again, if you can prove that some PReps are bad actors, just tell community and see what happen. Just a hint, actually we already have one supposed-to-be “bad actor” ( you know which PRep I mean ), and NOTHING HAPPENED so far.
That is it, ICONists are very apathy.

Let’s put an end here, we are all hoping for the best, same with new model. Contribution Proposal System still require ICONists to trust proposer, and hope they will deliver. Proposer could fool community to get funded and deliver nothing ( same to PReps election ). Why can’t you get this point ?

In my conclusion, you just overrate community and ICONists, but ignore the fact they are apathy as well as easily get fooled by clever PR and sweet promises. That is why I believe the new model can’t work because it relies on the same people - ICONists - to decide reward allocation.


Great conversation going on here.

I want to take a step back and discuss the objectives of these changes before getting too deep into specifics of what would be done.

In my mind we have a few issues:

1) Problem:
Community/Development focused P-Reps (that are reliant on votes for funding) need more income. P-Reps that have been in the ecosystem for a while have name recognition and votes already after the months/years of community work/participation. Without a lot of new investment it makes it hard(er) to garner votes. PARROT9’s vote total is evidence enough though that some teams can overcome this (marketing focused ones at least).

Some thoughts towards a solution:
Attract new investors/voters ie up our staking %. Revote every 6 months for P-Reps? Ie all votes are taken down and every team is at zero. All ICONists could then vote from a RANDOMISED list of P-Rep names. This combats apathy and will make ICONists vote. This event could also have bonus ICX rewards for ICONists who vote within the first week or two after the revote ie it could be a marketing tool.

Secondly I think block production rewards need to be higher. Let’s stop them being pegged to I-Rep and just make a flat USD figure of what it was advertised as in ICONSENSUS elections of $10, 000 USD a month. That’s enough for a group of devs to be paid properly for part/full time work and to cover expenses. We should also expand block production beyond the top 22 P-Reps so that lower ranked/newer dev teams can also budget on receiving partial block production rewards.

If we did this then I-Rep could be lowered substantially to decrease Representative rewards and balance out inflationary pressure. We can also use our network’s USD-ICX price oracle to achieve this on chain.

2) Problem:
We are not decentralised enough.

Solution ideas:
Time. We have decentralised block production and thus we are decentralised. HOWEVER ICON leads our network currently. This is not something we can change imho, but I also see it as far more of an asset. ICON and ICONloop are our network’s creator and basic bread winners. Mid/Long term our public chain needs to become free of ICON’s dominant leadership, but we want ICONloop . Does absolutely no one else remember ICONs DEX wallet either? Theoretically they can take over most of the network voting power if they used it, but that’s the exact opposite of what ICON has shown it wants to do imho.

4) Problem:
P-Rep roles not clearly defined. We also don’t have C-Rep nodes yet. C-Rep’s are/were a possible way to separate ‘passive’ and ‘active’ ICON nodes. Required of an active P-Rep should be: network participation in the form of development work on our network and participation in governance. P-Reps will naturally bring extra assets to bare too (ie for ICONation I’m bringing ICON community management as well as working to empower/assist our developers and grow our network).

As well as active P-Reps we also want to have passive nodes because they secure our network/lock up ICX supply. The issue with them though is that we can’t justify paying them the same block production rewards as P-Rep developer teams working on the network.

Solution ideas:
We need to find a way to balance/lower passive self funded node rewards whilst also keeping them high/competitive with the market. At the same time we need to be mindful about adding any complications for investors, complications will turn away investors. So why not have a similar calculation for C-Reps as P-Reps but add a modifier for C-Reps such as was suggested from Scott above.

5) Problem:
Money+Voting > Human Voting Power. Whales can overrun the network in theory.

Solution Ideas:
In the future use MyID/DPASS DID tech to vote on DBPs and EEPs. This will require a world wide recognised standard too ie no dodgy websites being used to create multiple personal voting DIDs. We should all still be able to retain our anonymity in a vote, yet know each other voting are not bots/multiple accounts.


I’ll be a bit more clear here. What about P-reps who do not need community votes? I’m talking about P-reps who bought their way into the top here. As the network grows, we will see more of these p-reps show up. Even the P-reps who need votes now may not need it in the near future since many are re-staking their rewards to maintain their spot.

If so, why create barriers to entry and require P-reps to create proposals if you believe its a POS model. We could make the process a lot easier for many to enter and less messy if we remove all the ambiguities associated with Proof of contribution such as proposals and requiring P-reps to contribute to the network. We could make ‘contribution’ a voluntary thing. At that point, a P-rep candidate wouldn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars just to run a node. Those funds could go to build the ecosystem and ICONist will have a say as to what those funds should be used for.


No they can’t. In the current model, ICONist only have a say if the P-rep needs votes from them. They can’t do anything if the P-rep has enough money to buy his way to the top.

Yes they can but their vote would go up against the vote of the entire network at this point. As you clearly stated, with the new model, they are at least creating a proposal to contribute something so being active. The current model doesn’t require them to do anything unless other P-reps are willing to disqualify them if the contribution doesn’t fit the criteria of the other p-reps.

Same as the response above. They can’t do anything if that P-rep doesn’t need their votes.

I believe I’ve answered this already in the comments above. First we acknowledge they are making an effort to contribute by submitting a contribution proposal which in of itself is a win. Second, every ICONist will have the opportunity to vote on their proposal so their vote will pale relative the entire network, unless you are making the assumption that the whale has more votes than the entire ICX amount staked. With the current system, this same whale doesn’t even have to lift a finger since they aren’t required to do so. I hope you can see the difference here.

ICONist don’t have much of a say if the P-rep doesn’t need their votes. Hope I’ve clarified this in my past comments. The P-rep could be sustaining his node with his own funds or ICONist still support that p-rep so I don’t agree with the apathy statement.

At least there are safe guards with the new model. It will not be in the interest of a P-rep to submit a proposal of contribution and not deliver. Why? ICONist would vote down his next contribution proposal. With the current model, this same P-rep doesn’t even have to submit a proposal and isn’t accountable to any one. ICONist have no say. I don’t get the point because to me its waste of network resources to pay someone a large amount for doing nothing while that money could go to hard working individuals who want to contribute. The current system is an Oligarchy system. We’ve seen many chains being abused with such a model and that is why in my opinion, the current model is on the same path. In my opinion, IISS should be about merit, not how many ICX you have if we want it to work for the entire network and not a few at the top.

There is no over-rating and I’ve explained why it won’t be in the interest for a P-rep to submit a contribution proposal and do nothing above. At least we’ve acknowledged they are making an effort to contribute by submitting the proposal. With the current system, they don’t have to even do that. We can see the clear differences between the two models. Again, the new model has checks and balances. There is accountability. Current model has no accountability. Its just giving someone resources, burying your face in the sand and hoping for the best.


If you are concerned about those PRep leeching a lot of reward, a simple change in reward distribution formula is enough, something like square root function mentioned by Scott. No need for changing the whole system.

It is true, I get your point. Proof of Contribution is just a concept and should not be forced, that is why we need to discuss about current model. We could have a simple approach here

  • For PReps that want to contribution, very good, community should vote more for them
  • For non-contributing PReps and just want to run node, it is fine, community should not vote for them at all because they probably buy enough ICX. In order to prevent this kind of PReps from leeching too much reward, we just need to change reward distribution formula as said above

If so, in new model, self-staked PReps could easily push their own Contribution Proposals for their benefit without any votes from community as well. In either model, self-staked PReps don’t need community votes.

I think they are not much different, the outcome is still the same and submitter/proposer could easily get funded/reward that way. It doesn’t take much effort to submit a proposal, especially dummy proposals because they don’t need to make their proposals well-planned and reasonable at all, they will self-vote their proposals anyway.

Same for new model, proposers don’t care about ICONist’s opinion of their proposals because they will self-vote for their contribution proposals.

A dummy proposal is merely pointless.

Problems like voter’s apathy, random vote, or vote for top-only will probably happen again.

Why do you think proposers will need vote if they can self-vote for their proposals ? Apathy here means percentage of staked ICX in total supply is not high enough for overweighting self-staked Preps.

Again and again, whale with enough ICX don’t need community votes, he just simply self-vote his proposals. In both models, ICONists have no control over whales.

If you value meritocracy, we need a better and stronger model. Your new model is not good enough to be honest, with many loopholes like current one. If there is no mechanism to prevent whale from self-voting proposal, nothing change.

First, I need to repeat that dummy proposals is very insignificant. We need good proposals with real execution, not just proposal for the sake of proposal. We will see dummy proposals if proposer don’t need community votes.
Second, accountability as you said is very vague and in some case ( whale proposers with a lot of ICX ), it doesn’t work at all.


Most of the points you raised are based on false assumptions. Again as I pointed earlier, distribution curve doesn’t fix the ‘contribution’ issue. Its just trying to pick the lesser of two evils. You claim community should vote for P-reps who want to contribute in the current model yet assume there will be voter apathy with contribution proposals in the new model proposed. If the ‘vote for p-reps who contribute’ worked, we probably won’t need this discussion thread. Plus, ICX isn’t the first to run the new model, where community votes on proposals.

You claim a proposal could be dummy which is subjective. Any proposal could be classified as being dummy if you aren’t the originator so that assumption is false. We already see several p-reps criticizing other p-rep contributions as meaningless in the current model. If ICONist as a whole think the proposal is no good, then they can vote it down. With the current model, what can do about it if the p-rep voted himself in? Nothing?

A p-rep who submits a proposal should back that proposal and that is expected but his vote will go up against the entire network. Again making an assumption the p-rep who made the proposal is the only one voting here is false. At least with this model, ICONist have a say with their vote on what the network resources should be used for and not just hoping for the best as in the current model.

I hope these two proposals with other proposals discussed here will be presented to ICONist so they can read and back P-reps who support the model they want. Peace.


New model is also based on assumption ( and maybe false as well )
Voter apathy happenes in current model ( thus we need this discussion ), it would probably happen again with new model.
In both models, ICONists always have a say, except for whales whom don’t need votes ( self-voted Preps and self-voted proposal ).
Current model is not good, it is true, but the new one is also not better at all. If you or anyone can propose another model, I would happily discuss it.


I like this format, but I insist we don’t skip problem 3 :stuck_out_tongue:

Let me follow up w some of my thoughts in this format as well!


Sharing some of my brainstorming notes to help resolve vote concentration problem

Solution: Vote Decay


Vote and forget, no active oversight of P-Rep governance policies and contribution activities.


Decrease governance power and reward over time, voting weight renewed to 100% upon re-vote.

Expected Result:

  • More power to active voters
  • P-Rep teams being re-evaluated regularly and stay competitive
  • Iconists get to learn more about other teams during reassessment
  • Iconists naturally spread votes when they gain familiarity of more teams
  • Iconists who don’t re-vote lose influence over time


Self-funded P-Rep teams are immune to decay if they regularly revote

Solution: Auto-Vote Button


Difficult to research every team thoroughly, naturally voting top teams


Auto-vote button to even out vote distribution and earn staking rewards

Expected Result:

Better distribution of non-research votes


A single wallet can only vote up to 10 teams, fair way to spread the votes?

Solution: Randomly Sorted P-Rep Listing


People voting to top of the list without research


Randomize the list so no teams have advantage

Expected Result:

Better distribution of non-research votes


This is just silly, but might work

Solution: Rework IISS Formula


IISS makes sense under more evenly distributed votes, and it did not happen


  • Apply diminishing return functions (sqrt, cbrt, log etc) to “unskew” the data
  • Upper and lower bound for reward distribution and governance power

Expected Result:

  • Less skewed reward distribution
  • Base reward to cover server cost, easing the burden of lower ranked teams
  • Upper bound to prevent excessive rewards when votes become abnormally concentrated


  • One formula for all, cannot be perfect for every team.
  • Base reward for non-working P-Reps

Solution: Independent i_rep


i_rep changes are system wide, teams have no flexibility to adjust for specific settings


Submitted i_rep applies to self only

Expected Result:

  • Teams adjust appropriate i_rep to compensate for their contribution
  • Iconists can assess team settings and its i_rep setting, then distribute votes accordingly


Self-voted teams can game this

I have a few other ideas but might be a bit too drastic for a live production network, the above solutions are fairly straight forward implementations and follow current IISS design principles for the most part.


This may be a good idea, but there is potential user experience problem here. We need to test it somewhere first to see actual behavior of ICONist ( maybe our proposal of Onchain Radical Voting system ? )
Let’s consider 2 groups of ICONists

  • For average ICONists who are not interested and don’t have time to do research on PRep, vote decay would become annoying for them, and in worst case, they could very likely just unstake or even sell ICX and move to other projects that do not require such active effort. In fact, voting and claiming reward activities are already annoying enough for them.
  • For active ICONists and “ethical” whales, they have probably done research and chosen their favorite PReps already. Vote decay would make their life harder without any benefit.

Human behavior should be considered and analyzed thoroughly.

This is actually an UX solution rather than protocol one. It could help and remedy problem somehow, but the root cause is still there.

Because it is capped at 10 teams, I think we could combine it with randomized selection of 10 PReps.


All of this great back-and-forth inspired me to do a bit more math. I’ll also address some of the higher level counter-points made by others in a separate post.

As a reminder, a simplified recap of my proposal is to have i_rep essentially behave as a reward pool, evenly split by all P-Reps (with at least [1M] delegation as a minimum requirement), then Main P-Reps get some extra rewards because they produce blocks. Goals being:

1.) Remove the incentive to buy votes. After [1M] is reached and after reaching top 22, there is no additional income from more votes. It is not economical to offer x% of rewards back to voters.
2.) Remove competition amongst P-Reps so we can do less arguing/policing and more collaborating
3.) Remove the heavy incentive to earn as many votes as possible so we can spend more time building
4.) Separate role of Contribution Proposals and P-Reps. Right now they are both lumped together.
5.) Lessen the barrier to entry on the ICON Network.
6.) Make it more feasible to become a main p-rep. Right now, since top teams earn rewards on a linear scale based on votes, it is very unlikely they will ever lose their position.
7.) Mitigate the impact of concentration of votes. Skewed votes will only impact governance power.
8.) Stop the attacks on large token holders that just want to run nodes.
9.) Decentralization - I admit I can’t fix this with my solution, but it’s a common problem. 56% of BTC hash rate is owned by 4 entities, 74% of Ethereum hash rate is owned by 4 entities, and almost 30% of all Tezos blocks are baked by a Foundation Baker. More decentralization would need to come from more drastic changes to the consensus process.


The following Scenarios are based on a whale with 20,000,000 ICX (more than any whale I’m aware of!). I start by showing the current system, then analyzing what is more profitable - using the 20M ICX to buy as many Main P-Reps as possible or to buy as many Sub P-Reps as possible. I finish with showing some general inflation/rewards numbers. I show my formulae for anybody interested in following/checking the math.

Ultimately, I am looking for what a whale will be incentivized to do. In the current model, whales are incentivized to self-delegate to 1 Main P-Rep node, as we have seen a few do already.

Key Takeaways

  • Whales maximize profit by running only Sub P-Reps. With the minimum delegation barrier set well below the barrier into the top 22, the marginal cost of a Main P-Rep vs a Sub P-Rep will be greater than the marginal revenue generated.
  • Since whales will be economically incentivized to run Sub P-Reps only, the network will be governed and validated by a diverse set of community elected nodes or whales that care more about governance than income. Only people that genuinely care about governance will be incentivized to be in the top 22.
  • Even if this whale wants to run only Main P-Reps, he still could not get majority control of the network. Also, this person would have a lot of ICX and not want to hurt his investment anyway.
  • This will lower P-Rep-related inflation by ~10%
  • If we enacted this tomorrow (based on current network conditions), all teams ranked 9 and below with more than 1M in delegation would actually make more money.
  • CPS (grants until this is live) will be the primary way to get additional funding for contributions. Teams that are contributing and don’t have 1M in delegation yet can be supported by receiving more delegation from current teams or through requesting more grants to earn more ICX.


Addressing Counterpoints

@wmmckenzie - Proportional slashing is an interesting idea. We could also raise rewards for voting for nodes below avg. delegation and vice versa for above avg. delegation. There are several ways we can adjust voter behavior that I am open to, but I’m torn on whether or not I would want to discourage the population of voters that care about governance from voting for who they would want. Contribution Proposal System = DBP/EEP. They are the same thing. Maybe we should retire the terms EEP/DBP to spare some confusion.

@duyyudus - For a whale to push through their own proposal in the CPS it would require at least ~38M ICX (30% of staked ICX to reach quorum and 67% of the quorum to approve). It was purposefully designed with a high bar, which could be lowered if it ends up being too high. Also currently working on updating the CPS so it’s more of a budget request format rather than based on how many votes you receive. I agree we can’t heavily rely on average ICONists to be active. I agree we need more unique entities running nodes. I believe the current competitive environment discourages this. Some P-Reps and community members have discouraged nodes from joining or proposed DQing existing nodes because they do not meet a certain level of contribution or are breaking an off-chain policy. I believe a change in competitive policy would foster more efforts to grow the community rather than campaigning for votes from the existing one.

@thelionshire - Whales will not try to take over the network as the math has shown, though it’s possible I missed something. Same entities running multiple nodes is not inherently bad, happens on many networks as I pointed out in the previous post. It creates more copies of the blockchain. I believe our tech is just fine for incentivizing the behaviors that we want. Written rules for a blockchain with 22 nodes acting as enforcers would not be a good look for ICON imo. Blockchain governance does not mean policing imo, it means coming to agreement on protocol upgrades/adjustments and implementing the changes in a decentralized way.

@NorskKiwi - I agree with the problems you raised. Revoting every 6 months would destabilize the network because the network would not know who is supposed to produce blocks (there would be no top 22, without a top 22, we can’t process new votes). I like the idea of randomizing the list. Pegging to USD creates poor economics - it raises supply while demand/price are going down. I think we feel similarly about rewarding contributors but also allowing for passive node operators. That is why I am pushing for direct rewards for direct contribution through the CPS. Using My-ID would be awesome, I just think the idea is ahead of its time.