Open discussion for IISS enhancements

I like the idea of the re-voting, mimic a similar democratic voting style. Maybe we should implement a re-voting annually.

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Higher voting rewards for sub P-reps can have a negative impact on the ecosystem
There may be many sub P-reps that do nothing but simply receive a lot of votes and share rewards.

Bond as an option - a good idea, but there are a lot of questions about that.

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  1. Bond sounds interesting. I’m for having skin in the game (I myself do). I do have some concerns with implementation and I also do not think it will stop vote buying. I also have concerns that it will foster an environment of hoarding and not spending- it is good to save some rewards but some should be spent on contributing. If even 10% is required, this would be a lot, especially as price goes up, and limit some teams that may not have started with capital. Perhaps if It was less than 5% and implemented as a penalty for having no skin in the game (such as 10-20% less rewards), with a forgiveness period while first getting started, would work? My other concern is how the bond would be verified, and can this icx still be staked? I would not support a system where the bond cannot be stored on a ledger and also staked. But would we need to give up the address and lose privacy?

  2. I echo that I am against higher rewards for lower p-reps just for the sake they are lower. You’ll end up with teams marketting they and only that. Also, if teams gained votes to get into the top 22 and be a main P-Rep, their voters should not have to decide whether to continue support or earn less.

3-4: I am for the contribution system and getting rid of the previously planned eep and dbp. As we are seeing, voters seek rewards and most do not take the time to perform proper research. Relying on voters to determine what DApps and eep’s gain funding could be a dangerous game and end up with a few “cool names” or logos as the top.

I think it’s an excellent use of the p reps to make selections, however, I do have concerns over the efficiency of this. There are several teams in the top 22 that are completely inactive. Can we really rely on them to go through proposal submissions and vote?

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From our point of view having developed the first E-Commerce integration for ICON we have yet to receive significant enough vote to pursue further development on our planned initiatives. Once we receive more vote or accrue enough funds from our current rewards we will begin the ICONPay Shopify integration.

We retracted our grant request because fundamentally it should be achievable using the rewards currently being distributed without the foundation having to effectively sponsor additional development.

Self Bond - We agree with this proposal however it would need to be done in a way that the signing key is separate as we originally mentioned during mainnet launch with having a management key and a signing key. It might also be difficult for some teams to have the necessary self bond but that will always be the case to some degree. The other option is to make the minimum fairly low but the amount self staked would create a certain capacity the P-Rep can receive in total votes. For example 100k self bond x 10 would allow 1 million vote, to receive more vote the producer needs to increase self bond.

Vote Behaviour - The proposal to increase rewards to voters to vote for lower ranked nodes would at least help average out the vote and producers who do actually want to contribute will be able to do.

Contribution rewards if they exist should come from the existing rewards these are already very substantial however they do not necessarily get allocated to strategic development. From our perspective we had to fund much of the ICONPay development at a loss and only recently broke even based on our current rewards. We look forward to an improved DPoC where voters will get additional rewards if they vote for teams who actually contribute, there is very little incentive to vote for anyone different if you get the same return and as a result teams outside the top >22 are not able to contribute as much as they might like. There is no easy way to solve this problem at the protocol level alone as arbitrarily giving voters more to vote for less ranked node does not ensure they contribute.

A possible solution would be to have a quarterly vote, each P-Reps could vote for 1st(3 points), 2nd(2 points) and 3rd(1 point) of who they believed contributed the most in that quarter, each P-Rep would have equal vote (as per a vote in Parliament irrespective of there weighted vote in the network). The top 10(or X amount) would receive additional rewards, 50% shared with there voters. Voters would then receive more rewards by voting for teams who really contribute. It is not perfect but probably better then what is currently implemented to spread vote and ensure real contribution occurs.

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I think this idea merits discussions and research. Great idea Metanyx! P-reps can see day in and day out what is being done. This would encourage voters to vote for performing p reps. While still somewhat biased, i think this could be very powerful. Also, if it was just a portion of rewards, It would not overhaul the system but would be a neat addition. Lots to think through and consider but I’d love to hear the foundation’s thoughts on this.

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My position on this matter may differ from everyone’s because I’m not evaluating the proposed changes based on their merits. They do seem well-thought-out and it’s clear that the good of the network is the goal.

But I think it’s important to remember the actual problem we are trying to solve:

———-
Ubiquitous voter disinterest, complete lack of participation and complete lack of attention.
———-

Any incentive change that is still contingent on voter attention and participation may not work well and will likely not generate the behavior changes we are seeking.

Over the last 4 months we learned that the vast majority of voters vote once, and never return.

Without a powerful incentive to re-vote, they simply never will. And as long as they continue to receive rewards without any consequences, they have no reason to change their behavior.

Do the proposed changes fix the real problem, or do they just introduce a new set of rules that assume voters will both participate and take interest? If the latter, we may be missing the mark.

—————

For this reason, I still believe that ideas like incentivizing a periodic revote by expiring voter rewards could help solve the problem.

And it does so in a way that requires no major changes to the system.

If people aren’t getting rewards, they are guaranteed to return and re-vote. Maybe the votes don’t have to expire. But the rewards could.

And there’s only one thing to know: you have to come back periodically and vote. Simple. Basic. And a fool-proof incentive mechanism.

If they’re presented with a simple list of team accomplishments (or lack thereof) it could go a long way to encouraging more intelligent voting.

While I realize there are specifics that would need to be ironed-out to perfect this approach, it’s the one I lean towards. And what I think should be tried first.

In summary: Let’s not forget what the real problem is.

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Yet we expect them understand the new incentive structure and react to it the way we hope?

Both approaches require education. But to me, skimming a bulleted list requires vastly less.

If one genuinely feels that voters will do zero research and zero learning, then one must also believe that the new set of rules being introduced will fail.

A simple sentence explaining the importance of voting for active teams is more likely to work, because they’ll finally be aware of who is contributing. Assuming we present that information as simply as possible.

——
I understand the point that people aren’t going to read all the bulleted items in depth. And I agree. But do we just not tell them what the teams are doing?

The entire system is contingent on team contributions. And the entire system relies on the voters knowing what teams are doing.

A bulleted list is the most simplified way to do that. One can technically find issues with any form of information-conveyance if they really want to. At the end of the day, voters need to know what the teams are doing.

———

Let’s look at a real world example:

If I’m looking down a list of bulleted items and I see 5 to 10 words over and over, describing things that seem meaningful to me, I’m going to quickly digest what each team is doing.

I’m also going to see teams on the list that have done a little or nothing. That’s extremely meaningful. Currently were providing zero information and that is obviously unacceptable.

Nobody is going to dig into every single bullet item and research them all. To imply this is necessary is incorrect, imo.

The benefits of having a list of accomplishments is obvious.

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Support most of the mentioned points. Dont fully agree on a increase of voting rewards for sub reps like that. Think a version of the Contribution proposal fund should be a way to stimulate a sub reps to increase their bond by getting awarded for the projects.

We still fully believe all the points mention above are interconnected and that is not possible to solve one without solving them all. And of course, Proof of Contribution should be a part of system too.

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In my opinion, the process could be a lot simpler. Slash the earnings of all the top p reps. They should all earn enough to run a node and all sub p reps should earn enough to run a node and still be profitable. Send all the remaining funds to the contribution funds.

Incentivizing People to vote for sub p reps won’t change much if the P rep team does nothing. Most voters don’t care about the whole P-rep system. They just want to stake and earn rewards. ICX is just one coin amongst the many coins they hold.

Also, i don’t think requiring teams to post a bond with ICX is such a great idea.
The funds should go to ecosystem building. Limiting the resources a team has just because they have to post a bond isn’t that great.

In the real world, you get paid for your work. I don’t know why this rule shouldn’t apply here. If you’re a P rep and you truly want to contribute to the eco-system as many say, go through the contribution proposal system. Paying a P rep team over $30,000 in ICX/month to write one article a month about staking is waste in my opinion. Many ICONist just vote for the teams at the top and forget about it so there is no accountability for such teams.

The current system and the one that’s been proposed is based on multiple false premise such as;

a.ICONist will vote for teams contributing. Not many have the time to keep up with p rep contributions 24/7
b.Top teams earn votes based on their proposal. Many People just vote for the teams at the top. There are sub p reps putting in work than many top ranked teams but they aren’t moving up.
c.ICONist can vote out P reps if they don’t contribute: They could but only the few who are engaged will. The majority won’t.

If a p rep team has intentions to contribute, then there shouldn’t be any objection. I strongly believe that most of the funds in the ecosystem should go towards ecosystem building and not as charity to a few teams just because they’re active on social media.

As I always say, there needs to be accountability built into the system for IISS to succeed because people will always act in their own best interest. We’ve seen more activity from the contribution proposal system in a few weeks than what many top 10 p reps have shown in 3 months post decentralization.

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Great ideas being put forth. Mine is a bit simple. Do you know how businesses on Google or Yelp receive reviews from customers? Lets have the same thing for P-reps and their constituents (voters). Have the voter either pay an amount of ICX to review the P-rep or prove that they have a significant amount of ICX held over a certain period of time (3 months?) in order to vote. Have a set of criteria to review like Stability, Contribution, Transparency, Creativity…etc and have them rate them out of 5 or 10 stars. When someone clicks on a candidate on the icon tracker they can then see these reviews and be more informed voting. I’m sure if they all saw that Velic was just selling all their rewards while contributing nothing they would not be so high on the p-rep list.

Also would like to suggest a P-rep rewards cap after reaching a certain dollar value amount of ICX. And if the P-rep wishes to go over the limit there needs to be a proposal and a vote for it to go over the limit.

As you noticed, we have many great teams among sub P-Reps and what we are proposing is to choose from sub P-Reps will get more award than choosing form Main P-Rep. In addition, we are working on promoting hard working P-Reps to get more votes. thanks

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Appreciate your reply and it’s encouraging to hear that ICON’s taking steps to promote hard working PReps who deserve more votes. Looking forward to a wider distribution of votes to quality PReps :slight_smile:

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Hey Ben! Its great to see that the Icon Foundation is putting so much effort into improving the system even further.

There are just a few concerns that I have with the new system (some of them were already voiced by the other preps above so I hope that I can just simply add to them with an alternative point of view) and I hope that you can disperse them for me.

Voter behavior: Would we really want to give the voters a choice between voting based on prep contribution and voting to gain more returns? At the end of the day most of us are investors so we will follow the higher gains. As a sub-prep member I dont mind a system that incentivizes the votes for me but I feel that its kind of unfair to the Iconists that actually would like to contribute to the system and vote for the preps that are doing something for it (as almost all high contributions come from within the current top 22) and are getting penalized for that by receiving lower rewards.

Contribution amendments: I like the switch to the main preps approving the grants (if I remember correctly, in the previous version the Iconists were supposed to do it, which apparently is not working very well in the current system), however if we do that switch, I think that we should give the main preps more tools to deal with apathetic or inactive preps as without them at some point the system could grind to a halt with no voter majority possible (and respectively no system improvements) simply because some of the preps dont bother to vote.

I also agree with the comments above that it might be a better idea to take a portion of the overall prep reward pool instead of just from the main preps (which should result in almost the same thing, but would be less discriminative) and that it might be a good idea for the Contribution pool to not be just limited to allocations on monthly basis (or that at least some part of it carries over) so funding larger projects is also a possibility

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I also agree with @nblaze as a sub p-rep and investor it would be the best interest in the community to maintain the rewards for high reputable/high caliber teams. This will applies to the majority of the Main P-Reps and some Sub P-Reps. Although I believe some Sub P-Rep teams have outperformed some Main P-Rep teams. I would like to see them move up in the ranking. With the ISS revision, I hope we can address the balance of onboarding/reward more high caliber (usually technical) teams while attracting active investors who are less technical but want to support/promote ICON/Dapps. We need both great product and marketing to drive adoptions.

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I am just a regular investor in icon but interested to see where the project can go. Thank you all for the effort you are constantly putting into the project!

I agree with NorskKiwi when he says we need to identify the root of the issue prior to implementing anything new.

My point of view is described briefly below.

In the current system we place so much trust on the fact that people who vote will make the right choices and that there are no bad actors or interests. In a utopian world this might have worked.

Maybe instead, we should be playing with rules, percentages, weights and a system that is managed ‘automatically’.

We are talking about voting and contributing. You can’t possibly think that every ICx holder will be eager to go through all the proposals and completed work of every prep to vote. In that sense by not doing proper research the avg voter is not ‘competent’ enough to vote for who is contributing best. The better ones to judge it are the preps.

Rules could be: Votes must be allocated in specific ways. For example: allocate 10% to your first choice, 9% to your second, 8% to the third…2% to the ninth and the remaining 46% on all the others on portions of 1%. If a voter doesn’t want to go through the process then the votes could be randomly allocated by the system, ie he could select the first two/three and the rest will be done more automated. Self voting will be partially only possible.

Votes placing does not necessarily mean receipt of 100% rewards. Let’s say you assign 60% of the rewards based on votes placing. The remaining can be allocated based on contribution ranking (created either by all preps based on some system of frequent evaluation, or by a mixture of preps and voters - to not exclude the latter from the decision making).

Incentivize new nodes based on location to strengthen the decentralization.

Agree with the bond concept, as preps will have to keep some icx for future placement on the bond.

Don’t agree with the current burning concept, as, I think it is a barrier for new investors to stack icx, although I must admit it is easy to monitor and redistribute votes (I use the MetrICX app for example with the productivity rates).

Not sure the periodic re voting will help, it might deter voters who will move in other chains to stack and receive rewards.

A very important factor you need to take into account is Time. Having a job and a life doesn’t leave so much time to the average person to really contribute to the system and devote enough time to research, discuss, contribute etc.

Above were very quick notes, but the general idea is there… Rules, rules, rules, save time but still incentivize.

The people who want to contribute will do so, but the system should not discourage others from participating to our icon republic :slight_smile:

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Hi guys :wave:,

Here are our thoughts on the Open discussion for IISS enhancements:

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Commenting on Voter Behavior.

Positive effects:

  1. Will improve decentralization.

Reason: Since voters are incentivized to vote for sub p-reps, many of the votes will migrate from main p-reps towards sub p-reps, resulting in an more even spread of votes.

  1. Will lead to a more dynamic voting environment.

Reason: When a p-rep goes from sub p-rep to main p-rep, it will be more profitable to change to a sub p-rep. This economic incentive will encourage people to keep track of the status of their p-reps and change when they enter top 22.

  1. Lower rewards for some of the non-contributing main p-reps.

  2. Higher rewards for some of the quality sub p-reps.

Negative effects:

  1. Lower rewards for some of the contributing main p-reps.

  2. Higher rewards for some of the non-contributing sub p-reps.

Overall I think this proposal will result in a net improvement of the current situation. Thus I approve of the changes. However, I feel like it does not address the main problem (below).

The problem with the current incentive system for voters
The problem is that the incentives for the voters are off. Take a look at the situation/incentives we have and the situation/incentives we want.

What we have:
The system incentivizes voters to make a decision - the system does not distinguish between good or bad decisions. A decision is all that is required.

What we want:
A system that Incentivize voters to make good and informed decisions.

How
Unfortunately this is not an easy thing to implement. You can only know if the decision to vote for a particular p-rep was a good or bad decision after some time has passed. You would also need a system that quantifies the relative contributions of all p-reps, over time. Then the system would retroactively pay out rewards based on which p-rep you voted for. These are some pretty big challenges. Not even sure this is possible to do with an autonomous system at this point in time. There are so many data categories/variables to take into account and much of the data is missing or not easily quantified. Maybe this is possible to accomplish with machine learning in the future, when more of the data is on chain.

If we are fine with humans doing the ranking, it becomes easier. I saw a suggestion above to let p-reps rank each others contribution in relation to their funding. I guess this is one way of doing it. Another way would be to let a selection of independent trusted iconists do it. Pros and cons with both alternatives.

Other thoughts
Another issue I have with the current incentives is that voting and staking is a package deal. I think staking and voting should have separate “incentive rules”. As for now you get zero rewards for staking only. By staking you are contributing to price/network stability a the cost of giving up some control of your own coins for a period. I feel this should be reflected in the ISS. E.g. 8% for staking and an additional 4% when voting. As for now, until the voting incentives can be properly fixed, I would actually like to remove all the incentives to vote, so that uninformed voters can opt not to vote, without loosing money. This would make for a more accurate contribution --> reward allocation since a larger percentage of the votes will be by informed voters. But sadly, correct me if I’m wrong, this is not possible for network security reasons. Perhaps have a option to spread votes evenly to mitigate the damage uninformed voters does?

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Since the beginning we are trying to make voters split between all preps doesn’t vote on top etc. lets say top 3 have 15% and rest of the main preps have 45% which left sub preps 40%. How we can expect voters to split their votes to all preps while if they do something like that big amount of votes will be out of governance decisions.

Catalysts Take:
(This was initially posted in the Approve/Reject thread as I did not know about this open discussion thread. So I’m moving it here)

I think the proposed changes are all positive, on their own merits. They offer interesting solutions to specific problems. I don’t know if they were intended to solve the problem of vote stagnancy.

Catalyst was convinced by the initial narrative that voters should decide who gets the most funding. And that funding wasn’t “too much” if the right teams were getting it, managing it properly, and executing.

We would like to see changes that improve voter-participation and education. There are some low-funded, well-managed teams that will never have access to the top 10, because votes in the top 10 don’t move. This seems like a top priority to fix. Months from now, we may still see highly-talented teams in the lower ranks unable to breach the top ranks simply because voters are still incentivized not to re-vote.

We believe the way to solve this problem is to decay voter rewards quarterly. And retain P-Rep rewards provided by those votes. P-Reps would not lose votes or the rewards generated by them.

Voters who remain inactive will stop generating inflation, resulting in a meaningful contribution to the ecosystem. But most will re-vote because most want rewards.

At this point, voter education would come into play: Multiple suggestions for wallet-interface modifications have been supported in P-rep meetings: (1) Shuffling the order of displayed teams every refresh, with none numbered (2) Simple sentences advising voters not to vote for the Foundation, and point votes at the most active teams (3) Clear and visible links to the multiple online sources displaying team activity metrics.

This educational process would repeat once every 3 months, further improving the intelligence and subsequently the allocation of votes.

Those that don’t ever re-vote will “contribute” to a significant reduction in voter-generated inflation. Top teams will likely shuffle as hoped. And active, low-funded teams will have an opportunity to be highly funded due to increased vote liquidity. I believe that if we do not solve the problem of voter stagnancy, we will not see the desired effects long term, and will see the same teams in the top 10 that exist today.

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in the @icon.community telegram channel, I raised the question whether the new IISS addressed the voter-apathy problem. the following discussion took place

@Tomas.Blockmove : No, right the opposite I’d say. Proposed mechanisms make votes much less relevant and are not trying to approach the problem of voting apathy

@ICONbet_Community (geodude): Their number 1 goal right now is to make a system that won’t be broken if large exchanges come on board because they are talking with quite a few recently they said who are ready to get involved.

@Catalyst : To everyone still thinking about vote decay: this was dismissed as an option because it adversely affects the stability of teams to retain votes in mass quantities. This would cause numerous problems.

The potential new narrative along these lines is voter reward expiration.

Voters rewards would expire (quarterly?), but the votes they point at teams are retained, as well as the rewards they generate for the teams.

Voters must therefore return periodically to revote if they wish to continue receiving rewards.

This will eliminate inflation generated by inactive voters who never return and strongly incentivize every voter to revote periodically.

@ajaya Ibriz Prep : I think the problem of inactive P-Reps is more harmful than inactive voters, which the new IISS 3.0 proposal tries to look at.

@Catalyst : Active (and educated) voters would likely push active teams to the top.

@ajaya Ibriz Prep : pushing active teams to the top will not bring much difference in their rewards. Like we can see with IISS 3.0 being on 23 or 22 doesn’t bring big difference in rewards. Active teams will anyways get funds from CPF.

@ICONbet_Community (geodude): We hope. It’s up to the top 22 to distribute those funds, and currently every vote would need 15/22 to pass.

@iCONsolidation :https://twitter.com/iconsolidation/status/1238762881019248641?s=21

@Catalyst : We probably wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place if voters had remained active. We’re trying to solve the problem of 100m votes locked in the top 6 teams. Shaking those votes loose and letting the original system operate as intended might be a good first approach.

@ajaya : Also top P-Reps can stop themselves from getting additional delegations which I think will also have positive effect. We can create a pressure on top teams to let them stop receiving much delegations. I think the ICON foundation is sure to use that feature first.

@Catalyst: I agree. I think it’s important that any changes to an individual teams I score not affect other teams though. As long as it affects everybody else’s rewards, this doesn’t seem like a viable option

@ICONbet_Community
IISS 3.0 is also to stop exchanges from creating multiple top 22 P-reps
which would be a huge issue
or any very large whale for that matter

@Tomas.Blockmove
this will be easily bypassable when staking from SCOREs is live though
well, for that matter it’s bypassable even now, but requires automation

@iCONsolidation
first 6 teams hold 50% of the votes. First 10 60% top 22 almost 80%. for this reason top teams are taxed harder in IISS 3.0. Once IISS 3.0 goes live it will take several months to decentralize the votes. Than taxation and votes will be better distributed.

@Ajaya Ibriz | P-Rep,
[In reply to Tomas | Blockmove ICX P-Rep]
yeah if votes start to expire, someone would easily create a script to vote periodically. I wonder if same can be done for changing the Irep(for which there is a penalty proposed)

@Tomas | Blockmove ICX P-Rep]

yeah, those proposed penalties can be easily avoided by automation as well. check irep -> add 50% and submit
check if there’s a vote -> vote to abstain / no or whatever. and your job is done

@Ajaya Ibriz | P-Rep
[In reply to Tomas | Blockmove ICX P-Rep | Crypto.com Ambassador]
@benny_options If we can easily do with script, does it make much difference in having these penalties ?

@iCONsolidation
dont think an average voter is a competent script user

@Benny_Options
Hopefully you had time to read what I mean, pretty much if you’re going to go through that effort, you’re really not the target of that penalty

@Ajaya Ibriz
yeah, got the message. For sure someone is going to make alerts, or emails for these, also an automation in case there is no human intervention. :grin:

@Benny_Options
Not just exchanges, but anybody with more than 2.7M ICX (the current barrier to top 22)

@ICONbet_Community (geodude)
well it’s about stopping people with 2x that or more from creating multiple top p-reps

@Benny_Options
Yeah that’s what I’m saying, just wanted to make it clear that exchanges are an issue, but imo the scarier part is anonymous people that you can’t reason with
These are genuine attackers

@ICONbet_Community (geodude)
yeah for sure, but exchanges have to hold large banks of icx
and they get icx from their accounts if they have staking like velic

@Tomas.Blockmove
that’s the worst part. they have ICX freely available that they didn’t even need to pay for

@ICONbet_Community (geodude
yep and they make money from
but that’s what money managers do for a living right?
Make money from other people’s money

@Benny_Options
A common problem in proof of stake networks that we are all looking for solutions to :+1:t3:

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