ICONSENSUS is nearly here and staking will begin in less than a week on August 26th! This will consist of a pre-vote period, in which ICONists can stake their ICX using the ICONex official ICON wallet and be rewarded with an estimated ~15% annual return (based on 30% of network staked). ICONex will allow for users to choose which P-Rep(s) to vote for. I personally recommend voting for multiple P-Reps since there will be 22 P-Reps running the ICON ecosystem as main P-Reps (and 78 sub P-Reps). ICONists will receive the same delegation rate % regardless if the P-Reps they vote for are a main P-Rep in the top 22 or a sub P-Rep. All P-Reps are expected to contribute to the ecosystem, however, the higher rank P-Reps will receive more rewards. The main P-Reps should be producing more for the ecosystem than the sub P-Reps, due to the difference in votes, and subsequent rewards. For more information on staking and FAQs, please go here.
We previously wrote about what P-Reps are and how to make good decisions in P-Rep selection in this article. For those who didn’t read it, we have a condensed TLDR: P-Reps will run and Govern the ICON network. They will be rewarded with ICX to cover their efforts and expenses. P-Reps should be expected to contribute to the ICON ecosystem beyond the minimum required roles of running an ICON node and participating in ICON Governance. P-Reps are diverse and present varying strengths, weaknesses, and proposed plans. It is important for ICONists to vote for P-Rep teams who embody their values. ICONists should also follow the team in order to keep them accountable on their promises, withdrawing votes in favor of other teams if the P-Rep does not produce. We polled the ICON community to see what they were most looking for in a P-Rep team and found community involvement as the #1 choice, followed by using rewards to improve the ICON ecosystem at #2, and involvement in ICON projects as #3. The entire poll results are shown in Figure 1.
Many P-Reps have been contributing already to ICON, through content creation, software development, and more. Many are also engaging in social media channels with ICONists. This is important for ICONists to get to know the P-Reps so they can vote properly, based on their preferences.
NorskKiwi, a mod for Reddit and member of the ICONation team actually went ahead and setup an AMA with P-Reps on Reddit. This was an event where ICONists could post questions and P-Reps would chime in to answer them. The event was a huge success, culminating in 229 comments and 10 P-Rep teams participating (ICONation, Ubik Capital, Rhizome, ICX Station, Pocket/Figment, Chainode Capital, Piconbello, Blockmove, Gilga, and Newroad Capital). There are other P-Reps who have been active in the community but unfortunately couldn’t be there due to scheduling constraints. I encourage all ICONists to engage in different mediums, watch videos about the P-Reps, read articles, and talk to them to learn more about them! The full thread from the AMA can be seen here.
This AMA gave a chance to get further insight into the practices of different teams and learn more about them. For a full overview of all P-Rep proposals, please go to the ICON Community website. This website offers a full overview of candidate proposals, as well as an interactive map showing locations of the different P-Reps. As of August 20th, there are 67 P-Rep candidates! The interactive map is shown in Figure 2. P-Rep candidate Pocket/Figment put together this community portal for P-Reps. It filters different P-Reps based on their background, experience, focus, and more! It’s a nice and easy to use tool to filter different P-Reps based on preference.
ICON is built upon Proof of Contribution, in which ICONists are supposed to vote for P-Reps that align with their ideals and have valued contributions. P-Reps will have the job of Governing the ICON ecosystem. As such, it is important for P-Reps to have a pulse on the community. Some teams have said they will vote and make decisions in accordance with those who stake / vote for them. This makes sense as a representative democracy.
Our team, Ubik Capital, took action on this and even before being elected made a courageous decision to gather community feedback and have a poll for consideration on a key decision in their proposal. The Ubik team wrote a reddit post detailing the decision to gather feedback and community input. Ubik is a community-focused team and dedicated to ICON success. Ubik has been a major contributor of content, very active in social media channels, and also active in development — even building a DApp called Breadcrmb that was announced as a winner in ICON’s Got Talent DApp contest. We have a very detailed and professional proposal. In this proposal, Ubik outlines giving 100% of their profit back to the community! An overview quad chart of Ubik Capital is shown below, including the allocation of these rewards.
Ubik received a lot of good feedback on the pros and cons of a specific area of the proposal. The specific area is one which encourages long-term staking to lower liquid supply of ICX. This increases the security of the ICON network and also the price of ICX through the economics of supply and demand. Ubik accomplishes this incentive by providing a higher staking reward for those who stake with 6 months. The intent is that this incentive will encourage ICONists to stake for longer periods of time, resulting in higher price of ICX and a more secure network. Based on the large amount of feedback received, Ubik decided to put the decision to keep this policy to a poll: continue using portions of their profit to encourage long-term staking, which is good for the price and security of ICX or, on the other hand, to move these profits instead to more software development, content creation, and marketing. Currently Ubik plans to use 50% of their profits for the long-term staking incentives and the other 50% of profit goes into SW development, content creation, and marketting. This provides a well-balanced distribution of rewards. Due to the pros and cons of each approach, the poll was inconclusive. As of August 21, the poll had 217 votes and is 50% to 50% (shown in Figure 3). Even if the votes were different by a few %, this would not be enough to make a major change on the proposal.
Regardless where you stand on the proposal, I think we can all agree that this type of behavior is what we need out of P-Reps. Ubik is the only P-Rep to offer long-term staking rewards at this time, which shows they are thinking of how to improve ICON and exploring uncharted territory. Ubik also showed a willingness to truly be a representative of the community and have the community’s best interest in engaging in a poll and gathering feedback, with the potential to change their policies if they received enough support in the other direction. This is what we need P-Reps to do: think outside the box and listen to the community.
The laws of supply and demand show that lower supply with the same demand will result in higher price. This is the aim for Ubik’s long-term staking incentives. The team is committed to ICON and will continue to work on developing software, creating content, and engaging with the community in parallel with the long-term incentives. Ubik plans to keep this proposal as a temporary measure. We will work to have a long-term staking reward added to the IISS protocol in order to incentivize long-term staking across the board, and actually lock tokens for longer periods of time (this will not only lower supply but also be a hindrance to exchanges staking with people’s coins, as the exchange cannot just stake for long periods of time. Exchanges staking ICX is not good for the ecosystem since then the ICONists are not voting and pulling their ICX off exchanges — thus it does not have the proof of contribution or the lock-up period). We believe long-term rewards across all P-Reps is the best case scenario, but since it does not yet exist, we are doing the best we can with what we have.
ICONSENSUS is less than a week away. We encourage everyone to pull their ICX off exchanges and put it into your ICONex wallet (available from ICON’s webpage). Please do your due diligence to research the different P-Rep candidates and vote for the ones who embody what you’re looking for, based on your preferences. Once you have done this, stake, monitor the candidate to make sure they’re keeping up with their promises and contribution, and let the good times roll!