Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol has been actively replacing Proof-of-Work (PoW) as the go-to model in the crypto space. Without going into too much detail, among the main reasons for PoS’s dominance are better sustainability and reinforced protection against 51% attacks.
The PoS trend has seen a number of interesting projects emerging in the industry. One of the most curious examples is ICON, a project which unfolds the idea of PoS even further. Its design is called Delegated Proof-of-Contribution (DPoC), and, unlike PoS, it reportedly measures one’s contribution to the network based on several factors, rather than relying on stake alone.
ICON positions itself a blockchain network designed to bide independent chains and their communities.
In other words, it could be described as a blockchain of blockchains, which interconnects different ledgers of public blockchains, enterprises and organizations from various industries (like real estate, insurance, etc.) along with their individual governance systems.
Essentially, the project offers a solution to blockchain interoperability. The technology’s mass adoption is hurdled by discontiguity of various chains, as most of them are not compatible: for instance, EOS dApps won’t work on ETH, and vice-versa. Knowing that there are communication-related issues, enterprises are more reluctant to delve into blockchain.
ICONSENSUS: the road to decentralization
At the heart of ICON’s roadmap is a programme called ICONSENSUS, which aims to establish the consensus between ICX token holders (also called “ICONists”) to achieve full decentralization of the network. ICON creators describe this programme as a “journey toward mass adoption of blockchain”.
ICONSENSUS is comprised of four milestones. The first one is the election of “P-Reps”, or Public Representatives, who will act as the validators on the ICON network and process transactions, among other things — think of them as “miners”, but with enhanced powers and responsibilities. Other steps include voting for ‘Community Representatives’ (C-Reps), who will facilitate communication between ICON and other blockchain networks, ‘Ecosystem Expansion Projects’ (EEP), proposed for overall network growth, and ‘DApp Booster Programs’ (DBP), which will promote the development of decentralized applications on the ICON network.
It’s worth being a community and network member
The first milestone — the election of the P-Reps — is scheduled to launch in September this year, and finish once the 22nd P-Rep has been selected. The pre-registration phase is already in full swing, however — as many as 40 candidates from more than 17 countries have applied at this point.
Successful P-Rep candidates will operate as full nodes on the ICON network, forming the basis of a sustainable and secure network. On top of producing blocks and verifying transactions, P-Reps are expected to represent the decentralized governance system at large — which will reportedly involve controlling, protecting, and enhancing the ICON Network. As a result of their governance, the elected delegates will get to collect representative awards.
However, the main engine of ICONSENSUS are ICONists themselves, — ultimately, they will be the ones determining the fate of the network through voting. Indeed, once the on-chain P-Rep registration starts in September, ICX holders will vote for candidates by delegating their stake (with 1 ICX equaling 1 vote). Voting ICONists will reportedly be rewarded with the right to a certain portion of block rewards.
More specifically, ICONists who delegate their stake will receive the so-called ‘Representative Delegation Reward’ based on the amount they delegated. This reward is then paid in the form of I-Score — upon delegating one ICX token, the voter receives 1000 I-Score. Thus, when an ICONist claims their reward, their I-Score is extinguished and the corresponding ICX is paid to their account from the Public Treasury.
The first 22 applicants to have delegated to them at least 0,2% of the total ICX supply will be elected as P-Reps. However, it doesn’t stop there: ICX holders are expected to actively participate in the following stages of ICONSENSUS as well. According to the project’s yellow paper, all ICONists will be able propose and execute EEPs and receive a reward when they are delegated a certain amount of stake from other token holders; they will also be able to evaluate DApps and delegate their ICX for their creation.
ICON is a notable example of a crypto project that appears lucrative for both developers and community members, offering concrete rewards for participation in the network’s growth. Time will tell if the startup will pave the way for DPoC to become the preferred model for other crypto projects — and, given that P-Rep elections are around the corner, we might get an answer soon enough.