ICONSENSUS is ICON’s answer to a truly decentralized blockchain network. It’s an overall term for the ICON blockchain’s move to a more decentralized network, which is made up of four key elements.
The first of these elements, the Public Representatives election campaign, is attracting a large amount of attention. Over 40 candidates have already applied to become a P-Rep, and there’s been a huge community response to the campaign. But how does ICON’s answer to blockchain democracy compare to other chains?
How is ICON different to other blockchains?
The first major part of the ICONSENSUS process is the public representative phase, or ‘P-Rep’ elections. ICON are a pioneer as they introduced a new form of delegated proof of stake (DPoS) called delegated proof of contribution (DPoC). DPoS/DPoC are types of blockchain protocols who use a voting process to elect a leader to run nodes. ICON’s new system of achieving consensus, which is far more democratic than in proof of work (PoW) systems where large mining groups can hold much of the hashing power, is also based on the amount of contribution each network participants adds to the ecosystem.
Similar to Tron’s super representative elections last year, P-Reps are voted in by the ICON community through delegation to host a full node on the ICON network. P-Reps are representatives of the ICON network, responsible for taking part in achieving consensus on the ICON network.
The interesting aspect of ICON’s delegation and consensus incentives are that they are more closely aligned with the core principles of a decentralized network than other delegated proof of stake blockchains.
For example, as opposed to Tron’s Super Representative network, which freezes Tron tokens (TRX) to be used in the voting process and offers community members few incentives to vote, ICON participants who vote will have the right to earn a portion of the block rewards if their chosen P-Rep is elected. ICON believe this will encourage more voting participation and make the process more democratic.
Likewise, EOS, another DPoS blockchain launched in June 2018 after one of the largest ICO raises in history, attracting $4.1 billion in investment, has had its fair share of governance problems since it’s launch. Moderators on EOS were shown to be reversing transactions which had already been confirmed on the EOS blockchain – a huge controversy which was highly opposed to the true nature of decentralization.
Although EOS also has 21 block producers, certain critics have drawn light on the fact that these parties have been seen to vote mutually and collude on issue which affect the community – essentially making the system federated and centralized. Instead, ICON’s geographically dispersed and incentivised voting mechanism would in theory limit the extent to which P-Reps could work together to exert total control over the network.
Wake them up when September ends
So far, in what could be seen as one of the most democratic processes on a blockchain protocol to date, over 40 candidates have been put forward to become ICON public representatives. These include a wide selection of candidates from multiple regions, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the U.S.A.
The elections are due to take place this September, and judging by the number of P-Rep candidates already on board, these blockchain protocol elections will be some of the biggest ever to take place. As a result, there’s been a huge community response from those eager to take part in this democratic process.
As the election date draws closer, it will be interesting to see how many P-Reps put themselves forward for candidacy, and ultimately, if ICON’s answer to DPoS can actually deliver a true vision of democracy on the blockchain, and avoid the pitfalls and controversy which have beset Tron and EOS.