Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) platforms are becoming the new norm in the cryptocurrency space, steadily pushing out their Proof-of-Work (PoW) predecessors.
The reasons for that are quite evident. First, DPoS appears to be much more sustainable as a model: instead of relying on the loud, energy-consuming process of mining, it utilizes an algorithm that involves validators — network participants — and their “stake”.
This is how it works: validators put down a deposit in the form of cryptocurrency (stake). In return, they get the ability to add blocks to the blockchain and get rewarded for that by collecting transaction fees. As a result, instead of urging hundreds of machines to compete for the fastest block, each PoS computer works on one problem at a time.
Secondly, DPoS models actively engage with the community through incentivization programs, promoting the idea of inclusion and decentralization. Now, imagine a model that takes it a step further and evaluates one’s contribution to the network based on several factors, instead of simply evaluating their stake. It’s called Delegated Proof-of-Contribution (DPoC), and basically, it ensures that everyone gets a slice of the profit.
Enter ICON, a DPoC blockchain network designed to interconnect independent chains and their communities. Put simply, ICON is a blockchain of blockchains. It bides different ledgers of enterprises and organizations from various industries (think healthcare, education, etc.) along with their unique governance systems.
P-Reps: The Pillars of the ICON Network
At the core of ICON is a programme called ICONSENSUS, which aims to establish the consensus between ICX coin holders to achieve full decentralization of the ICON Network. It is a “journey toward mass adoption of blockchain”, as ICON creators put it.
ICONSENSUS is comprised of four milestones. This article will focus on the first one: the election of the so-called “P-Reps”, or Public Representatives.
P-Reps operate as full nodes and form the basis of a sustainable and secure network. They get to produce blocks and verify transactions on the ICON Network, but actually, their role is even larger than that — acting as the main delegates of the decentralized governance system, P-Reps are responsible for controlling, protecting, and enhancing the ICON Network.
Initially, there will be 100 P-Reps, the top-22 of which will be elected as main P-Reps, although that number might be adjusted in the future. Unlike regular delegates, main P-Reps will not only earn representative rewards (based on the number of votes received during the election) but will also benefit from block production and verification.
Why Would One Want to Become a P-Rep?
Successful P-Reps candidates will get to enjoy the lucrative side of this incentive program, as well as casual ICX holders. According to ICON community, delegates might have to spend less than $2,500 per month on the server, and another $10,000 in HR costs to hire around 3 part-time members who would do the maintenance.
Once annual representative awards are collected by P-Reps, their production costs could be more than compensated: according to one of the ICON papers, that source of income could bring as much as 720,000 ICX per