One of the characteristic attributes of blockchain technology is decentralization and immutable record storage that is tamperproof and foolproof. For so long, Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum have dominated the space with slow and hard to improve tech, that can only be improved through hard-forking or layer-2 solutions. As we progress to today’s crypto ecosystem we are starting to see a lot of excitement and saturation of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocols that consume significantly less energy than PoW based blockchain networks and enable high transaction throughput. While the PoS protocol market dominance, remains a mere ~5% of the total crypto market, it's expected that this number will be likely much closer to ~50% in the future.

As it’s come to light from Coinbase Custody with their institutional grade staking service, Staking-as-a-Service (SaaS) can perhaps usher a new form of wealth creation. One of which that guarantees a fixed, steady, and passive income return in a time where bond yields are diving, and interest rates are at historic all-time lows. We’re already seeing it now with Tezos and other DPoS variants, and SaaS will be a characteristic attribute of the impending bull market, allowing mom, pop, and grandma to get their hands in on the action and secure a piece of the crpytocon as the future of what work and ownership look like

Since the industry-wide move from PoW to PoS has grown vastly recently and there is an increased saturation of PoS blockchain-based networks; staking stranded capital on a global network like ICON, could provide a hedge against a potentially downwardly spiraling economy.

What the Future Holds for ICON

ICON is hard at work building the roads which connect to the cities (ICONLOOP). ICONLOOP comprises of the cities which connect the private side of things to the public side of everything, ICON. In such a model, it is pointless for there to be no cities for ICON to connect to, and the public remains immune to this important distinction. What we are essentially witnessing is the framework for a truly “hyperconnected world”, where all the cities and roads tie in together and connect in true unison bringing value to the ICON public blockchain (ICX)…

If such a model were deemed to be so mighty and valuable, the question arises to the curious observer, what does the future hold? Currently, ICON has roughly 150 employees, and recently released a tour of its new office in Seoul that can hold up to 470 people. These are not signs of a financially struggling company. Additionally, ICON has ties to over 100 businesses, including it’s parent corp (Dayli Financial Group), LINE, Samsung, SBI Savings Bank, and has the entire backing of the South Korean Government.

The last point is extremely important and many fail to realize the gravity of the connection. So, let me repeat, has the entire backing of the South Korean Government. South Korea is a global crypto hub and one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. The fact they have such a deep connection to ICON and have even mandated that ICONLOOP’s loopchain, the core engine which powers the ICON public chain, is the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s “standard blockchain platform for all current and future applications”, is simply too large to ignore.

In the wild west of “cryptoland” scoured with fake partnerships, announcements of announcements, everything that is being built and announced with ICON, is real. So, the original question of what the future holds for ICON can only be followed with a categorical distinction ~ When, will the future and the world run on ICON.

Why the P-Rep Election Matters

Image Source: ICON Foundation

Similar to DPoS native protocols, ICON, which employs a Delegated Proof-of-Contribution (DPoC) consensus algorithm, requires the election of 22 main P-Reps who will be elected to govern the ICON network. Thus, bringing forth the beginning stages for decentralization. Since ICON is under a proxy voting mechanism where ICONists delegate their ICX for P-Reps to stake, elected P-Reps will receive control of the network and produce/verify blocks on behalf of ICONists whom have chosen to delegate with them. However, staking within ICON is not just only limited to delegating to P-Reps, ICONists can also delegate their ICX to Ecosystem Expansion Projects (EEP’s) and Decentralized Applications (dApps) on the ICON network.

For a more comprehensive look at staking within ICON, please refer to this post and additional commentary on staking here.

The election, however, comes as a pivotal point in the journey towards decentralization of the ICON network and mass adoption. The competition is fierce for becoming one of the main P-Reps and they are incentivized graciously. A focal point of the upcoming election and perhaps its most important aspect, is electing high-value P-Rep candidates who can bring adoption to the ICON ecosystem through a diverse array of talents and skill-sets.

The P-Rep candidates who represent the best interest of the ICON network, provide value to the ecosystem through a wide array of talents and skill-sets, will be the ones who will likely secure a spot in the upcoming election. With this in mind, it’s important come voting time to vote for only the most high-value candidates who can usher a new era of adoption for the ICON ecosystem and sustain network health through block production and verification.

P-Rep Influence on the Future of the ICON Network

As a DPoC protocol based on i_score, which represents a quantitative assessment of an ICONist’s contribution to the ecosystem, P-Reps should contribute to the ecosystem in as many meaningful ways as possible and not just seek to attain representative, block, and verification rewards. It’s of serious gravity to emphasize this keyword “contribution”.

As of this date, there are a total of 43 P-Rep candidates from all over the world, each competing for a spot as one of the top 22 P-Reps. Already, 21 candidates will not be able to attain a spot as one of the 22 elected main P-Reps. However, with enough votes, the elected P-Reps will play a crucial and profound role in the ICON ecosystem.

Several teams have already begun contributing to the ecosystem through wide concentrations including building dApps, creating courses of how to build on ICON, Marketing, developing ICX wallets, and much more. Let’s take a quick glance at some achievements from a few P-Rep candidates.

ICON Wish Board (dApp)

Icon Wish Board is a service for Iconists to permanently record their wishes on blockchain. Renov Jung, of Draicon Ball, a P-Rep team focused on building out the dApp ecosystem of ICON, has created a new ICON dApp which allows for ICONIST’s to permanently record their wishes on the ICON public blockchain and get rewards using the official ICONEX wallet.

ICONation

ICONation, comprising of several early community supporters and moderators within the official ICON telegram channel, have built a fully functioning ICX online/offline wallet for Windows and Mac users. ICONation has also created a blockchain course for those wishing to build on top of ICON. In addition to this, ICONation hosts a bi-weekly youtube series known as “By ICONists, For ICONists”.

RHIZOME

RHIZOME, which aims to be the “content creation and marketing machine” for ICON has started releasing several in-depth videos and articles detailing news bites and press releases from ICON and boasts a team of seasoned writers, video producers, and musical composers. RHIZOME plans to start a bi-weekly podcast in addition to weekly YouTube updates and travel to take part in filming and creating content about ICON related events that people want to see and are proud to share.

In addition to this, I, David Sail of Mineable, have over 100,000 views on ICON related videos and seek to continue producing high-quality videos on a monthly basis, to educate, and inform larger audiences about ICON.

UBIK Capital

UBIK Capital is compromised of several active ICON community members who seek to focus on outreach, technical development and creating content about ICON. UBIK has created numerous blog posts educating the community on topics like staking, inflation, decentralized applications (dApp's), and more.

Conclusion

The upcoming P-Rep election marks a pivotal point in the beginnings of decentralization of the ICON Network. With enough votes, elected P-Reps will be able to contribute to the ICON ecosystem through a wide array of skills and talents, govern the network, and play a vital role in the journey towards mass adoption.

For more information on the ICONSENSUS campaign, please visit some of the following links below.