Icon, a framework for creating blockchains and a bridge to link them all together, is trying to become more decentralized. At present, the Icon Foundation, the keepers of the network, not only writes all the code, it also controls a large chunk of its coins. This is about to change with the launch of its ICONSENSUS governance mechanism.
The idea behind the move is to give coin holders more of a say over who runs the network–and the Icon Foundation slightly less. To encourage people to exercise their new voting rights, the Icon Foundation is giving away 3 million ICX coins, worth $570,000 to would-be voters.
The ICONSENSUS governance mechanism essentially makes Icon a delegated-proof-of-stake network. This is where token holders elect a group of third parties to run the network, and use an ongoing voting system to ensure those elected behave themselves. Votes can also be held on upgrades to the network.
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This is similar to EOS, which also uses a version of delegated-proof-of-stake. But instead of 27 representatives, Icon will have 100. And while EOS only rewards the (super) representatives—not the voters—Icon rewards voters too. This should encourage more people to vote, avoiding EOS’s problem of voter apathy.
The Icon Foundation’s giveaway is trying to encourage people to sign up for the pre-voting period—where representatives are initially elected before the consensus mechanism is implemented. The pre-vote takes place from August 26 to September 24. By giving away these funds, it will reduce the amount of ICX the foundation holds from 112 million to 109 million.
“Diluting the percentage of the network owned by the Icon Foundation, promotes decentralization and provides more voting influence to Icon network participants,” the foundation stated in a press release.
But considering that the foundation will still own 22 percent of the current supply of ICX, and that the system will now be run by a voting mechanism that gives more influence to whoever holds more ICX—Icon has loosened its grip, but not by much.