ICON's growing DeFi ecosystem

At the beginning of this week, the ICON community learned of another DeFi project being built on ICON: the Equality Exchange (of which I am an early contributor).

Here’s a section from the initial announcement:

We are proud to announce Equality, a decentralized, non-custodial, peer-to-contract exchange protocol designed to trade assets that, assuming honest and secure conditions, should trade at approximately the same value.

Our goal is to create an exchange that will allow users to trade similarly-priced assets — such as stablecoins — with low fees and slippage. Meanwhile, we will garner adequate liquidity by incentivizing liquidity providers (LPs) with a share of transaction fees. Additionally, our liquidity pools will be integrated with other ICON DeFi products such as OMM to provide additional yield for LPs.

Furthermore, LPs will also receive Equality tokens (EQU), which provide governance rights over the Equality platform. There is no ICO and no pre-mine of EQU tokens.

For those who have been involved in the DeFi space for some time, this type of protocol likely sounds a bit familiar. And that’s because it is. Equality is designed around the same elements that are built into the design of Curve.Fi, which is currently the 5th ranked DeFi protocol currently operating, based on the amount of crypto locked up in USD terms (just under $4 billion as of this writing).

For those not familiar with Curve, here’s a bit how it works, from the latest addition to my Guide to DeFi on ICON series:

Curve is an automated market maker that was built to solve this problem.

It does this in two ways. First, Curve charges very low transaction fees — only 0.04% (more than 10x lower than our example above).

It also employs an algorithm — called the StableSwap invariant —along with a number of incentives to attract significant liquidity, in order to significantly reduce price slippage.

It does this through something called a “rebalancing fee,” which is used to keep the correct balance in the pool.

Let’s pretend we have a pool of blnUSD and USDb, and it’s set at a ratio of 50/50 of each.

Someone decides they want to trade some of their blnUSD for USDb.

As a result, there is now more blnUSD in the pool than USDb, meaning the pool is out of balance.

As a result, a rebalancing fee is now applied to those who want to swap their tokens. Accordingly, if the pool is out of balance (with more blnUSD than USDb), trading blnUSD for USDb will now be slightly more expensive. Inversely, if you wanted to exchange your USDb for blnUSD (thus restoring balance to the pool), you’d be getting a slightly cheaper price.

As a result of this dance, the pool fairly quickly arrives back at it’s 50/50 balance.

Equality will work essentially in the same way.

Now, this isn’t the only benefit to ICONists of this platform (the benefits to liquidity providers are significant as well, as you’ll see if you read the entire chapter on Equality), but it is an important one.

First, it gives proactive traders and opportunity to earn relatively low-risk profits on arbitrage trading.

By monitoring the balance of the pool and detecting when the rebalancing fee is significant, an ICONist could exchange $1 of one stablecoin for more than $1 of another stablecoin, locking in an instant profit. Now, in most cases, this amount will be fairly low. But with enough volume and frequency of trades, this can earn a decent return — while you also work to ensure the protocol works as designed by keeping the price as close to $1 as possible.

As you can imagine, this could also lead to a significant number of transactions on the ICON network as traders look to scalp profits. Thanks to the minimal transaction fees that Equality will charge (and ICON’s minimal network fees), the window of profit for an arbitrage trade will be fairly large. This is a nice advantage of Equality over Curve — thanks to high Ethereum gas fees, the amount of spread that has to emerge above $1 has to be significant enough to ensure there is still a profit after you account for the fees. That shouldn’t be an issue on ICON.

I went into a bit of an explanation in the final chapter of the ICON DeFi Guide (the chapter analyzing the various benefits to the ICON protocol that these platforms would bring) about the emerging arbitrage activities the various platforms bring:

As I referenced in the prior chapter, there will always be small price discrepancies between the two AMMs on ICON — uTrade and ICONPOOL — as well as the decentralized exchange operating on Balanced.

These discrepancies basically offer an opportunity for free profit for those who are vigilant and fast-acting enough.

Any time a trade is made of any significant size on any of these platforms (a transaction on the ICON network itself), there will be a price difference relative to the other two markets. This should trigger two more transactions — buying on one market and selling on another — in order to capture profit and equalize the price.

Theoretically, this means that anytime a trade is made on one market, it will generate two additional trades in order to bring the price back to stasis. Of course, the initial transaction would have to be large enough to move the price sufficiently, but it won’t take much to create a big enough window for a profit opportunity.

With yet another avenue available for arbitrage trading beyond those listed above, the number of opportunities (for both profits and transactions) grows even more with the addition of Equality.

I also spent time looking at the other activities that would generate transactions on ICON:

Based just on the tools within this guide, any of the following actions will generate a transaction:

  • Any trade made on an AMM or DEX

  • Liquidity added or removed from an AMM

  • Minting of an LP token on an AMM

  • Depositing or removing collateral into Balanced

  • Minting ICD

  • Minting BALN tokens for Balance users

  • Depositing or removing collateral into Omm

  • Minting of OMM tokens for Omm users

  • Depositing or withdrawing ICX in Optimus

  • Minting finICX and FIN tokens on Optimus

Of course, this is just a small helping of activities that doesn’t even go into governance activities or other behavior that would generate transactions. But you can start to use your imagination in the number of ways DeFi could generate more activity, especially as people explore unique yield farming strategies and more platforms become available.

You can now add the various transactions that Curve will bring to this list.

As you can see by now, not only are there clear benefits to the actual DeFi users on ICON, but to all ICONists as well, as the amount of network activity generated by all these protocols certainly won’t be insignificant.

As Ricky Dodds stated during the recent AMA, "I think the next 3-6 months will be the most transformative months of the project to date." When looking at the coming DeFi wave, it’s hard to disagree with that.

PS: To learn even more about the Equality Exchange, be sure to listen to the episode of Eye on ICON that covers that topic!

"A community of communities"

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RHIZOME Wire!

An AMA with Scott Smiley and Ricky Dodds

Yesterday, in the main ICON Telegram chat room, the ICON Pinas P-Rep team hosted an AMA with Scott Smiley of ICX Station and Ricky Dodds of the ICON Foundation.

The AMA featured a number of exciting and insightful answers, and I encourage you to dig through the entire chat, starting here.

But I also wanted to take some time to pull out what I thought were the most interesting and encouraging answers and dig a little deeper into what they may mean.

Q: For those who don't know, BTP 1.0 is a major technological innovation ICON has been working on that promises to bring interoperability to crypto. Guys, is there anything you can share with us at this time in regards to what other blockchain projects might be the first to pair with ICX?

Scott Smiley: I can say that we already have two specific targets in mind and that development has started for both chains. As I was saying previously, I'm actively trying to grow the number of chains, specifically targeting those with strong economic activity, large dev communities, and large online/social communities. I'm hoping to turn ICON into a community of communities through this initiative. Stay tuned for more details as we make more progress to share

When it comes to BTP and the promise of interoperability, we tend to focus on the technology and the fact it has the likelihood of increasing the amount of activity on the ICON network.

But I do think it’s also important what Scott pointed out. Sure, onboarding and connecting additional blockchains will bring in additional activity. That’s the immediate impact.

Beyond that is the indirect, longer-term impact. And that’s the fact that these other blockchains now have a direct bridge into the ICON ecosystem. Down the road, they may be using this bridge without even realizing it, but being uniquely connected to our chain will greatly increase their interest in our project and the various applications we have operating.

If it becomes much easier for an individual from another community to start utilizing one of ICON’s DeFi products, or an application such as ICONBet, it’s likely that many of them will. And once that happens, they’re part of our community — and most likely an ICX stakeholder as well.

If this thesis is correct, that means simply by connecting with one chain, we could essentially double (at least) the size of our community. And that’s just one chain. Imagine what happens with each addition.

At one point during the AMA, Scott said “My goal is to have ICON connected to more blockchains than any other in the industry by the end of 2021.” If he follows through on that aspiration, just imagine how large the ICON community can be in a year.

(By the way, to hear Scott talk more about BTP and other cool things ICON has in the pipeline, be sure to listen to the most recent episode of the Eye on ICON podcast, where we have him on as a guest!)

Q: March is slated to be an especially busy and noteworthy month for the ICON ecosystem, with many big releases scheduled for arrival, such as DeFi products: Balanced, OMM, and Bridge. How does ICON plan to market these products to both crypto and non-crypto users to capture market share and push for rapid adoption of these core projects?

Scott Smiley: Ultimately I think word of mouth marketing, airdrips and airdrops, and social media campaigns are some of the most effective strategies in our industry. We're in the process of getting more strategic partners as Balanced and Omm launch, and in the end I believe what attracts people to a network/product, and what gets the word spreading, is the opportunity to make money.

Might be a bit blunt to put it that way, but with Balanced, for example, this product is designed to give people the opportunity to earn a profit. The more profitable Balanced becomes for their users, the more people will talk about it and the more they will use it. The more success the platforms garner in their early days, the greater the network effect will be.

I think this is especially important considering the problem that Ethereum is facing right now. For many newcomers who are just now getting exposed to the wave of DeFi products, utilizing Ethereum is almost prohibitively expensive. Let’s say you had $50 you wanted to try out in a DeFi protocol. Well, it probably costs you $20 or so just to make the transaction to do so (and that’s just one transaction!).

Serving as another outlet for people to use DeFi who want to try it out and get involved could be a helpful advantage for the ICON ecosystem. And with transaction costs that are essentially non-existent, along with fast transaction speed, ICON could become a very desirable target for potential DeFi users.

And it looks like the team is trying to pull out all the stops in order to advertise these opportunities:

Ricky Dodds: Additionally, we're looking into opportunities with large crypto focused distribution channels (youtube mainly, but others as well). I've personally spoken with many of the top influencers on these channels and all are interested in what's going on at ICON

This is consistent with a point I made fairly recently: now that ICON has actual products to advertise and promote, that promotion is now underway. It’s not marketing to “buy our token” but rather “come use this cool product to make money.” The latter is easier to get people on board with, in my opinion.

Q: In recent months, there’s been a conscious effort to materially reduce ICX inflation, for the benefit of all ICONists, with i_rep now set at 10,000 (the lowest possible value on ICON 1.0). Given the recent surge of the ICX price, will a further lowering of i_rep (i.e., reduction in P-Rep rewards) be a top priority, beginning with ICON 2.0? Or, will more attention be given to things like increasing tx fees to further help combat inflation?

Scott Smiley: Overall token economics is a major focus for me, but I'd say it's less about i_rep and more about answering this question (might be getting a little too deep here but bear with me):

"How much extra money should I make for running my own p-rep, governing, maintianing the node, etc. vs simply voting for somebody else? What extra return should I get for putting in this effort?"

Should it be an extra 1%? 2%? 20%? That's the question we need to answer on ICON 2.0. There needs to be some incentive to do it, or everybody would sit around voting for other people and nobody would want to run a node.

From there, we can decide overall inflation numbers. My goal is to get baseline inflation at 4% or lower, and make it increasingly difficult to change. Economics should be sticky, people buy BTC because they have certainty in the supply, we need something similar. With more main p-reps, it will be increasingly difficult to change anything on our network. So we'll have some time when ICON 2.0 first launches to see how things go, then try to grow the main p-rep set aggressively to lock things in.

So having said all that, the work that needs to be done is deciding where to allocate inflation. We have 4 things to consider:

- P-Reps

- Relayers (They support BTP)

- Voters

- Contribution Proposal System (money used to grow ICON Network)

I think this is probably the right way to think about this problem. It’s hard to argue that the wealth dispersion between P-Reps and normal voters was far greater than it should have been during the initial phase of ICON’s tokenomics. Especially when you take into account the fact that many P-Reps weren’t doing much, it was clear that change needed to happen.

Determining what exactly the right incentives for running a P-Rep isn’t easy, but answering that question makes it easier to adjust the other determinants of inflation that Scott has listed.

Ultimately, it will be up to the community to decide how much inflation we have, and how much goes toward which category. How much of the generated inflation should go toward P-Reps? How about voters? How much do we need to fund the CPS? How do we make sure relayers are incentivized to help BTP succeed?

There were a number of other interesting questions and answers posed during the AMA, so I encourage you to read the entire thing!

The innovative marketing approach of 'Airdrips'

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RHIZOME Wire!


Introducing Airdrips

If you’re reading this newsletter right now, you’re probably involved enough in the ICON community to know about the many hints Min Kim dropped last week about the possibility of future airdrops within the ICON community.

During the week following these initial tweets, there was a lot of speculation and inquiry regarding just what the airdrop might be, who would receive it, and when it might happen.

Well, we finally got answers to some of those questions:

While the “airdrop” concept is nothing new to cryptocurrency, the “Airdrip” approach seems a lot more (if not entirely) unique.

Before we get into the full analysis, I’d like to bring up a quote that Ricky Dodds made earlier this month:

With hindsight, it’s hard to ignore the fact that this was an allusion to the airdrip news that was to come. But it’s important to look at exactly what Ricky is saying here (and to read between the lines a bit) within a broader context.

As you likely know by now, ICON has a number of DeFi protocols coming down the pipeline. On their own, there’s already a decent amount of interest in using these protocols.

But what’s the best way to get even more people to use something that’s not necessarily intuitive to understand and utilize? Well, you financially incentivize them to do so.

That’s where these airdrips come in.

First, some of the details for the Balanced airdrip, excerpted from the announcement article:

  • The first drip will drop one week after Balanced launches

  • Delegated ICX holders can claim their Balance Tokens from the Balanced website

  • The more ICX you have delegated, the more you can claim

  • If you don’t claim your Balance Tokens each week, you’ll lose them

  • Unclaimed tokens are added to the next weekly drip

  • To participate, you must be delegating from a wallet that you control the private key or keystore file (ICONex, MyIconWallet, etc.). If not, the staking platform you are using (i.e. Binance, ICONFI, etc.) must announce support

In my opinion, the most important part of this is the fact that users must claim their BALN tokens from the Balanced website every week. That means potentially thousands of users will be visiting the platform’s website on a regular basis. That’s some nifty marketing on its own.

But it gets even better than that.

If you aren’t aware of what the Balance token is, it means you haven’t yet read my Guide to ICON DeFi yet. In part 2 of that series, I take a look at Balanced, and spend some time talking about the Balance token:

So what is the value of the Balance token?

Most prominent in the eyes of many will be the fact that Balance token holders are entitled to a portion of the fees that the protocol generates, to be split pro-rata amongst qualified Balance Token stakers and paid on a weekly basis. Balanced will also use a portion of the fees to be set aside into a DAO fund managed by BALN holders.

However, simply holding the tokens doesn’t entitle you to a share of these rewards:

An important caveat to point out is that simply holding the Balance token doesn’t entitle you to fees. If you own Balance tokens, you must hold them in a wallet that also has debt in the Balanced network. In other words, only users of the Balanced protocol will be able to receive the benefits of the Balance token.

So we now have (potentially) thousands of people who will be receiving BALN tokens. It’s likely these tokens will have worth on the open market (since they have the potential to earn fees and also provide governance rights), but if you’d like to earn income from them, you’ll have to actually use the Balanced protocol to earn your dividends.

That means potentially thousands of BALN holders are now financially motivated to use the Balanced protocol.

By now, DeFi products are fairly ubiquitous in the cryptocurrency space, albeit mostly confined to Ethereum. Accordingly, with so many options out there, you can’t just build it and expect users to flock to it out of sheer curiosity. There has to be a financial incentive of some sort to lure in users initially (which is why we saw so many platforms over the summer offering crazy and unsustainable yields).

By adding this incentive and helping to ensure there is plenty of demand to use the protocol, ICON and Balanced are ensuring that the “total value locked” (TVL) — a key metric toward measuring the popularity and growth of DeFi protocols — is high from the very start. A high level of TVL is in itself its own form of marketing.

The fact that Balanced and ICON are attempting to reach and integrate users who may be complete DeFi novices and that they’ve created such a unique approach to doing so is impressive.

While many in the community were urging the ICON team to deploy 2017 marketing tactics like paying YouTube influencers, behind the scenes the team was coming up with a marketing approach far more fit for 2021 than 2017.

And it’s likely the party won’t end with Balanced. With other DeFi platforms coming (including some unannounced projects), we evidently haven’t seen the last of the airdrips:

Buckle up.

The new phase of ICON marketing?

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RHIZOME Wire!


About a week ago, ICON team member Ricky Dodds conducted an AMA on YouTube with WhiteBIT, a cryptocurrency exchange.

While this AMA didn’t generate a whole lot of attention within the community (at least as far as I could tell), it’s worth a watch, and Ricky did make an interesting point at the very end of the interview, when the question of marketing came up:

“We’re at a point now in the project’s lifespan where we want to add users and we will do what it takes to add users. We’re not building ICON 2.0, this foundational technology, to have it sort of sit and flounder. That’s just not a strategy that makes sense and we’re not going to go down that route, so we’re going to do what it takes to get users and to get developers and to get people excited about it, so just stay tuned there.”

It’s unclear if Ricky meant this statement to be interpreted in the manner that I interpreted it, but I ultimately believe this perspective marks an important turning point in not just ICON’s marketing strategy, but an important turning point in the project as a whole.

Ever since ICON first launched as an ICO, the only “product” that ICON had to market was the vision and ambition of the project. There was of course the whitepaper, along with a handful of partnerships and MOUs that were lined up.

The project’s promise—and the qualifications of the team behind it—was likely what got so many people to invest in the ICO and buy on the open market shortly thereafter, helping drive the price as high as it was.

The next couple of years was essentially just an extension of this vision. Sure, there was more and more good news — partnerships were being solidified, the foundation seemed to be growing, decentralization happened, and some exciting announcements came and went — but all of these steps for the most part still fell into the “promise” category. The only thing ICON had to “sell” during this time period was good news and exciting promises.

As all this was happening in the bear market, not much was happening with the price. A lot of this, in my opinion, was related to the underlying market dynamics — the same dynamics that brought down essentially every cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin.

However, I have also seen time and time again people say, “If only people knew about the X, Y, and Z partnerships, we’d be at $10 by now!”

Maybe.

But I ultimately think there’s a limited market for people who want to make an investment based solely on hope and promises, and ICON, for the most part, probably maximized that market. At a certain point in time, a project maxes out its “speculative” valuation and ultimately needs to move onto the phase of “utility.”

As I alluded to, most people bought ICON in anticipation of people someday needing to buy the token in order to use the token—not just to speculate on its future value.

That’s because we know intrinsic demand is what ultimately helps a project succeed.

And so now, with a number of exciting DApps, a suite of DeFi products, and cutting-edge cross chain technology coming down the pipeline (that will increase the utility of ICX but likely tokens on chains that ICON bridges with), we can actually start to market ICON for what it can do, rather than what it might be.

Prior to this point in time, the internal conversation an investor may have had might have been:

“Oh, another partnership for ICON? I’ve been hearing about those for years now. Why should I all of a sudden buy in now?”

However, once DeFi and other DApps launch, that internal conversation might go more along the lines of:

“Oh, I can earn significant interest on my holdings without paying exhorbitant gas fees? And all I need to do is buy some ICX? I’m in!”

Now, compound that with being able to utilize Bridge to easily transition from fiat to ICX, and that conversation isn’t just playing out in the mind of a cryptocurrency devotee, but among the greater general public as well. The Bridge integration isn’t a big deal because it allows people to easily transition into ICX — it’s a big deal because it more easily allows people to use the ICON network.

I should point out that increased demand for the token does not necessarily correlate with increased transaction count (or vice versa). Someone could buy a bunch of ICX in order to utilize Balanced or OMM, but doing so one only require a couple transactions.

And so now marketing gets a lot easier.

Instead of saying “Buy our token because we promise we have a lot of cool stuff coming in the future (which you may or may not understand)!” the team can now say “Come buy ICX to use this product that allows you to earn more money” or “Come buy ICX to use this new fun DApp that is about to launch.”

The initial success of ICONFi should indicate to you just how effective the “come use our product” pitch can ultimately be.

Over the coming weeks and months I think we’re going to start to see more effective marketing. But that’s not because the team isn’t caring about marketing until now. It’s because it’s a lot easier to market a tangible product to a wide audience than it is to market an intangible vision.

Related Content

  • In the latest episode of the “Eye on ICON” podcast, we had a similar discussion to the above while we also made some comparisons between ICON’s growth and that of Ethereum.

  • As more and more people are seemingly entering (or re-entering) the ICON ecosystem, I wrote a brief article in an effort to get people caught up on everything ICON has going on and what’s coming down the pipeline. Be sure to give it a read!

What to look for in the Contribution Proposal System

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RHIZOME Wire!

The CPS approaches

In the ICON Development Roadmap Update for January, we were given a firm release timeline for the much-awaiting Contribution Proposal System (CPS):

The Contribution Proposal System is in the final stages of code review and will be tested again starting the first week of February. All frontend and backend logic is complete and ready for production. Assuming no more issues are found, we expect to launch the CPS no later than the 3rd week of February. We look forward to bringing this amazing product to the community.

If you aren’t familiar with the CPS, I encourage you to read the prior newsletter I have written on this topic, “The upcoming Contribution Proposal System.” In addition, in the most recent episode of “Eye On ICON,” we took time to discuss this topic in depth (so be sure to listen and subscribe if you haven’t done so yet!).

In the article I just mentioned, I highlighted two key benefits of the CPS, as described in the opening pages of the “Contribution Proposal Paper 2.0”:

The importance of the Contribution Proposal System is two fold. For one, it allows for expedited growth of the ICON Network by giving entities the opportunity to receive funding from the network itself. Developers of decentralized applications and contributors to the growth of the ecosystem can submit their work or plan to the Contribution Proposal System, Public Representatives will vote on whether or not this is a legitimate project, and if approved, this project will be eligible to receive funding from the ICON Network. This system will turn the ICON Network itself into one of the first fully operational Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO).

Secondly, and perhaps less obvious, the Contribution Proposal System plays a significant role in the distribution of wealth and power in the ICON Ecosystem. Many blockchain networks give rewards solely to those that produce & verify blocks, thus centralizing wealth & governance power and giving sole discretion of funding ecosystem growth initiatives to such entities. With the introduction of the Contribution Proposal System, anybody interested in contributing to the ecosystem will have the opportunity to accrue governance power and wealth within the network.

From a big picture standpoint, another goal of the CPS is to transfer the surplus rewards that P-Reps have/had been receiving since the beginning of decentralization away from P-Reps and towards the CPS. Due to a decision made by the community and P-Reps, ICON is moving toward a system where P-Reps operate as node operators and governance participants, while contributions to ICON are to be funded by the new CPS.

Much to my dismay, however, is the fact that thus far only three contribution proposals have been submitted thus far on the ICON forums, the forum where proposals are to be floated prior to submission to the CPS.

With 250,000 ICX being provided to initially fund the CPS, there’s a lot of opportunity for growth of ICON — but only if quality projects are submitted and approved.

As projects start to get submitted and vetted by P-Reps, here are a few things I’ll be hoping for:

Very specific metrics on how the money is being spent

I have seen a handful of ideas for proposals tossed around that include some version of paying for marketing. It also seems like these ideas haven’t been fully fleshed out yet in terms of just how much money this type of marketing may cost. Take, for instance, YouTube influencers. Many of these crypto YouTube influencers charge a pretty penny for mentioning a given token or project. Many ICONists may believe it only costs a few hundred dollars to “hire” one of these influencers. In likelihood, it’s probably somewhere in the thousands. To back this up, here’s a quote from a Multi.io Research report on crypto marketing, released in mid-2020:

The number of crypto and blockchain content creators on YouTube is rapidly increasing, but there have been a few pack leaders with over 100k subscribers who have firmly established themselves as the go-to influencers for promotional purposes. Their rates are currently working out at a CPM (cost per mille, aka cost per a thousand views) of about $500 to $1500. If you look at an influencer’s average views for a video that has been up for a month, if they are hitting around 10,000 views, expect to pay between $5,000 and $15,000.

Does it make as much sense to spend thousands of dollars on a brief video that gets 10,000 views? Maybe. But maybe not. But until we know just how much money it costs to implement these marketing tactics, I’d be hesitant to get enthusiastic about a marketing campaign built in this manner. So it’s my hope that those proposing projects will do the work ahead of time to reach out to target influencers to figure out how much they actually charge before putting forth a proposal.

A diverse array of projects

Contribution Proposals fall into three potential categories:

  • Infrastructure

    • for supporting the underlying code base of the blockchain - Infrastructure supporting tools, bug patches, node maintenance tools, etc.

  • Development

    • Developer support and product ideas - wallets, block explorers, dapps, developer documentation, etc.

  • Community Activities

    • Ambassador activities, public relations, meetups, educational content and activities, and web community development and management

It’s my hope that we see a healthy combination of all the above. I imagine there may be a temptation to flood the CPS with marketing proposals — not only because there’s a lot of enthusiasm for marketing, but also because it’s a skill far more people have (compared to development or infrastructure). I ultimately believe the long-term success of the project will be more aligned with strong projects and a stable infrastructure, but there’s certainly a need for spreading awareness too.

Treating the CPS funds as “our money”

In a certain way, the CPS is money that sort of “belongs” to the community. I say this in the context of the fact that, moving forward, the CPS will be funded by tokens minted by the network — aka, inflation (fortunately, there is a 1,000,000 cap on the amount of ICX that can be in the CPS). While this isn’t new inflation (since it’s essentially the funds that had been going to P-Reps), it’s still inflation.

So, if inflation is providing the funding for the CPS, don't you, as an ICONist, want those funds to be spent in a manner that most effectively helps the long-term success (and thus price) of ICON?

When community members review projects, I hope they’ll think of that funding through that lens. Pretend a proposal required 10,000 ICX of funding. Ask yourself “If that was my ICX, would I want to spend it on this?” “Is it worth it to spend 10,000 ICX for 60 seconds of a YouTube influencer talking about ICON?” I think this line of thinking will help ensure only quality proposals are receiving funding.

Overall, the CPS holds a lot of promise for the ICON ecosystem — but only if the opportunity isn’t squandered or wasted on ineffective or unhelpful projects. I’m hopeful we’ll start to see more proposals come forward over the coming weeks, and I’d encourage the community to make your voice heard about what you’d like to see P-Reps vote to approve!

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