This is a guest post by Spl3en. He and a  few fellow ICONists recently announced their candidacy  for ICON P-Rep under the name ICONation.

The goal of this article is to assist other aspiring P-Rep candidates on their road towards becoming a potential P-Rep. I hope that by sharing my experiences as a candidate I can help, in some way, any ICONist out there who is also  looking to participate.

 The coming of ICONSENSUS 

As a cryptocurrency enthusiast I have spent, like many others, a great deal of time learning about and researching numerous crypto-related projects. Upon joining the ICON community back in 2017 I recognized immediately that it was a project I wanted to help grow as much as possible. ICON’s vision matched very closely with my own ideology of how blockchain technology could and should be utilized in the real world.

On September 13, 2018, ICON released the highly anticipated first part of its Yellow Paper: “ICONstitution and Governance”. With this document, ICONists around the world learned about the existence of P-Reps, besides the already known C-Reps. 

ICON Yellow Paper 1st part announcement on Twitter

P-Rep stands for public representative. The ICONstitution and Governance Paper states that P-Reps “propose and vote on policies that maximize overall ICONists interest of the ICON network.” This definition aligns with my preexisting goal of protect ICONists’ interests and improving the overall network. This encouraged me to acquire as much information as I could about the P-Rep’s role within the ICON ecosystem. Additional information was scarce, making it very difficult to plan the resources, both human and the hardware, needed to become a P-Rep.

Fast forward to January 17 this year, ICONSENSUS was announced and further details about P-Reps were released. I was now able to start formulating a plan towards achieving my ultimate goal: becoming a P-Rep.

My moment of realization on a Telegram channel came as one of the biggest milestones of the ICON whitepaper came into existence

The team

One of the first challenges of being a P-Rep candidate is deciding if you will run alone or put together a team. There is no restriction on how many people you can include on a team, so if you do decide to form one, determining the size is definitely a good place to start. First, I evaluated my own chances of success as a candidate running on my own. I have extensive experience in programming and managing servers, community management and my knowledge of the ICON ecosystem as a whole is expansive. While I felt confident with my abilities in these areas, I did have some reservations around managing both the technical and non-technical aspects involved in the effort as there is a lot that goes into both worlds. I also don’t always feel comfortable with my abilities to communicate efficiently and articulate things properly in English.

I ultimately decided to team up with a group of ICONists that I knew would take a serious and professional approach towards representing the ICON network. I wanted teammates that would bring a variety of skills and a strong work ethic to the group.

I’m very thankful to be part of ICONation with CCClub, Dimitris, NorskKiwi and Radio, as they bring a wide range of skills and diverse experiences to the group. In a sense, our P-Rep initiative follows perfectly the ICON motto “Hyperconnect the World” as our team members live in Norway, United States, France, Australia and Greece.

ICONation’s first steps

One of the first challenges we had to face as a team was to decide our name and logo. We considered many options and, in the end, ICONation wound up receiving the most votes. In many ways, we consider ourselves representatives of the community we have spent so much time with over the last few years, for us the community is the nation.

Beyond a name and a logo, we have agreed upon our platform, ideologies, roadmap, and ultimate goals as a team. We are in the process of organizing our ideas and we will continue to improve our work on a daily basis:

  • We maintain a calendar with basic milestones that we agree beforehand
  • We keep track of tools, DApps and promotional ideas in a repository
  • We keep track of initiatives and update status on these items regularly

Some other considerations we have encountered to date that other aspiring P-Rep candidates may want to reflect on are:

  • Should we remain anonymous? Indeed, most of our team members are known by their online names instead of their real names. Would showing our faces and providing our real names give us more credibility and reassure voters that our intentions are genuine and legitimate? The ICONation team has ultimately decided to keep our real names anonymous and rely on the reputations we hope to have built while communicating with and assisting the online community over the years.
  • How should we split costs and income? When it comes to these matters transparency has been a useful and critical theme. The team has been working to determine the most appropriate solution for these matters. For example, we are currently planning to use a multisig wallet and/or SCORE as a part of our financial management strategy.
  • How will governance work within our team? At the moment we make most of our decisions by a relative majority vote, but we still need to define more precise rules about that practice. We’re in the process of writing guidelines regarding a limitation of the number of members in the team, how the team will decide new rules, how team members may be added or removed, how to manage funds and how the updates to the community will be delivered. These are just a few of the decisions we need to make and new ones come to our attention nearly every week.

Our first contributions to the ICON ecosystem

ICONation does not intend to wait to be elected to start contributing to the ICON ecosystem. We want to start right now and demonstrate our long term potential to the community and the positive benefits we intend to bring with us. Our first contributions to the community will be two unofficial SDKs. One in C++ and the other in PHP. These SDKs will be useful for welcoming more developers to ICON if they want to use a SDK in their favourite language. These SDKs provide features that aren’t available in the official SDKs right now, such as APIs for easily gathering information of an IRC2 Token. They’re already in beta testing in our GitHub.

From the SDKs, we already have built a SQL database that contains a copy of the entire ICON blockchain that is permanently synchronized with the mainnet. We called it “Aegis”. This database will provide data in a way that is easy to understand. It will provide statistics about the ICON blockchain similar to the ones provided on Etherscan. We want ICONists to know as much as possible about the current state of the ICON blockchain in order to be able to make educated decisions around governance or whatever else they may be considering.

Additionally, we want to represent the ICON nation by developing an easy to use voting DApp that will collect ICONists’ votes and opinions about upcoming governance decisions. We want to align our contributions with our collective ideology. That will revolve heavily around hearing and relaying the opinion of ICONists that will stake ICX with us. All voting results will be stored on the blockchain, so they will be public and immutable.

We also want to provide information and tutorials to ICONists around the world. This will include information targeted to developers as well as community members that want to better understand the multiple uses of ICON.

I hope this piece helps you and your team to come up with more ideas of what you can bring to the ICON ecosystem. If you’re looking for other people interested in creating a P-Rep, you may find an opportunity in the ICON.Community channel. You can also feel free to reach out and voice your opinion in the ICONation channel.

Let’s hyperconnect the world !