Continuing our earlier conversation with P-Rep campaign project manager Ha Bong An and ICONLOOP director of public affairs Josh Choi, we look at what it takes to be an ICON Network P-Rep, what rewards P-Reps should expect for their trouble and why P-Rep candidates should register for the campaign early.
The ideal P-Rep
A P-Rep wears a heavy crown. They represent ICON users, create blocks, validate transactions and play a key role in making important decisions affecting the network, including monetary policy.
“A P-Rep should definitely satisfy two points,” says Ha. “They should have the knowledge to keep a network running securely and continuously. The team should have a knowledge of computer science, network security, and subjects such as that. Additionally, they should have a deep understanding of blockchain, especially open-source communities, and a will to build ICON’s ecosystem.”
So what do I get out of this?
Running one of ICON’s main nodes might not always be fun. It’s expensive in terms of server costs, personnel costs, time and effort. You’ve constantly got to compete against other would-be nodes to keep your position.
So why bother?
Well, as expensive as running a node can be, it might also prove to be financially lucrative, at least in the long run. “The ICON Network provides a very stable reward model,” says Choi. “This isn’t the case with many other platforms because, in a market downturn, it is very hard for block producers and validators to make enough revenue. But our model is designed to provide them with stable rewards.”
Though some would-be P-Reps are all about the Benjamins (or whoever’s portrait is on the front of an ICX) others take a keener interest in other potential benefits. This is particularly the case for teams attached to larger corporate entities blessed with healthy pre-existing revenue streams. These players are more interested in using their relationship with ICON to create new business opportunities.
He adds that there are fast movers’ advantages too. “Without heavy investment and infrastructure, you can become a P-Rep at the early stage and get more and more interesting business opportunities.”
University labs and other academic institutes can benefit from becoming P-Reps, too, availing themselves of the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to the network.
Don’t be late. Pre-register.
Though P-Rep on-chain registration and the election won’t happen until September, ICON encourages candidates to preregister.
Ha and Choi say you won’t be sorry you did.
Ha says those who pre-register can enjoy the first-mover advantage, benefiting from exposure through social media channels run by the ICON Foundation and the ICON community. This will put them in an electorally advantageous position. “The people who register early will naturally gain interest from the community,” he says. “And we can distribute interviews and other materials on candidates who register early through the channels run by the ICON Foundation or the community.”
There are technical benefits as well. “If candidates register early, they can start testing with our P-Rep TestNet as soon as possible,” says Choi. “Maybe they can also work together with our developer team. They can even suggest how we can improve technically.”
The campaign task force hopes the potential for added exposure will encourage candidates to act promptly and sign up sooner rather than later. “This is actually an election campaign, you really have to get the vote from the ICONists,” says Choi. “We’re going to provide a strategy for them to [become] a leading party in the campaign so that they will have better awareness among the ICONists and better exposure to the community.”
Becoming one with the network
Though a lot of potential candidates ask about the reward model, natch, many others ask about the direction and potential of the ICON Network. “This is because being a P-Rep isn’t about just running a node,” says Ha. “It’s investing in the ecosystem, diving into it, becoming one with it.”
And a vast ecosystem it is. “Fundamentally, the ICON Network, a blockchain network, is not just a platform based on technology,” says Ha. “It’s a big ecosystem created by the countless entities brought together by the technology – the token holders, the developers, the EEP contributors.”
Since ICON is still a young network compared to other platforms, it needs leaders and builders. By working with ICON now, says Ha and Choi, P-Reps can do more things, create more things. “It’s a good opportunity,” says Ha. “It would be great to get some more ambitious P-Rep candidates with whom to discover new opportunities to build things.”