The controversy over alleged “vote buying” in ICON’s upcoming P-Rep election may be coming to a conclusion.
According to a series of tweets, P-Rep candidates Ubik Capital, ICX Australia and Sharpn have retracted their reward sharing proposals.
Those proposals — which, in the case of ICX Australia, was a pledge to return 80 percent of their representative reward to their voters — had generated blowback from some quarters of the community, with some critics condemning the practice as outright bribery. Another P-Rep candidate, Gilga Capital, warned that the tactic could result in a network of P-Reps providing no real value to the network, to the long-term detriment of everyone. Decrypto, meanwhile, penned a well-considered analysis of the dangers of P-Rep reward sharing — or more specifically, a certain model of reward sharing — in the ICON ecosystem. They asked:
“Do I vote for a P-Rep who will utilize rewards to develop tools, educate the community, and onboard businesses onto ICON, or do I vote for a P-Rep whose biggest call to action is giving away 80% of its rewards to parties that aren’t committed to furthering the ICON ecosystem?”
Even the ICON Foundation’s Min Kim felt compelled to weigh in on the controversy, tweeting that the Foundation was against vote buying “as defined by offering economic incentives limited to an entity’s own voters or to a subset of an entity’s own voters.” He condemned reward sharing schemes offered by P-Rep candidates as “a blatant manipulation of IISS by providing economic incentives limited to their own voters, which is literally ‘vote buying’ and is a corrupt election practice.” He warned that P-Reps that offer reward sharing are “jeopardizing the network.”
The tweets from Ubik, ICX Australia and Sharpn suggest that Min’s tweets and negative feedback from the wider ICON community decisively influenced their decisions to retract their reward sharing proposals.
On Reddit, iconographer-icx said the controversy demonstrated ICON’s strength:
“After a healthy and extensive debate, the community reached a consensus (with help from input by ICON) that reward sharing was not in the best interest of the network.
Despite the fact that these teams could have dug in and likely maintained their position among the Top 22 and still received votes (due to the financial incentive of their voters), they ultimately listened to the community as a whole.
There will ultimately be many more debates like this in the future, but the fact we were able to resolve this one (relatively) quickly and without chaos is a very good sign for the future of the project IMO.”
This publication agrees that the quick resolution of this potential crisis speaks well of the network, the community and the P-Rep candidates themselves.
But just as in offline politics, the real stress test will come when you have a maverick who digs in their heels. What will the community and/or the ICON Foundation do then?
Ubik Capital writes, “There are still many areas where the rules are not clear and we need to work to set clear rules and policies, and then enforce them.”
We’d be wise to pay heed.