The road ahead is now clear.

ICON revealed on Monday its Roadmap for 2020. The team’s updated development roadmap focuses on four major themes:

  • Network Enhancement
  • Open Source
  • Governance
  • BTP/Sidechain

While the development team might work on items unrelated to these themes as well, the four items will nonetheless serve as a guideline for development work. “We believe these categories represent the most important focus areas for our expanding ecosystem and will help us to onboard new network participants and improve the incentive structures for contribution,” writes the ICON team on its Medium page. “Furthermore, we believe we can improve scalability and provide interoperability.”

Network Enhancement

ICON is, after all, a network, so improving and stabilizing that network continues to be a top priority. Since decentralizing, the network has already upgraded on the basis of two on-chain Revision Proposals, but the team feels they still have much to do to improve the technology for broader adoption.

Goals for 2020 include:

  • Block Recovery
  • 2 blocks Invocations
  • P-Rep Private Key Dualizing
  • Increase the Main P-Rep Set Size
  • LFT2 technical documentation and yellow paper

Other Items:

  • Staking and voting APIs on SCORE
  • Automatic block structure upgrading via Revision Proposal
  • SCORE internal call function

Open Source Enhancement

Though the ICON Foundation has undertaken most of the responsibility for managing the network’s codebase, the team would like to see more open-source contributions from the community.

To do this, ICON is working to fully migrate its internal development process to GitHub, improve documentation on the the architecture of loopchain and icon-service, improve commentary between codes and enhance and formalize the off-chain governance process.

Governance System Update

ICON will propose refinements to IISS in 2020. IISS — the ICON Incentives Scoring System — measures and compensates ICONists for their contributions to the network. The proposed revisions to the system seek to better coordinate the network’s incentives across its many stakeholders in order to promote more collaboration among P-Reps, contributors, delegators and other network participants.

Proposed revisions to the IISS could include the following:

  • Adjust the Representative Reward (TBD)
  • Form the Contribution Proposal Fund
  • Add the minimum bond requirement for Public Representative
  • Add the slashing based on the minimum bond requirement for Public Representative

The team also plans to implement its Contribution Proposal System, or CPS. The CPS is a decentralized governance and funding mechanism that rewards ICONists for their contributions without relying on ICON Foundation for support.

BTP and Sidechain

The Blockchain Transmission Protocol, of BTP, is a big step in the direction of interoperability. ICON intends to incorporate the technology, which allows the transfer of value and information between heterogeneous chains, in its network in 2020, at least a base level. This includes designing new economic and governance components as well as new network components to support the BTP.

Sidechain, meanwhile, is described as a “new layer of the ICON Network to support a reliable smart-contract environment,” the primary goal of which is to incentivize developers to deploy smart contracts on the sidechain, leaving the ICON network to focus on interchain and governance. The ICON team writes, “We believe this is not only the most effective solution for improving scalability and implementing a virtual machine but also allows the ICON Network to focus on the interchain and governance, making it a true ICON Republic; an interconnecting hub as the Nexus, referenced in the original whitepaper.”

Shaping Up

Ricky Dodds, the ICON Foundation’s Head of Institutional Markets, expresses high hopes for ICON in the coming months.

2020 is going to be a great year for our project as we seek to make improvements to the network and improve collaboration through open sourcing,” Dodds says.

He also praises the Blockchain Transmission Protocol and Sidechain: “With BTP we can improve enterprise adoption of public chain and the side chain implementation can help us to scale to meet those demands.