Last week, ICON announced the start of pre-registration for the network’s P-Reps. Since the election of the network’s P-Reps is a community endeavor, detailed information regarding the registration process can be found on ICON’s newly launched community portal. P-Rep registration marks an important milestone in the ICONSENSUS roadmap, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of candidates come forward to participate in the P-Rep election.

What is an ICON P-Rep?

P-Rep, short for “public representative,” is a community-elected ICON node operator that produces blocks, verifies transactions, and votes on governance proposals. The key point here is “community-elected”. P-Reps are not selected by the ICON Foundation. They are voted in by the ICON community through I-Score delegation, and are incentivized to act with the best interests of the ICON network in mind. Following the election, which is currently scheduled for September 2018, the ICON network will have a total of twenty-two P-Reps.

ICON P-Rep Qualifications

A concern that has been brought up recently is the relative inaccessibility for “normal” community members to become an ICON P-Rep. This is mostly due to the minimum web server requirements that are required to run an ICON P-Rep node. Depending on the infrastructure provider (AWS, Google Cloud, etc.), the suggested server specifications can easily result in a bill exceeding $1,500/month. In theory, the P-Rep block rewards should be able to cover this cost, but the point is that running a P-Rep node will require a fairly risky and significant level of financial investment and advanced technical knowledge to set up and secure a high-end server.

There are two key points to keep in mind here.

  • ICON’s governance functions like a representative democracy. A P-Rep’s power is derived from I-Score delegations from other ICONists.
  • P-Reps play a very important role in the ICON ecosystem. Not only are they in charge of voting on governance proposals, they are also expected to provide a consistent baseline level of performance for block generation and transaction verification. For this reason alone, a P-Rep node should not be powered by consumer-level hardware on low-bandwidth Internet connections. ICON is clearly targeting heavy enterprise usage for its platform, and no enterprise will agree to transact on a network running on consumer level hardware and networking with no guaranteed SLA.

How to Apply to be an ICON P-Rep

If you think you have what it takes to become an ICON P-Rep, head over to the community portal for more information on the registration process. You’ll be expected to prepare a detailed proposal that includes your team’s information, technical specifications for your server, and a few statements about how you plan to contribute and grow the ICON ecosystem as a P-Rep.