[IDEA] Delegates Program Updates

:point_right:t3: Before reading this proposal, review the updated IoTeX governance process here.


Change log

  • 2022-08-17: Initial draft

Proposer

iotex-core

Summary

This proposal introduces changes to the IoTeX Delegates program, including reducing the minimum self-stake requirement, increasing hardware/node requirements, and adding new Delegate roles/responsibilities (e.g., making governance proposals).

Context

IoTeX is a decentralized network that is governed and maintained by Delegates, who are elected by token-holders to produce blocks as part of IoTeX’s Roll-DPoS consensus mechanism. By running a node and participating in consensus, Delegates are rewarded with IOTX tokens for every block they mine, and these rewards are often shared by Delegates with their voters.

Anyone can become a Delegate in the IoTeX Network as long as they meet specific requirements, such as self-staking at least 1.2 million IOTX (to ensure sufficient ‘skin in the game’) and maintaining a server with specific hardware/software requirements (to prevent any potential downtime). The current minimum hardware requirements are shown below:

Please visit https://delegates.iotex.io/ for full details on the IoTeX Delegates Program.

Proposal

This proposal introduces changes to the IoTeX Delegates program, including reducing the minimum self-stake requirement, increasing hardware requirements, and adding new Delegate roles/responsibilities (e.g., making governance proposals). Specifically, we propose the following changes to the Delegates Program:

  • Parameterizing the minimum self-stake requirement to become a Delegate, which will allow us to adjust the minimum self-stake requirement based on market conditions and other factors. For current conditions, suggestions are welcomed regarding the appropriate minimum self-stake requirement.

  • Increasing the minimum hardware requirements to 16GB Memory + 200GB SSD

  • Adding Delegate-only permissions to create new governance proposals

In the future, additional changes to the Delegates Program will be explored, including increasing the number of Consensus Delegates, adjustments to staking rewards, and more. You are welcome to share your thoughts in this thread on any ideas to improve the Delegates Program.

Expected Impact

The overarching goal of this proposal is to make the IoTeX Network:

  • More inclusive by adjusting the financial barrier to become a Delegate, while also requiring sufficient ‘skin in the game’. Note: in addition to the minimum self-stake requirement, anyone that wants to be come a Delegate must also receive >2M total votes (including their own self-stake) from token-holders in order to become a Delegate. As such, someone that self-stakes a lower amount of IOTX will still need to gain votes from the community to become a Delegate.

  • More robust by requiring Delegates to operate more sophisticated hardware/software. The security and scalability of the IoTeX Network is directly correlated to the robustness of the underlying nodes that power the network.

  • More engaged by inviting Delegates to propose new ideas and changes for the IoTeX Network via decentralized governance. Limiting new governance proposals to Delegates-only will also increase the amount of Delegates, which adds more robustness to the IoTeX Network. Delegates have a wealth of knowledge about IoTeX, and we believe they should represent their voters to make meaningful changes to the IoTeX Network.

We believe these updates to the Delegates program are low hanging fruit that can be applied immediately and add value to the IoTeX Network.

Implementation Plan & Future Work

If this proposal is approved, the IoTeX Foundation will implement the changes independently:

  • Reducing the minimum stake requirement requires changes to the Delegate registration workflow

  • Increasing the minimum hardware requirement is tricky to enforce as it’s difficult to verify the hardware that Delegates use; however, all official guidance will be updated to suggest these new hardware requirements and we will explore ways to verify that Delegates meet the new thresholds

  • The profile page of the Delegates Portal will be adjusted to include a field where Delegates can share their username on the IoTeX Forum, which we will use to whitelist Delegates to create new proposals/threads

In the future, additional changes to the Delegates Program (and ancillary programs) will be explored, including increasing the number of Consensus Delegates, adjustments to staking rewards, and more.

Call to Action

Please share your thoughts on this proposal using the comments section below – we appreciate your feedback!

We will open up approval voting after collecting some feedback from the community for a couple weeks.

6 Likes

Great idea Larry. Fully support it!
Lower self stakes and more hardware. More delegate involvement

2 Likes

I like this a lot, Larry!

My suggestion is 500,000 IOTX minimum Stake Amount

Also, is there a way for the Developers to come up with a way to test Delegates’ hardware? Put them through a ‘stress test’ that only a system with sufficient capabilities could pass? (This could be one-time or periodic)

7 Likes

I like the idea of 500,000 iotx min. Stake. That equtes to about 15k USD. Which i think would be sufficient “skin in”. Additionally, having a total stake of 1 million to participate in block production seems to make sense. Increasing the hardware requirements to the suggested requirements is reasonable also. Thanks everyone! IoTeX!

4 Likes

I would rather drop self-stake to 100-200k to give opportunity for individual validators (like me) who hold IOTEX to take part in consensus.
And also increase the total number of validators to increase engagement from individual level rather than corporate level. In the long run it will bring more decentralisation if individual validators grow in number. Thus, we would face less risks similar to what ETH recently faced with Tornado/OFAC and potential future restriction on validating transactions.

5 Likes

We think it would be good to allow delegates to adjust the minimum requirements to encourage new delegates to join the IoTeX network. Would this be calculated average by the elected delegates? Assuming for simplicity there are 3 elected, 1 sets to 500k, 2 sets to 600k, 3 sets to 700k, the average is therefor dynamic and current is 600k ((500+600+700)/3)

We have also always preferred rotation in block producers, originally we encouraged increase of rotation with lower epoch (1hr vs 1 day). We would propose similar PoB rotation is adopted vs random so your vote weight has a bearing on Consensus committee , will provide further details in future proposal on that subject

2 Likes

Great idea. I would propose 500.000 iotx and 1.000.000 votes. However sufficient rewards would be necessary for delegates, similar to Eth new model

2 Likes

This proposal sounds great…Many individuals find it hard to become a delegate because of high entrance capital needed. Myself included would like to be a future delegate…any tips on how to become a delegate for IOTEX.

I would prefer not to increase or decrease the minimum requirement, as it will destabilise the delegate system. Anyone who wants to run a full node can do so at no cost, whereas being a delegate involves personal dedication and sustaining a well operating, high quality node for your users.

The high capital requirements set a threshold for people to commit to their node, destroying this balance of investment to quality could destabilise the system

I think that if we did not decrease it already when IOTX was hovering $0.2, then there is no need to decrease it now.

Thanks for sharing this proposal, looks good!

RE: Adjustment to self-stake and voting for delegates.

TL;DR
500k $IOTX stake
1MN votes

I have noticed several people mentioning the 500,000k $IOTX barrier, I tend to agree with this (considering current and future markets), while raising the vote requirements. At the time of writing, 500k $IOTX is sitting in the $15,000 USD range, though at the $IOTX ATH, a much larger investment is required. The crypto market moves in cycles, and IoTeX is poised to play a big part in the future of IoT, MachineFi, and so much more, lots of potential. (DYOR, not investment advice). Either way, ROI for delegates should even out.

Additionally, lowering this barrier to entry could diversify the ecosystem and allow more communities to get involved.

Cheers!