Dear ICONists,

Today, we are happy to announce that ICON Foundation is changing its policy to allow ICONLOOP employees’ participation in the ICON project from RESTRICTED to LIMITED. This means that ICONLOOP employees may apply to the following two (2) programs:

  1. Employee Grant Participation Program: Employees may submit an application to the ICON Community Grant Program with their independent project. The application process is the same, except the projects must also be approved by ICONLOOP executives before submission.

  2. Employee P-Rep Participation Program: Employees may apply to become a P-Rep candidate. A team of 3–8 persons must submit their contribution proposal with details on how they plan to add value to the ICON project. If approved, the ICON Foundation will delegate 50,000 ICX per employee up to one (1) year (max). Each team must cover its node registration fee and operational costs. Only up to 10 teams (max) will be approved. Submitted applications will be available for viewing on the website similar to other P-Rep candidates. Also, for each 50,000 ICX delegated for the Employee P-Rep Participation Program, the ICON Foundation will remove an equivalent amount from the ICON Foundation node.

As you know, ICONLOOP and its employees have played a key role in our growing ecosystem as our primary technology partner and our ecosystem expansion partner. Our work together has thus far resulted in one of the most utilized blockchain platforms in the world and the market leader in Korea. We believe these two (2) programs will further accelerate the development of our ecosystem by incentivizing individuals with the best knowledge of ICON’s technology to contribute even more. Furthermore, this announcement aligns with our open-source vision and celebrates the hard work that has gone into the project over the past 2.5 years.

What does this mean?

Previously, ICON Foundation and ICONLOOP agreed to restrict ICONLOOP employees from applying for grants and running for P-Reps. Now, ICONLOOP employees will be allowed pending the approval of their respective grant and contribution proposals by both ICONLOOP executives and the ICON Foundation.

Both employee participation programs are designed to incentivize more contributions, especially technology developments. At the same time, they are designed to ensure that we are transparent with the ICON community. Additionally, employees’ participation must not interfere with the employees’ primary day-to-day responsibilities.

Employee Grant Participation Program will be supported with the ICON Foundation’s treasury like all other approved grants. However, Employee P-Rep Participation Program will be supported with a portion of the team allocation that was stated in the original ICON whitepaper. While the majority of individual ICX allocations are still locked-up and vesting, this incentive through delegation support is reflective of our commitment to our key contributors. And, as mentioned above, to offset the total P-Rep block reward distribution amount, the ICON Foundation will remove an equivalent amount of delegation from the ICON Foundation node.

Why now?

The ICON Foundation and ICONLOOP decided to run the employee participation programs based on the following reasons:

1. Promoting entrepreneurship and retaining top talent

ICONLOOP boasts some of the best talents not only in the blockchain space but in the entire tech industry. For example, as a clear leader in blockchain technology in South Korea, ICONLOOP has the largest, most experienced group of engineers. Also, ICONLOOP has the most corporation employees with ‘AWS Certified Solution Architect — Professional’ amongst all AWS Technical Partners Korea.

Many of the employees are highly capable of launching their own startups and they are some of the most sought-out talent prospects today. We believe our employee participation programs empower individuals to continue working on the ICON project while also providing the opportunity to be entrepreneurial outside of their day-to-day responsibilities.

2. Improving upon our open-source vision

The ICON project is an open-source network that anyone can join. ICONLOOP employees are core members of the ICON ecosystem and their contributions have already been substantial. With this program, we want to encourage ICONLOOP employees to participate even further and be incentivized to do so. We envision the ICON project to continue growing for generations to come. Therefore, if and when ICONLOOP employees ever depart the company, we believe they would continue to be incentivized to contribute to the ICON project independently because they are deeply entrenched into our community.

3. Timing is right with over 110 P-reps registered

In the early days of decentralization, our top priority was inclusion and diversity of the network participants, and hence, both the ICON Foundation and ICONLOOP decided to restrict ICONLOOP employees’ participation in the ICON Network. Now that we have over 110 registered P-Reps, we believe it is a good time to lift this policy and accelerate contributions to our ecosystem.

Decentralization was one of the most important milestones in the ICON project, and the team members who contributed to this are already some of the biggest contributors to the ICON project. Therefore, we gladly support their extra efforts, outside of their day-to-day responsibilities, and we believe this incentivization mechanism will increase their interest, participation, and contribution to the ecosystem is the smart decision.

The ICON Team

Hyperconnect the World