In an effort to increase transparency on the IOST blockchain, the IOST Global Alliance (IGA) will, on a quarterly basis, establish “Improvement Initiatives” to formerly be sent to the IOST Team. These initiatives will be comprised of areas the alliance believes IOST needs to improve upon for the betterment of all individual members within the global IOST community. When the IGA receives a response from the IOST team, both the initiatives and the responses will be released to the community.

Headshot of Lawrence Lim from IOSTThe following are the Q3 Improvement Initiatives with response from Lawrence Lim, Head of Business Development for IOST.

IGA: Is there a way to have better communication between the IOST foundation and all block producers when updates are needed for IOST software? By giving nodes a heads-up about when updates are expected, we can help ensure that there are no nodes who do not update to a more recent version of the IOST software.

IOST: My understanding of the current process is that we will give 24 hours to update. Here are some options we can consider:

Will it be better if the updates are done on a regular basis? For example, on either Wednesday or Thursday every alternate week. I believe that this has been brought up before.

Or do you need say, 48 hours notice that an update is coming live? I think that will work!

In order to push for further decentralization, what would be required from ICAC or IGA to help onboard nodes to the IOST blockchain? What technical ability or understanding would need to be learned? By helping integrate an easy process for node onboarding by any current node or alliance of nodes, this would take more work off of the IOST foundation.

IOST: The actual onboarding process is very fast now — create an IOST wallet, fill out the form and the team will upload the node information on-chain. I know there have been issues with super long node processing in the past, but this has passed and we can even do it within 24 hours these days. So not much education is needed for new nodes.

I think the most important part of node onboarding would be to find nodes that are invested and motivated to the growth of the IOST ecosystem. Nodes that will actively market and promote IOST, build useful tools, launch innovative B2C products etc., especially in areas where IOST has little to no penetration, would be the most lucrative for us.

The circulating supply numbers on CoinMarketCap are not up to date, likely because CMC lags behind changes. It appears that the total supply should be 21.46 billion, with circulating supply equalling roughly 13.63 billion after you subtract foundation cold wallet holdings of 7.83 billion. Has the foundation thought about updating CoinMarketCap to reflect the real circulating supply?

IOST: As I understand Jade has sent in a request to CMC. I am always happy to share more info on this from our past experience updating CMC!

Is it possible to setup a monthly call between you and the IOST Global Alliance (IGA) in order to ensure the development and growth of IOST is as transparent and strong as possible? Further, by coordinating on various marketing initiatives and having a solidified way to communicate we believe we can act as an outlet for IOST in North America and Europe.

IOST: Yes. Happy to do that. On marketing initiatives, Alexa can help in news distribution. We also have a tight content partnership with BTC Manager now, and we can push certain marketing campaigns through them, or deliver IOST news through them. Just today we agreed to run a community article contest + IOST cofounder article + IOST roadmap update and forward projections article.

It would be interesting if together with IGA members, we can on-board more news partnerships similar to how we do with BTC Manager — it can be an effective way to scale eyeballs and market awareness in North America/Europe.

Is there any support from the IOST foundation that smaller nodes should expect while running block producers at a time when the price does not allow the node to break-even on costs? Perhaps ICAC, IGA and the IOST foundation can collaborate on a way to bridge the gap for these smaller nodes while price and the overall market is low.

IOST: Unlikely, given that free market dynamics is in play here. Given that the block reward pool is fixed at 210m IOST, changes in token price affects the overall fiat value of block production, which means that the number of block producers can be expected to grow or reduce in accordance to token price. It’s a natural market function for some producers to stop or join, so that the rewards vs. cost equation always goes back to equilibrium within the block producer ecosystem.

Lower prices can also be seen as opportunities for non-block producers or even new nodes to buy more IOST and commit into block production. Existing block producers wishing to manage budget can choose to switch into partner nodes which require no capital outlay and is still eligible to share in the other 630m IOST being given out yearly.

The IGA has completed its first draft of a governance model for its organization (see below). It is required that a majority vote be held on all “Directives” that are proposed by an IGA member. What suggestions do you have for the current governance draft and the future additions to the governance model for the IGA?

IOST: I think this can be an interesting experiment by IGA on governance. As you rightly pointed out, governance is extremely tricky — always possible to have cartels, private agreements, etc. that result in rigged outcomes.
I’m thinking along the lines of IGA being the sandbox for the governance system as proposed below. Iterate this model and refine it over several rounds of voting, alongside ICAC and IOST Foundation as bystanders to learn from the experiment, and see how at some point the improved governance model can be applied broadly to the entire community. This can possibly allow us to phase in a well structured voting system.

IOST Global Alliance Governance

Passing group initiatives (IGA Directives), must be done with majority support.

Directives shall be plans that involve commitment from at least three other ‘Members’ (Individuals from different member groups (i.e. Metanyx, Sutler Ventures and Bitboy). Each Directive must be laid out in a google doc template. This single template can be used for all directives in the IGA as it will have a section for Yea, Nae, and Abstention votes.

Before being finalized for a vote, the authors of the Directive are able to vote, and if they wish, they can let other members of the IGA add onto and make suggested edits to the Directive. This drafting of the directive is called a Working Directive. Once the authors are satisfied with their plan, they will then pin it in the IGA Telegram chat for fellow members to review and submit additional ideas which can be added if the authors agree.

Those members who contribute to the Directives are then authors of the directive and should vote yes when their directive is up for vote. The IGA telegram chat will have as much time to vote (i.e. place their member node name in a vote category) as the authors deem necessary. The process should generally take no more than 3 days.

Each member node (member influencer, etc.) has one vote. The individuals within an organization that is a part of the IGA do not all have one vote. Google doc revision history may be checked in the case of a disputed vote to see if a fellow member manipulated votes.

After the time for the vote has passed a simple majority is taken of those votes cast. In the case of abstentions the decorum is changed and only the majority of yea and nay votes is considered. It is encouraged that other members feel free to participate in writing and crafting the future of the IGA so “Unfriendly Amendments” are also up to a majority vote. These arise when a member suggests a change to a Directive but the Authors do not all accept this change. It is then up to the IGA to vote on it separately at the bottom of the original voting doc where if it has a majority it will pass.

This is a simple way to lay the framework for clear and productive governance action within the IGA.

Governance Model proposed by Connor (IOST Toronto)

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