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IoTeX Mainnet — Staking/Voting & The Grand Design

Hello IoTeX community! We are quickly approaching the IoTeX Mainnet launch and Delegates election. To get you familiar with the voting process, we will have another blog post coming soon with step-by-step instructions for voters! But first, we explain the design and rationale of IoTeX’s staking and voting process in this blog post.

The Grand Design of the IoTeX Network

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IoTeX Architecture Layers
  • Governance layer, instantiated by the Gravity Chain (i.e., no one can see it but it governs everything in the universe), is the layer that acts as a decentralized government for the IoTeX network. It uses a liveness-oriented consensus scheme (e.g., PoS variant) to facilitate tasks such as staking, voting, slashing, protocol-related proposals, and more. It is a critical component required to ensure high reliability, throughput, and transparency, and will be launched in Q3/Q4 2019.
  • Orchestration layer, instantiated by the Root Chain, is the general manager and coordinator for all subchains. It is powered by our safety-oriented Roll-DPoS consensus mechanism and aims for high throughput and reliability. This orchestration layer (i.e., the root chain) will be launched in Q1 2019 (i.e., Mainnet Alpha).
  • Operational layer, instantiated by various subchains, is the concrete unit that handles business logic related to specific use cases/applications. (e.g., supply chain, smart city, data exchanges) In IoTeX’s design, subchains share the same pool of Delegates as the root chain, so anyone can spin up a subchain as effortlessly and securely as spinning up an EC2 instance on AWS Cloud. The first IoTeX subchain (codename: Avo Chain) is expected to be launched in Q2/Q3 2019, which will be focused on privacy.
  • Execution layer, is an optional layer for specific subchains. For example, Avo Chain Delegates (i.e., block producers) will have to offload privacy-preserving computation tasks to certain devices for execution.

Staking/Voting on DPoS Blockchains is Risky

IoTeX believes deeply in decentralized governance; therefore, tasks such as staking/voting should happen outside of the operational layer. But what are we gonna do before our governance layer (Gravity Chain) is ready? The answer is simple — use Ethereum as the governance layer for now, as our circulating IOTX token (ERC20) is already compatible with Ethereum!

Staking/Voting on Ethereum

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  1. To stake/vote, users send the current ERC20 token to a smart contract deployed on Ethereum.
  2. IoTeX blockchain nodes (running iotex-core software) will periodically pull the state of this contract (call it a “rank feed”) from Ethereum to determine the Delegates and respective rankings for the current and next epochs.
  3. Rewards for Delegates are based on the rank feed and will be distributed on the IoTeX blockchain in the IoTeX native token (not ERC20). The native token will be used to run transactions and execute smart contracts on the IoTeX blockchain.

To facilitate the conversion of native tokens to ERC20 and vice versa, we have prepared a two-way token swap service. ERC20 tokens, which will remain trading on exchanges, can be swapped for native tokens (1:1 swap) to run transactions on IoTeX blockchain. Native tokens, which will be given as Delegate rewards, can be effortlessly swapped for ERC20 tokens to stake/vote or trade on exchanges.

Staking/Voting Process

We will provide a step-by-step video of the voting process, as well as a comprehensive Voter’s Handbook in the coming week. Until then, be sure to participate in our upcoming Community Reward Programs to familiarize yourself with the voting process / webtool and earn points!

About IoTeX

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