Check out the Signaling post for more colour.
It is akin to participating in a survey and being rewarded based on the proved correctness of the answer. Once more, one can delegate the growth of the network directed with capital, something I find quite fascinating.
In FOAM, mining block rewards are spatially weighted by the signals. This further incentivizes the growth and dissipation of the network across a variety of users and locations. Prior to the initiation of mining, participants will signal where location services are needed, and in doing so increase the eventual block reward of that location. This incentive mechanism is to coordinate contributors, in a grass roots fashion, to operate the protocol. The potential rewards for a signaler are linked to that of the miners. Signals are effectively acting as indicators to where the most number of transactions are happening, and the FOAM protocol allocates a direct ratio reward based on length of signal and accuracy.
The mining contracts can only be deployed as a result of community testing and feedback in order to accurately set reward and punishment parameters from this data. This means that the actual rewards from signaling will be calculated after the fact and are effectively not yet enforced. The design of signaling has been done with extreme simplicity in mind. It allows for as large a design space as possible so that the community may determine the appropriateness of different iterations and implementations of the mining contract as feedback from Signaling becomes apparent.
In principle, the purpose of the signaling contracts are
- To bond the FOAM token to indicate where there is demand for Zones and adjust the mining rewards appropriately
- To record signaling for possible future rewards of early signalers