Constant Block Reward (CBR) is in the development pipeline with a proposal released and a poll running to determine the block reward value (along with some other economic factors).
The implementation of CBR is expected to bring a drastic increase in staking difficulty to the network. This means greater security and more stability. It also means that the GRC required to stake once in 6 months is going to increase.
To briefly recap why this is important:
Gridcoin rewards participants who contribute their Idle Processing Potential (IPP) to distributed computing tasks on the BOINC platform. As a participant completes tasks, they earn Gridcoin in a Research Savings Account (RSA). This Earned Research Reward (ERR) is moved from the participant's RSA to their wallet when the participant stakes a block. In order to tie a participant's RSA with their BOINC Cross-Project ID (CPID), the participant must register a Beacon. All the calculations for the CPIDs, RSAs, and their ERRs are performed in something called the Neural Net. In order to ensure that the neural net doesn't get clogged calculating idle beacons, beacons expire after 6 months. This means that participants must renew their beacon every 6 months. This means that in order to receive their ERR from their RSA, a participant must stake a block once every 6 months.
So if you have ERR in your RSA, but don't stake within 6 months, that ERR is lost.
The fact that you must stake to receive your ERR is an issue without CBR. With CBR, it becomes a problem.The Current System
In general, individuals are encouraged to save or buy GRC so they can reach the level of "solo miner". With the current idle-APR system and resulting low network difficulty, this is arguably reasonable: Buy a few hundred GRC, or buy some processing gear and earn that GRC, and then stake your ERR.
If you don't buy your GRC, you join the pool. The poo...