With the implementation of an ION Improvement Proposal (IIP #3: Revised block reward schedule), the ION block reward schedule has been updated to account for a network that is larger and more active than what was envisioned when the White Paper was published in 2016.
At about the same time that the fork occurred in February of 2019, the scheduled halving from 11.5 ION per block down to 5.75 occurred as planned.
With the adoption of IIP #3, that block reward level will be maintained for the next five years, instead of declining again in early 2020. This revision will sustain the incentive for masternodes to operate on the network. That’s important because masternodes constitute a secondary network layer that offloads work, keeping transactions on the core ION network fast and efficient. Rewarding masternodes optimizes current usage and prepares the network to accommodate all the token transactions in the future.