Written by Zach Quezada

Business Development  |  ICO Alert
January 17 2018

Sapien (SPN) — ICO Alert Report

Sapien (SPN) — ICO Alert Report

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ICO Alert Quick Facts

  • A decentralized social news platform on the Ethereum blockchain
  • Beta platform is currently live, register on the Sapien website
  • Pre-ICO offers at least a 20% bonus, more for large contribution
  • Team members are Y Combinator graduates
  • 235,000,000 / 500,000,000 tokens available for contributors; more tokens distributed to value creators at a controlled inflation rate

What is Sapien?

Sapien is a decentralized, tokenized, reputation-based, self-regulated, social news platform that will reward millions of creators, share ad revenue with users, and fight fake news. Built on the Ethereum Blockchain, Sapien is powered by its utility token, SPN, and aims to bring a Blockchain-based social platform to the masses.
— Ankit Bhatia | CEO and Co-Founder

Q&A — Ankit Bhatia | CEO and Co-Founder

ICO Alert: How does the Sapien token (SPN) function within the platform and why is it needed?

Bhatia: The SPN token is the required utility token to access the Sapien platform. Users can receive SPN for creating high-quality content, curating, and viewing advertisements on Sapien. In order to receive payouts for creating content or curating, a user must stake some SPN. When a user stakes SPN, it will be locked for the duration of the staking contract and unable to be exchanged. SPN can be exchanged between users for micropayments and in the Sapien marketplace to purchase goods and services. The SPN token will also be used to give users a voice in the Democratic Autonomous Platform and in Sapien communities by creating a proposal system to influence the direction of the product and organization.

ICO Alert: How does the reputation system work? What keeps certain groups from manipulating the system and monopolizing content on the platform?

Bhatia: Users gain reputation as their contributions are evaluated positively, and lose reputation if their contributions are evaluated negatively. Reputation is specific to sub-communities within Sapien. The change in reputation from a contribution depends on the median evaluation, so in order for a group of users to manipulate the system, they must make up at least half of the voters of a single contribution, which is infeasible for larger branches.

ICO Alert: Can you detail the Proof-of-Value protocol? What are some of the other premier features of the Sapien platform?

Bhatia: The Proof-of-Value protocol is a multi-pronged approach on Sapien to distinguish and incentivize valuable contributions. There are four components to our platform algorithm:
1. Identities on blockchain
2. Community-based reputation system
3. Something-at-stake design
4. Stance detection with machine learning
Users will be rewarded with SPN for creating content that is evaluated positively. Evaluations are weighted by reputation to ensure that quality content which reflects the values of the community is promoted. Our protocol is designed not only to promote quality contributions, but also to minimize the influence of trolls and the spread of fake news. We will use machine learning to perform stance detection, determining and displaying the probability that a claim is false based on the content of other posts and articles and the reputation of other contributors. Sapien will also enable storing a user’s identity on the Blockchain, making it more difficult for malicious actors to pretend to be someone else. Users that have SPN are disincentivized from acting maliciously since their SPN may be frozen if they act illegally.

ICO Alert: “Curators” seem to have an important role in the functioning of the ecosystem. Can you describe their role and how they interact with other users of the platform?

Bhatia: Curators identify quality content before it has gained popularity. These users spend time filtering out spam and irrelevant content. On Sapien, curators are rewarded for their efforts with SPN tokens.
Curator User Story:
Name: Waylan
Background: Waylan is often found in the “new” section of Reddit and 9gag. He spends some of his time curating content on these platforms, giving an upvote if he believes a post should go to the front page or a downvote if he thinks the content is irrelevant or a repost.
Problem: Users like Waylan are absolutely essential to platforms that depend on users to evaluate the content generated by other creators in an online community. Unfortunately, Waylan is not currently rewarded for his time and effort despite thousands of curators like him underpinning user-generated platforms.
Solution: Waylan joins Sapien. As a curator on the platform, Waylan uses his staked SPN to gives quality contributions upvotes. Depending on how early he votes, Waylan now can earn rewards in the form of SPN tokens if the community also finds the post valuable. At the end of the rewards window, Waylan will receive all of his originally staked SPN back and any newly staked SPN, proportional to the amount he originally staked and how early he voted.

ICO Alert: Can you take us through a specific user case on Sapien? How do you plan on attracting content consumers to your platform?

Creator User Story:
Name: Alice
Background: Alice is a prolific content creator who just graduated from college. She loves writing articles on technology and current events. She also recently launched a podcast on SoundCloud to document her growth as an author and a human.
Problem: As much as she enjoys creating digital content on the Internet, Alice is disappointed that she has made $0 from her articles, posts, and podcast. She would love to create content for a community of like-minded people that can reward her for her consistent and passionate work. She also wants to set up an easy way for power-users to subscribe to her premium content.
Solution: Alice finds out about Sapien. She posts her articles, podcast, and videos in the technology branch, receiving great feedback from the community. Her efforts are rewarded with SPN tokens, some of which she uses to launch her own branch on Sapien for premium content. She eventually gets hundreds of thousands of followers that are subscribed and paying her weekly in SPN tokens for her content. Alice is excited that she can finally pursue her dreams!
To attract creators and consumers to our platform, we will include several incentives for new users. The earlier a user signs up, the more SPN tokens they will receive. We will also create a referral program that will let a user send invitations to join the platform.

ICO Alert: You launched a private beta in early 2017. Can you update us on the progress of the application?

Bhatia: We have added several features and we are in the process of integrating the SPN token into the platform. Before the completion of our crowdsale, the SPN token will already have real utility on the Sapien platform. Please find the complete list of features here:

ICO Alert: The Ethereum network has occasionally suffered from slow transaction times. Is there any concern that this may affect the Sapien platform?

Bhatia: With the current transaction speed of Ethereum, it is not possible to build a mass-market Blockchain-based social platform. Our team is looking to Plasma and state channels as potential routes to scale the platform to millions of users. 2018 will be great year for Blockchain as many decentralized applications finally will come to fruition. Ethereum has a great roadmap ahead, including sharding, Casper, and many other exciting approaches to scalability!

ICO Alert: As a non-Sapien question we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and crypto currency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years?

Bhatia : Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google will all have to adapt to the decentralized, distributed Web 3.0 future that is Blockchain or risk facing extinction. At least one of those four companies will face a serious decentralized competitor that disrupts existing systems, requiring less trust or removing a middleman from revenue models. ICOs will continue to exist with increased regulation in the United States from the SEC. Crypto-havens with less regulations will become extremely popular. Bitcoin will break $150,000.

Pre-ICO Information
The pre-ICO begins on January 31, 2018 and ends February 15, 2018. The base rate for the pre-ICO includes a 20% bonus compared to the ICO. There is an additional bonus incentivizing large contribution amounts:

>$250,000 = 25% bonus
>$100,000 = 15% bonus
>$50,000 = 7% bonus
>$10,000 = 3% bonus

There are a total of 10,000,000 tokens available during the presale, with no minimum goal. Presale tokens will be distributed once the ICO ends. The pre-ICO token price will be calculated closer to the pre-ICO.

ICO Information
The ICO begins on March 3, 2018 and ends April 3, 2018. There is a hard cap of $30,000,000, that if reached will end the ICO immediately. Ether, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through a Shapeshift.io integration are accepted as contribution. The final token price will be calculated closer to the start date of the ICO. The minimum goal is 50,000,000 SPN, which if not reached, will initiate a refund process. There is a bonus structure incentivizing early contribution that is as follows:

Day 1: 15% bonus
Week 1: 10% bonus
Week 2: 3% bonus

Token Distribution Information
There is an initial total of 500,000,000 SPN tokens being created, with 215,000,000 available across the pre-ICO (10,000,000) and ICO (215,000,000). Tokens will be distributed at the end of the ICO. Any unsold tokens will be transferred to the Sapien reserve. Additional SPN tokens will be issued and distributed to value creators at a controlled inflation rate that is equal to that of Ethereum’s inflation rate.

The full token allocation is as follows:

Public Contributors — 45%: SPN created during our token sale will be reserved for contributors who send ETH to the smart contract address.

Platform Reserve — 30%: platform reserve which will be distributed in our Token Sale Phase #2 to augment platform growth, distributed via Sapien, or burned to control inflation.

Team — 20%: SPN will be locked in a smart contract for the founders and team, subject to a 6-month cliff and 24 month vesting period.

Bounties — 5%: reserved for our bounty program, contingent on the total number of participants in the campaign.

Sapien tokens will exist in staked and unstaked forms. Staked tokens will provide users with platform functionality and unstaked tokens will be listed on exchanges. The token will keep track of a reputation within each community the user is part of, accumulating a score that reflects their expertise and reduces the spread of fake news.

Use of ICO Proceeds

Development: 55%
Development for SPN, including core team and community developers. Funds will be liquidated as our company milestones are met.

Marketing: 15%
We will encourage organic community growth and launch an incentivized referral program. Thus, we have a much smaller marketing budget than other similarly situated companies. Traditional media channels and Sapien will be used to reach our user base.

Administrative: 15%
To ensure day-to-day operations run smoothly as the project grows.

Security Audits: 10%
A separate budget has been allocated for continually auditing any new smart contracts our team develops, both for the SPN token and the Sapien platform.

Legal: 5%
Compliance with the SEC and other regulatory entities will be a top priority for our token. Our budget is allocated to cover existing and any new regulatory laws applicable to SPN.


For a full list of team members please visit the Sapien website.

Social Media

View the Sapien Website here.

View the only comprehensive list of active and upcoming ICOs here.

1. Sapien Website, Sapien (2018)
2. Sapien Whitepaper, Sapien (2018)

Topics: Fintech, Blockchain, ICO, Cryptocurrency, Finance