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What is Sapien?
Sapien is an Ethereum-based social network built for humans. Launched as an undergraduate project by Ankit Bhatia & Rob Giometti at UC Berkeley in 2017, Sapien is building a decentralized, private social network built on a foundation of independent, self-governing communities called Tribes which all participate in the SPN token economy.
The company is established on a principle of “Humans First,” which means Sapien will stand by these pledges:
- Data sovereignty: as a social network, Sapien knows that privacy is paramount and will never collect personal data without consent
- Self-governance: Sapien commits to give communities the tools they need to guide and protect their communities, so it will always be people who moderate and promote content, never an exploitable algorithm
- Humanity: Sapien is built by humans for humans, not trolls or bots, and the platform aims to make it incredibly hard for malicious users or content to spread across the network
Sapien aims to build the first Web3 social network for mainstream users by building a familiar social user interface and experience and abstracting away the complexities of blockchain by implementing instant, gasless transactions for the end-user and by reinventing the wallet experience to be simpler and more intuitive.
Sapien aligns its business model with the best interests of its users, so its primary source of revenue is the nominal fees it applies to Charges and Rewards.
While Sapien was originally founded in the United States by Ankit & Rob, the team itself has grown to a team of 20, globally distributed across 10 countries.
What is the SPN token and how does it work?
The SPN token is an ERC20-compliant utility token that can be used to reward and recognize valuable contributions to the communities, subscribe or purchase access to content shared by creators, and to engage in social-powered e-commerce. With the SPN token, Sapien aims to democratize the power inherent to social media - social, economic, political, technological - by decentralizing the platform controls all the way down to community leaders, rather than a boardroom and a handful of executives.
One feature that separates Sapien from other social platforms is that content sorting is governed by a system of “Charges,” which are tokenized boosts users can give to posts and comments as a reward for their quality. Charges boost the presence of posts in user feeds and reward the post creator/commenter with SPN tokens within 24 hours of the Charge being given. This process gives monetary weight to the liking system commonly employed on social platforms and will enable creators to directly connect with and receive compensation from their audiences.
Sapien operates on a proof-of-value protocol. Users can stake their SPN tokens using the Sapien smart contract, which progressively unlocks the tokens over the course of a calendar year. Sapien employs a “Stake Rank” system which determines the platform fees charges to users at the points of Charging and collecting rewards, with the user staking more tokens than anyone else receiving the lowest fees and fees being assigned according to Stake Rank.