ICPad is the first “marketplace for community contributions” on the Internet Computer. It is designed to be the “go-to place” for users to find the latest cool dApps to contribute to. ICPad will also let dApps spot the best contributors in their domain and attract and reward them. To avoid “Sybil farming,” we are introducing a new reputation system (Proof of Talent) so that every contribution and reward only goes to the deserving contributors.
What attracted you initially to blockchain?
We come from a non-crypto Fintech background and were attracted to blockchain by a few properties we could not find in web 2. Namely, it is decentralized, permissionless and the use of tokens makes it possible to fairly distribute ownership to those who contribute the most: core team members, power users, and partners. Blockchain also allows new organizations to focus on contributions rather than "command and control" (legacy companies). These properties are essential to set firm commitments when the project contributors are distributed around the planet with different cultures, jurisdictions, and talents.
Of all the platforms you could have chosen, why did you decide to build on the Internet Computer?
We looked at various Blockchains such as Solana, Stellar, and even EOS, which I had a chance to work with in 2018. I reached out to most, and Dom personally responded to me and suggested connecting with DFINITY if the idea was impactful.
The Internet Computer, in our assessment, was the first blockchain to take the dApps fully on-chain without having to keep parts (front-end) on AWS. This is very important for businesses based in frontier markets. AWS pricing is not based on the value of your App in your local economy. Local governments can also easily shut down your App if you rely on a centralized infrastructure.
We often work in developing markets where censorship resistance is key, and infrastructure costs should align with the created value both locally and globally.
How long has your company been established? What is your business model based on?
ICPad was established in August 2021.
We connect users to dApps and projects to which they can contribute. Each contribution is assessed and rated with a talent "talent score." We also let developers connect with the contributors in their domain and offer rewards in exchange. ICPad takes a small fee when issuing rewards.
What makes your company marketable, and what will ensure its long-term success?
We started investigating how to set up reward airdrops when we realized that almost every campaign is subject to Sybil farming. This is a significant problem in crypto in general, beyond just the Internet Computer. Some dApps (Uniswap) even run retroactive campaigns rewarding early pilot users. From then on, some users (including VCs) started "farming" by creating multiple wallets in anticipation of future retroactive campaigns.
Typical proofs of humanity aren't effective and sometimes can make the experience cumbersome. We came up with Proof of Talent, a way to score users’ contributions and build a reputation similar to academic research (peer reviews and citations). This has worked effectively in science for decades and has been applied to Search Engines (Google's Page Rank). Also, talent is something even humans have a hard time gaming.
With Proof of Talent, we can offer effective ways for power users to measure their contribution in various dApps and get rewarded for it while ensuring partner dApps are connected with the best and authentic contributors in their domain.
In the long term, we believe that Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) have huge potential but need effective ways to assess and fairly distribute value based on projects contributions. Contributors to projects are as important as token holders. There is no successful DAO if only those holding tokens passively are rewarded (staking). Bringing value day after day should be taken into account.
What challenges have you faced while building your company?
We had to train some of our dev team on the crypto sector, culture, and tech, which took some time, but the team is brave and fearless. We also had some issues with early IC deployments. Much has been learned, and we continue to make progress. As members of the Internet Computer community, we are establishing more contacts (making more friends), with some even offering their contributions, time, and ideas to get ICPad off the ground.
The BIG Number
Total Memory of all the Node Machines, according to dfinityexplorer
What overall vision do you have? Do you have a roadmap? If so, what does it involve?
ICPad is a marketplace for contributions to crypto projects. What makes or breaks a dApp or Blockchain project are power users’ contributions which include: volunteering to moderate discord or Reddit channels, building tutorials, supporting developers with tips and workarounds, and jumping into GitHub to correct bugs or suggest a new logic. Contributions should count as much as holding tokens for both earning and voting. We believe that the crypto sector is missing this and tends today to overly reward passive staking of tokens.
Our roadmap includes offering the best reward mechanism to dApps and power users in the Internet Computer community with an extremely smart Proof of Talent reputation scoring. We will also launch unique types of NFTs (non-transferrable) tied to the user reputation and evolve with it (similar concept to badges and decorations in the army).
We intend to evolve into a DAO where only worthwhile and valuable contributions count.
What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?
The advantage with ICPad is users and dApps don’t need to design new organizational concepts (such as "colonies"). They can directly use the tool by posting contributions and/or rewarding contributors. We also score users’ contribution in a domain that assesses its legacy value which may remain for years after a high impact contribution. There are many reputations systems in crypto, such as Colony. In comparison, Colony is focused on the short-term reputation. A legacy is even harder to forge.
Lastly, the ICPad mechanism rewards the daily contribution of the best developers who have been challenging the concept and making it evolve from the initial draft in August. Many friends will recognize themselves in this statement, and I want to thank them for keeping my DM probably one of the richest on discord.
Tell us about the team.
Our team is highly distributed and includes developers in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Some are new to crypto and have made a significant effort to up their game in a very short time. We will unveil more about the team profiles as the project progresses toward launch.
What advice do you have for anyone working in the same space as you?
My main advice is to reach out to other dApps developers, creators, and founders in the trenches. Reputation is subtle, hard to assess, and "reward farmers" are very creative. Therefore, constant updates from the ground are key to building an effective solution. Any solution that does not evolve will be left behind.
What other projects building on the Internet Computer are you most excited about?
There are true gems on the Internet Computer. Some of these projects are already announced, and some are still in the works. I am very excited about CrowdEats (decentralized Yelp), Internet Astronauts (the most innovative NFTs producers). I am in awe of the upcoming Bitcoin-ICP integration. Bitcoin is becoming the de-factor reserve currency not just online but for cross-border transactions in trade. The ability to build sophisticated smart contracts is what has been missing for industrial use cases to leverage bitcoin and solve industry-wide challenges: letter of credits, credit rating in trustless markets, payment aggregation on frontier markets, group finance, etc.
Do you have any plans to collaborate with other projects building on the Internet Computer?
ICPad is essentially a tool that every dApp will be able to leverage and use as it sees fit. We plan to collaborate with every dApp in IC willing to assess its best contributors and reward them. We also plan to collaborate more deeply with some selected dApps, especially the NFT sector.
Do you have any token sales planned for the future? If so, when? Can you give details?
We will issue tokens once native tokens are available on IC. But even without token sales, every contributor to ICPad, be it as a builder, a power user, or partner, the user will be rewarded.
We wish ICPad all the best with its launch!