Talent Protocol Redux – Part 2: Introducing BuilderFi

Talent Protocol Redux – Part 2: Introducing BuilderFi

Welcome back to our series on Talent Protocol Redux, an internal project to remove legacy features from our app and to find new paths for the protocol. In Part 1, we discussed our plans to retire several legacy features that were no longer serving our community well. Today, we’re thrilled to share new chapters in our journey.

But, first, let’s remove some additional legacy

Before we dive into the heart of our new virtual $TAL experiments, let's touch upon some additional adjustments we've made to enhance your experience:

  • The Sponsorships feature has taken a back seat. While it served its purpose, primarily being used by Talent Protocol for grant distributions, we felt it was time for a change. We’re soft-deleting this tool as we may return to it in the future, but for the time being it’s not really adding value to members.
  • On the identity verification front, our collaboration with Persona has come to an end. But rest assured, we're not leaving you in the lurch. We're already in the process of setting up a more robust verification flow with our new partner, Galxe. Besides, you can still verify yourself with your World ID from Worldcoin.

Our Vision for Token Utility

Why are we embarking on these virtual $TAL experiments? It's simple. We're committed to testing out diverse approaches to elevate the utility of the $TAL token. And we're setting our sights on achieving this by the end of Season 4, all in preparation for the public launch of $TAL.

Project 1: Voting on Talent

Talent House (now called Take Off) scholars in Bogotá.

The Backstory

Our Take Off scholarship program has always been close to our hearts. This initiative was designed to propel high-potential builders to their first global web3 hackathon. And now, we're adding a twist. Instead of the Talent Protocol team handpicking the winners or using a flawed Snapshot system, we're handing over the reins to our community. This time they’ll get to vote for their favorite candidates who are applying for a spot at Devconnect in Istanbul. But how does this voting mechanism work? Let's break it down.

A New Way of Voting

We're transforming the voting system into an experience that's not just fun and fair but also financially rewarding. If your prediction skills are on point and you correctly identify the Take Off scholarship winners, you'll earn a $TAL bonus! It’s a win-win outcome, and we're super excited to see the community's response to it.

$TAL Distribution Mechanics

  1. The Prize Pool: All $TAL from votes goes into a pool. After a 10% protocol fee deduction, this pool is redistributed to those who voted for the winners.
  2. Proportional Shares: The prize pool is split based on vote count. So, if you've backed a winner, you'll get a share proportional to your winning votes.

Fair Voting System

  1. Linear Voting Cost: To ensure fairness, we've set a linear function to calculate vote cost. Your first vote costs 1 $TAL, the second 2 $TAL, the third 3 $TAL, and so on.
  2. Dynamic Pricing: Early voters benefit. If a talent has many votes already, voting for them costs more.
  3. Key Rules: Candidates can't vote for themselves but can support others. But there's no limit to how many votes you can cast for one talent.

Check the Terms & Conditions here.

Our Motivation

We're not just introducing this change for the sake of it. We genuinely want to motivate our members to actively participate in the voting process for Take Off candidates. Additionally, this initiative serves as a pilot to test a fresh approach to $TAL utility.

This project was co-created with the Beta Testers, our most engaged and committed members. We rely on them to give us feedback, test new features or have deep-dive chats about the platform.

When Can You Expect It?

The countdown has begun! We're launching the beta version of this feature in September, specifically for Take Off Istanbul applications. But if you really can’t wait, take a look at this Figma prototype.

Project 2: BuilderFi

Setting the Stage

Before diving into the intricacies of BuilderFi, let's take a moment to reflect on our journey. In our Part 1 blog post, we discussed the challenges and limitations of our initial Talent Tokens model. While the concept was innovative, it became evident that certain aspects needed rethinking for better alignment with our evolving vision.

For those who've been with us since the Talent Tokens era, there's good news. We're offering our community the chance to claim more virtual $TAL. How? Two ways:

  • Burn your existing Talent Tokens for $TAL: if you still hold Talent Tokens, you will soon be able exchange them for $TAL in the Wallet, ensuring you're not left out as we transition to a new model.
  • Claim Staking Rewards: if you've staked on talent in the past, remember to claim your staking rewards. Although we’re not distributing new rewards anymore, the option to claim previous rewards will still be available until the end of 2023.

With this context in place, let's explore BuilderFi, our next step in reimagining the way we connect and support talent in the web3 space.

Introducing BuilderFi

BuilderFi represents a new model to support talent. And while it introduces an element of price fluctuation, the essence remains the same: investing in people's potential and growth.

Think of BuilderFi as the ultimate SocialFi app for builders. It's a platform where web3 newcomers can seek advice from seasoned experts, while also investing in their journey and success.

The app allows users to buy/sell keys of any wallet address that opts-in into the platform. The app automatically imports the profile picture and name from ENS, using Airstack. And it’s easy to find your friends, using Airstack’s Contact Recommendations based on your web3 social follows.

When you buy someone’s key(s), you gain access to that person’s private DMs and you can ask them for tips and guidance. But if you’re not happy with the advice, you can always sell the key(s). This model incentivizes builders to give good answers, otherwise people sell their keys.

The natural process of some holders cashing out their key after receiving advice is both good for the owner as they earn a share of the trading fees and also creates an opportunity for new entrants as price drops.

The key’s price fluctuates according to supply and demand, following a quadratic bonding curve. The bonding curve mechanism prevents builders from having more holders than they can pay attention to, because it becomes prohibitively expensive beyond a certain size.

Every transaction in the app, buy or sell, has a 15% fee on top: 5% goes to the person whose shares are being traded, 5% goes to the key holders, and 5% goes to the protocol. A higher 15% fee on top helps reduce speculation that we often see in similar apps.

The first BuilderFi prototype.

The Genesis of BuilderFi

Filipe and Pedro at Ethereum Singapore.

Our journey with BuilderFi began during Ethereum Singapore (10-12 September), where the first prototype saw the light of day. BuilderFi was the most awarded project at the hackathon, winning 4 awards from Airstack, Polygon, Mantle and Taiko. Besides the awards we saw genuine excitement about the idea, including a shoutout from Airstack's CEO, that only solidified our confidence in its potential.

Our belief in the concept of "investing in talent" remains unwavering. And with the SocialFi trend gaining momentum, we felt it was the perfect time to introduce BuilderFi.

What’s next?

Our team is now iterating and refining the concept. Our strategy is to roll out a private alpha version of BuilderFi as a standalone app in October. Why separate from the main Talent Protocol app, you ask? Two reasons:

  1. Speed: Keeping BuilderFi distinct allows us to move at a quicker pace, free from the constraints and complexities of integrating it directly into Talent Protocol from the get-go.
  2. Objective Validation: By launching BuilderFi as its own entity, we can garner more objective feedback and validation. It gives us a clearer lens to assess the viability and reception of BuilderFi in its purest form.

And here's the exciting part: if the stars align and our iterations hit the mark, we're aiming to unveil a public version of BuilderFi before Devconnect in November. This will be a pivotal moment for us, as it will serve both as a user testing phase and a means to validate BuilderFi's place in the market.

Wrapping Up

As we conclude this update, we want to express our sheer excitement and optimism about these two projects. They're not just features; they're a testament to our commitment to innovation, community engagement, and the dynamic world of web3. We're on this exhilarating journey together, and we can't wait to see where it takes us.

If you have questions or feedback, please contact us on Discord.

Let's build this together! 🌟

Filipe Macedo

Filipe Macedo

Co-founder and CPO at Talent Protocol. Maker and marketer building mission-driven brands. ✌️ I'm also a 📷 street photographer by day, a 🎧  DJ by night, and a 🏀 basketball player for life.