How's everybody doing? This time around we are talking to Alejandro Velez — Co-founder and CEO at Apliko. Startup software engineer leading in early-stage and pre-IPO companies, MIT Computer Science Graduate.
Chris: The Apliko Emblem NFT pays its subscribers as they engage with their connections? What is the technology behind the Apliko Emblem NFT that allows you to spend as people find their career paths?
Alejandro: We're building the soon-to-be greatest decentralized talent platform. It's a positive-sum, accessible, and robust hiring and networking platform using state-of-the-art tokenomics. We use tokens to compensate job-seekers for their time taken to pursue opportunities in our platform. We distribute tokens through an algorithm based on Quadratic Funding in order to incentivize desirable behaviors from, both, candidates and hiring in our platform.
These tokens are fungible and based on Solana, which we're using to build our platform. They're meant as a means of exchange. However, underlying our platform is a social impact NFT marketplace users can spend their tokens on to fund social impact initiatives of interest. We are already exploring partnerships with organizations interested in partaking in our marketplace.
Chris: Together with this, what is the role of the NFT in creating the job search and connection establishment. What do the NFTs do?
Alejandro: The social impact NFTs are one way our users can spend their Apliko tokens. Us younger folk are generally interested in contributing to social good in a variety of ways and our social impact NFT marketplace helps empower us to do so. Furthermore, the social impact NFTs help us provide a better experience for our users because we can match them to other users interested in similar areas of impact. Our platform is anonymized (users interact with it through their wallets, we purge data and conversations regularly, and use decentralized infrastructure such as IPFS), so this metadata cannot be linked back to a person (unless the user so wishes by using a wallet linked to their decentralized domain for example).
Chris: By the same token, what are the different features of the NFT? How are the tokens unique from each other?
Alejandro: Different initiatives use different NFTs and, as such, make each collection and NFT unique. We are working to involve numerous artists in the project and, as such, the expectation is compensation from the NFT purchase will be split between the social impact initiative and the artist.
Chris: Looking back, what inspired you to create the Apliko Emblem tokens? Do you have a story behind its creation?
Alejandro: I studied computer science and economics at MIT being most fascinated by my labor economics course on the econ side. I further interned at the World Bank specifically on an initiative for global youth employment. The jobs market is of interest to me as an ecosystem most people partake in and, yet, so many problems it has.
I've been interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain for awhile and mined Monero in college. Over the last years I've intermittently done some side projects building dApps with Ethereum. I've been eager to get into the space and don't think there's a better way than starting a company.
In the past little over a year, I left a job i held for almost 3 years, accepted consecutive offers I ended up exiting rather quickly, and flirted with a career change I've deprioritized as I've focused on this company. In that time I've spoken with, bonded with, and argued with more recruiters than anyone should meet in that timespan. I have a great wholistic view of the recruiting industry.
And as we find ourselves in a recession, with no real signs of improvement, as society loses faith in the institutions they trusted but which have failed to provide an adequate response to this catastrophe, the time is perfect to combine my interests, skills, and knowledge to build Apliko with my co-founder.
Chris: Moreover, how have the tokens been priced? Do rare tokens bear a higher price?
Alejandro: We expect to allow our market of users to determine NFT prices via auction. We are prepared to intervene in the market through our quadratic-funding-based token distribution should we notice inefficiencies, such as an artist working with many organizations and creating NFTs but not being successful on the selling side (this could be due more to the organizations than the artist themselves and we ultimately want to encourage a healthy creator ecosystem), but generally prefer a policy of non-intervention.
Chris: So, what is the token release date? How many tokens will be available for public minting?
Alejandro: We are rolling out an MVP later in the year. More details on our tokens and technology will be available then. You can join our Discord server to stay up to date!
Chris: Consequently, what is the minting process of the Apliko Emblem tokens?
Alejandro: More details on our tokens will become available closer to our MVP release later in the year. You can join our Discord server to stay up to date!
Chris: Before we close, please share your progress path with the potential investors. What does your roadmap look like after the public minting of the Apliko Emblem tokens?
Alejandro: We had extremely successful traction testing with hundreds of active users per week. We've also had many users start to link their MetaMask (which we'll allow via either a swap or simply still awarding users their deserved amount of tokens when they link a solana wallet instead) and Phantom Wallets to our app for our upcoming first token distribution. Users will be awarded tokens in this distribution based on the amount of time they've had an active account. As such, our earliest adopters are being rewarded for taking a bet on us. You can create your account at apliko.io (apliko.co on mobile)!