Last year, Kickstarter announced intentions to transform its crowdfunding business by incorporating blockchain technology into a “decentralised crowdfunding protocol” that would allow anybody to start and support projects from anywhere on the internet.
According to Kickstarter, the protocol would be hosted on Celo, a carbon-neutral public blockchain, and would be open-source for anybody to “build upon, connect to, or use”. Given the justified scepticism that seems to surround most blockchain initiatives — mostly because to their proclivity for environmental damage and speculative spending — several observers were surprised by the company’s change of heart.
Now, Kickstarter appears to have muted its enthusiasm for the technology, acknowledging that it must at least evaluate such issues before forward with its ambitions. “Since our announcement, we’ve had thousands of emails, support tickets, social posts, and Zoom calls with our community to learn about your worries regarding these technologies. The corporation stated, “The environmental challenges, scams, speculation, and hazards are genuine, and we share these concerns.”
The spokesperson elaborated that, “These new technologies are only as good as the things they’re utilised to create. It is our obligation to ensure that they assist creators, backers, and the entire creative ecosystem, as well as that we create intelligently and with full awareness of the challenges.”
In other words, Kickstarter announced that it would not activate its new blockchain protocol until it has been thoroughly vetted, and that creators and communities will not be instantly migrated to the new infrastructure. “We’ll never jeopardise your livelihood by forcing you to try something new.” We’re going to experiment by sponsoring an independent group in its efforts to construct new infrastructure that has the potential to serve more creative communities than crowdfunding currently does. The company added further, “With the creators that want to use it, we’ll make sure there’s a proof of concept.” We’ll look to incorporate the aspects that are useful to the greater community in the future, but not without your participation.”
To be clear, Kickstarter does not want to abandon its blockchain plans; rather, it hopes to guarantee that the divisive technology is introduced “thoughtfully and fully cognizant of the obstacles.”