Crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter has announced plans to develop an open-source protocol “that will essentially produce a decentralized version of Kickstarter’s fundamental functions”, placing a big bet on blockchain. The goal, according to the business, is for the protocol to be adopted by a variety of sites, including, eventually, Kickstarter.com.
Kickstarter is forming Kickstarter PBC, a new entity that will begin developing the protocol. The platform is also sponsoring the project, creating an initial board of directors, and pledging to be one of the first platforms to implement the protocol, though no exact deadlines for when this would happen were provided. In addition, the business announced the creation of an “independent governance lab,” which will publish research and engage with the community on protocol governance.
It’s an intriguing avenue for Kickstarter, which already shares some philosophical DNA with blockchain platforms that allow users to support projects and build communities around them while also investing in their success. While a completed physical or digital product has been the “stake” in Kickstarter’s concept, newer blockchain crowdfunding platforms are upending that model by providing consumers tokens attached to projects that can grow in value as the product evolves. Some of these attempts are questionably legal, but there are a plethora of ways to hide what consumers are buying and selling.
For the time being, it appears that the Crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter is taking a cautious approach to how the protocol may affect the user experience. “As a user, you can expect the same Kickstarter experience you’re used to. You won’t be able to see the procedure, but you’ll profit from its enhancements,” according to a blog post.
While web3 technologies have sparked significant interest among technologists as well as amateur and professional investors, many ordinary users remain skeptical of the technology because of debates regarding the energy usage of some of the most popular networks, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Kickstarter is attempting to address these issues by launching its new vertical on the Celo blockchain, which employs a less energy-intensive consensus mechanism that the project’s creators describe as “carbon negative.”
Twitter has been working on bluesky, an effort to establish a decentralized social media protocol, and Kickstarter isn’t the only “conventional” tech firm aiming to develop an open-source system that their own platform may eventually adopt.