After user backlash, Kickstarter will slow its transition to blockchain

After user backlash, Kickstarter will slow its transition to blockchain

Crowdfunding pioneer Kickstarter surprised many of its loyal customers in December when it unilaterally announced that he would upgrade his platform to blockchain technology. Feedback from creators and backers has been swift and strongly negative. On Thursday, more than two months later, the company released a new statement stating that it is pumping the brakes, effectively slowing – but not stopping – its transition to a new crypto-based protocol”proof of stake” Technology.

Blockchain technology is currently shrouded in controversy. Critics cite multiple potential pitfalls to its use. For example, the technology relies on pure computing power that consumes energy and generates heat, which contributing to global warming. It has also proven to be an extraordinarily lucrative vector of fraud, especially since it has been applied to other products such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFT).

Proponents, on the other hand, view blockchain technology as a force multiplier for capitalist enterprises; a complex and immutable system to secure and facilitate financial transactions, internet technology; and more.

Theoretically, a transition to blockchain technology might seem seamless to Kickstarter visitors. But it has the potential to change the entire technology the platform runs on. This has many in the community sounding the alarm, with creators publicly pledging to take their business elsewhere.

In its Thursday announcement, Kickstarter admits that its initial statement overstepped its own community-centric ideals. A promised white paper outlining its approach will not be released at this time. Instead, he takes a step back to further assess the transition.

“It’s clear to us now,” the company said, “that before we do anything else, we need to listen to your feedback in order to better address your concerns.”

“These new technologies are tools whose quality depends on what they are used to build,” he continued. “It is our responsibility to ensure that they serve creators, funders and the entire creative ecosystem, and that we design thoughtfully with a full awareness of the challenges.”

In Thursday’s announcement, Kickstarter lays out four steps it will take to mend fences with its community.

First, it will not move the Kickstarter website to a blockchain protocol “unless it has been tested”.

We are not going to impose this on creators and communities for whom Kickstarter already works well. We are not going to automatically move all of Kickstarter to a new infrastructure. We will never put your livelihood at risk by making you try something that has not been tested. We will invest in experimentation, supporting an independent organization in its efforts to build new infrastructure that has the potential to serve more creative communities not fully served by crowdfunding today. We’ll make sure there’s a proof of concept with creators who want to use it. We will seek to integrate coins that provide value to the broader community down the line, but not without your input to shape the direction.

Second, it will establish an “advisory board,” including backers and creators, to help guide its next steps.

You told us you wanted us to meet the immediate needs of creators on our core platform. We’ll work with the council to prioritize the development of features on Kickstarter – features you’ve been asking for for a long time – as well as potential new solutions to make the platform better and safer for everyone. As we begin to work on the protocol, this group will help inform the list of issues and settings we need to address.

Third, he reaffirmed his promise that the blockchain protocol he is helping to create for crowdfunding will be built by “an independent organization.” This organization, like Kickstarter itself, will be a public benefit corporation (PBC), meaning a business entity with a built-in legal responsibility to achieve social good.

As we said in our previous announcement, this protocol will be built by an independent organization. It will be separate from Kickstarter but similar in that it will be a PBC that will develop its own clear mission and guiding charter. This organization will do its work in the open, the protocol code will be open-source and accessible to everyone. We see this openness as a tool for accountability and collaboration.

Kickstarter also said it plans to review and reconsider its environmental impact as it relates to blockchain technology. More specifically, he says that carbon offsets — financial instruments that enable organizations to theoretically combat the impact of their own emissions on global warming – “are not enough”.

“We are committed to our PBC Charter to limit our impact on the environment,” Kickstarter said, “and we will maintain the new protocol at the same level.

Those interested in learning more about Kickstarter’s plans are invited to subscribe to a newsletterand read an update FAQs who digs deeper into his plans.