Kickstarter pivots to blockchain, prompting major backlash

Since the announcement, multiple prominent Kickstarter users have said they will crowdfund elsewhere

Kickstarter has announced plans to pivot the crowdfunding website into using blockchain, though it has met with major backlash.

In a blog post from Kickstarter, the site has said that it is “supporting the development of a decentralised crowdfunding protocol”.

This means that Kickstarter’s functionality – the ability to crowdfund money – will be made open-source and moved to the blockchain, hosted on Celo. Seemingly aware of criticism surrounding blockchain-related content’s negative effect on the environment, the Kickstarter blog states that the blockchain will be “carbon-negative”.

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“As a user, whether you’re a creator or a backer, the Kickstarter experience you’re familiar with will stay the same,” reads the blog. “You won’t ‘see’ the protocol, but you will benefit from its improvements. Backers can continue to utilise normal credit and debit cards to pledge to campaigns, and creators can continue to receive normal currency to fulfil their projects.”

The move has proven unpopular for Kickstarter users, as visible on Twitter. Kickstarter is currently trending on Twitter, and a quick scan shows multiple creators who have expressed anger at the announcement. Writer Dave Cook said that despite “103,000 raised on your platform since 2014, and thousands of comic readers gained,” he feels the move to blockchain will “hurt businesses like mine” as “this move will make [supporters] abandon my projects by association”.

Similarly, board game designer Elizabeth Hargrave described blockchain as an “environmental disaster” and said she would “never support a board game Kickstarter that uses it, let alone support the use for my own games”.

Kickstarter has been used to crowdfund scores of games, including Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Shenmue 3.

Last month, Discord walked back plans for cryptocurrency integration after an announcement caused boycotts.

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