Kickstarter has announced that it is planning to convert its money-fundraising operation to a Blockchain business. Instead of crowdfunding by acting as a payment processor in between creators and possible backers, it hopes to build an open-source crowdfunding tool that uses blockchain technology to log payments using a separate company.
Once that technology has been created, it would be integrated into Kickstarter's general crowdfunding operation.
According to Bloomberg News, the motivation here is...well, money. Especially money for investors. Kickstarter's brand has taken a hit since the heyday of 2013, and it's been a few years since any major, industry-rattling projects have been funded on the platform.
(That doesn't mean it hasn't been successful for artists and game designers--particularly tabletop game designers. Those have been humming along year after year).
Kickstarter's managers have been watching the growth of Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), which have been using blockchain technology to pool financial resources for various goals, like trying to buy a copy of the United States constitution. (It did not turn out well.)
Kickstarter claims that its technology will be eco-friendly thanks to its building on the blockchain platform Celo. Celo claims to be a carbon-negative blockchain, however it partly achieves that claim through the use of carbon offsets. Meaning whatever energy it's burning to generate transactions is "offset" by other carbon-reducing efforts.
(Which means no matter how you slice it, technology itself is...still emitting large amounts of emissions).
Quite frankly, even after typing all of those explainers, it's still unclear how blockchain-backed technology will improve Kickstarters's crowdfunding bona fides any more than it already has.
It will be curious to see how Kickstarter's union responds to this news.