I joined Kickstarter over a decade ago, and it continues to have a special place in my heart. In that time, I’ve started ten projects and backed over 700 others. Kickstarter has always been one of those sites that creators could look to as a trustworthy source of funding for their projects. Kickstarter was one of the good guys in a world full with Spotifies and Amazon.
I read Kickstarter’s announcement about moving their service to the blockchain and was very disappointed. I will not create or back another project until they jump off this cryptotrain and swear to never get back on.
Since the NFT/cryptoart fad appeared early this year, artists have had to deal with more plagiarism than ever before. The nature of this decentralized technology makes it incredibly easy for anyone to steal an artist’s work and sell it for a quick profit, all while staying anonymous. Artists who speak out against this technology often find themselves the victim of targeted harassment campaigns. They often need to lock their social media accounts, or just leave them all together because of this harassment. Whenever we complain, we are told we should have minted our work first, as if that would stop anything.
Artists hate this technology. Our fans do too. We’re not just talking about NFTs here; we’re talking about a community rife with empty promises of web3, DOAs, rugpulls, and magical new coins, and all of the victims they’ve left behind. This place is not a place of honor.
I’ve read Kickstarter’s statement several times and have no idea what problem they think they are solving by switching to the blockchain, but a decentralized, “trustless”, and code-based escrow service is the last thing their customers are actually asking for. Buyers want more accountability from sellers AND from Kickstarter. When projects go south, they want Kickstarter to step in and help them out. They want stricter vetting to keep out the scams and they don’t have any interest in using dApps or diving into the seedy, fraud-filled world of cryptocurrency.
Kickstarter’s reputation has already been tarnished scammers. Many people are hesitant to back projects because they think they are all scams. Imagine how much worse Kickstarter’s reputation will be when associated with crypto.
Why not spend more time weeding out fraud and building trust instead?