Kickstarter is announcing some big changes to the foundations of its technology. The company said Wednesday that it will support the development of “an open-source protocol that will essentially create a decentralized version of Kickstarter’s core functionality,” according to a Kickstarter blog post published Wednesday. The protocol will live on a public blockchain and will enable anyone, “even Kickstarter competitors,” to build upon or use it, the company says.
An independent organization will start the development of the protocol, and Kickstarter will give this group funding, appoint a board, and will be one of the protocol’s first clients, the company says. It’s also making an “independent governance lab” that oversees “the development of the protocol governance.” The protocol will be built on Celo, an open-source blockchain that uses the more environmentally friendly proof of stake system.
The new company making the protocol does not have a name, according to Bloomberg, which also reports that Kickstarter expects to move its site over onto the protocol in 2022. Kickstarter didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment about if the change will affect the company’s business model but did say in its blog that “as a user, the Kickstarter experience you’re familiar with will stay the same.”
Kickstarter’s efforts sound somewhat similar to what Twitter kicked off with its Bluesky decentralized social network standard. Despite being announced in December 2019, it, too, is still in its nascent stages, having just hired a project lead in August.