Kickstarter, Discord and others are raving about ‘Web3.’ Their users give them a reality check

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Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

When Kickstarter unveiled its ambition to develop a blockchain-based crowdfunding system, the company characterized the move as a way to push creators closer to their audiences.

“Backers should be able to easily discover and participate more deeply in projects, better control their data, and have more robust tools to assess the trustworthiness and viability of a project,” Kickstarter said in a blog post earlier this month.

The reaction from users was hardly the sort of response Kickstarter had been hoping for.

A tweet by the company announcing the news was met with immediate backlash from Kickstarter customers who threatened to abandon the service, citing concerns with the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies require huge amounts of electricity for processing transactions and minting new units of currency. For its part, Kickstarter said it would use Celo, a “carbon-negative” crypto payments platform, for the initiative.

Kickstarter envisions the new crowdfunding mechanism as a “decentralized” protocol that would make it easier for people to raise funds for projects, even outside of its own platform. The eventual aim is to move its entire website over to the new infrastructure.

‘Web3’

Kickstarter isn’t the first to experience backlash over a corporate move into the world of Web3.

Discord, the online chat app, recently teased some features that would let users connect their crypto wallets with their account. The tool, shown in a tweet by CEO Jason Citron, was met with swift backlash.

Some users raised concern over the potential for scams and money laundering in cryptocurrencies and NFTs, while others slammed the vast amount of energy required to process transactions on the blockchain.

“We have no current plans to ship this internal concept,” Citron said in response.

“For now we’re focused on protecting users from spam, scams and fraud. Web3 has lots of good but also lots of problems we need to work through at our scale. More soon.”

What it means



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