Celo, the blockchain to which Kickstarter is moving, claims to be carbon negative. It bases that calculation in part of its use of Proof of Stake verification. In a footnote, to its claim, it acknowledges that Celo Reserve is not included in that calculation. Celo Reserve is a bank reserve that backs the Celo currency with "a basket of other cryptocurrencies." If that basket is made up of Proof of Work assets, that calls into question their "carbon negative" calculation, right?

Proof of Stake (as I understand it) reduces energy consumption by granting a currency's biggest stakeholders the power to verify transactions, rather than requiring Proof of Work calculations for verification. Drawback: That system leaves PoS blockchains relatively open to hostile takeover if malicious parties gain a large enough stake. Restructuring Kickstarter to operate on Celo would presumably ensure that the currency's largest stakeholder is a trusted entity.

Which may be the goal.


Kickstarter has been uncharacteristically cagey about what moving its service to a blockchain would actually accomplish. They've mostly answered with PR-speak, as in this interview to reassure comic book creators: comicbookyeti.com/post/kicksta So pledgers can use card transactions and creators can withdraw in standard currencies, but this KS rep doesn't say what happens in the interval. And presumably something does happen there, because: Why else change your entire infrastructure?

Kickstarter has gestured to vague possibilities that might result from slapping a crowdfunding engine onto a blockchain chassis, while insisting that the changes will be invisible to most users. Which is not just opaque, but contradictory. So what's the basic functionality? My guess is that they're retooling the site to double as a currency exchange. Paying with a credit card buys you the Celo needed to make the pledge, which may be converted back into standard currency for payouts to creators.

So what we appear to have is…

• a crypto company with a questionable claim to have addressed the ecological consequences of the technology

• entering a partnership that would help secure that currency by undermining its claim to decentralization

• and designed to radically increase the number of transactions made in that currency

• while simultaneously concealing those transactions from the people initiating them

• and a whole bunch of obfuscation.

Not exactly reassuring.

Basically, Kickstarter is exchanging the trust of its users for the trust of a proof of stake currency.

@lrhodes The most charitable read I've heard is "this is to appease financiers, and they don't intend to change anything", but even that is depressing at best; "blockchain" is mostly a faddish buzzword that doesn't solve real problems, and introduces many more in terms of monetary and ecological costs.

@wlonk I think it probably is to appease financiers — Celo and Kickstarter share at least a few investors, like Jack Dorsey — but I don't think that translates into "they don't intend to change anything." This appears to be a play to give weight to a cryptocurrency scheme, and I suspect that the KS team is financially vested to profit if it works.

@lrhodes @wlonk Jack Dorsey has a lot to gain by making crypto seem legitimate, and the infrastructure of Kickstarter doesn't seem like it has anything to gain, only problems. Feels more and more like a prospective gold rush

@milofultz @wlonk Every blockchain idea is a prospective gold rush. Some are just more prospective than others.

There's a lot of scams, and #subversive actors (eg. Cloudflare)

We've been, admitedly crudely, watching the space and seen distractions from #BitcoinCore and #Monero come and go. The #ethereumScam has the deepest pockets, as its designed to re-focus crypto back to #fiatCurrencies.

A bait-and-switch of sorts.

The latest and most dangerous distraction are the #ethereumScamTokens built on top of the #etheriumScam (sic: yes, we were misspelling it for a while unfortunately, haha).

For clarity, "Distractions *away from* BitcoinCore and Monero. Being that we currently see those as the two most important that we've been able to explore.

We admit to not having a chance to examine Duniter yet. We are always on the lookout for the perfect Layer 2 currency, and not 100% sure whether Monero is the speedy-'Two' to Bitcoin's slow-'One'.

Lightning isn't an ethical option in our opinion, due to privacy.

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