The Trouble With Kickstarter

In December of 2021, Kickstarter made an announcement that it was going to develop a new platform for crowdfunding, using blockchain technology. The announcement received a significant negative response, given the negative environmental impacts of current blockchain applications and the widespread use of blockchain tech, through both cryptocurrencies and non-fungible token (NFT) schemes, to commit fraud. It’s a fair response, though given how little the Kickstarter announcement said, perhaps not entirely warranted.

That all said, the end state of Kickstarter’s blockchain plans don’t particularly matter. Whether or not the new platform comes to fruition, whether or not it uses less energy-intensive proof-of-stake software, whether or not people leave the platform, these are in the long run irrelevant. What the announcement should have revealed to anyone who felt strongly enough to leave the platform over it is that the TTRPG hobby has let Kickstarter become infrastructure. Leaving Kickstarter sounds great in a tweet, but ultimately doing so is going to be tough for many of the creators who, without the company, would have never gotten off the ground.

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