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Chaoskampf
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May 14, 2013, 04:34:53 AM
 #1

I was wondering if there's any interest in developing a Kickstarter clone which runs purely on Bitcoin. In the early days this might not have been as viable, since there wasn't as many opportunities to spend them. Now, as more goods and services are being offered in exchange for our beloved cryptocurrency, funding projects with Bitcoin is becoming more and more possible.
      There's a lot of discussion here concerning the acceptance of this currency, specifically by merchants, as a necessity for it to survive and flourish. The fiat system, in addition to constraining merchant/corporate transactions to fiat, inherently establishes a worker class dependent on highly centralized institutions to provide them their living wages. Through the power of the state, this system has evolved into the Orwellian nightmare we all know and hate. Although we can always depend on individuals to collaborate on projects and provide salaries in a small business context, the Bitcoin community can not depend on the state to subsidize things like basic research, heating and energy projects, interest groups, telecommunications, artistic endeavors, or a whole host of services.
      A framework similar to what we know as Kickstarter, could be the key to Bitcoin's evolution to another level of legitimacy. A rich and vibrant economy cannot exist on the backs of merchants alone. You need scientists, artists, inventors, writers, and thinkers of all denominations. These people cannot do what they do, and be businessmen at the same time. They need time to devote to their craft. They need financial wiggle room to think and develop their ideas and projects, without spending their time worrying about how to sell off widgets to pay the bills. In the fiat system, large institutions (universities, the music/movie industry, industrial/technical companies, newspapers/magazine/publishing houses) provide wage jobs for them which distribute paper money in order for them to go pump it back into the same system, creating a vicious cycle of dependence.
      The only way to kill the fiat beast is to divert participation. After all, it is purely voluntary (in theory). We've already planted the seeds of the economy. You can buy things with a Bitcoin. If we can create an environment where individuals have a real choice between participating in the fiat economy and this one, then I think we have a real chance to change our world in a very powerful way.
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May 14, 2013, 04:43:52 AM
 #2

I was wondering if there's any interest in developing a Kickstarter clone which runs purely on Bitcoin.
You might say that, yes....
https://bitcoinstarter.com/

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Chaoskampf
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May 14, 2013, 04:52:11 AM
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I'm familiar with existing attempts. I was asking because it seems like none of them are really taking off properly. I feel like this is partly because of how young this economy is. I suppose my main goal in posting the thread would be to encourage this idea. It's one of the only ways we can dissociate from the existing system which I can think of. Perhaps that's just the limits of my imagination.
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May 14, 2013, 04:56:10 AM
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I'm familiar with existing attempts. I was asking because it seems like none of them are really taking off properly. I feel like this is partly because of how young this economy is. I suppose my main goal in posting the thread would be to encourage this idea. It's one of the only ways we can dissociate from the existing system which I can think of. Perhaps that's just the limits of my imagination.




 Wink

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Chaoskampf
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May 14, 2013, 05:10:37 AM
 #5

This is one of the fundamental qualities of not having a system based on centralization and hierarchies. It's the reason we have so many different exchanges. It's why there's so many Alt-coins now. It's the most distinctive characteristics of a "free market". The key is to first recognize the power of crowdfunding, and then to see how we can help establish it most effectively in this new and decentralized economy. This might mean 100 different sites, if that's what it must take. It could be that the key is to make specialized kickstarters. Instead of having many sites that focus on everything and nothing (effectively rendering them useless), we might need 10 times more of them, except highly specialized ones. Just food for thought....Or has dinner already been eaten?
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May 14, 2013, 05:21:26 AM
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This is one of the fundamental qualities of not having a system based on centralization and hierarchies. It's the reason we have so many different exchanges. It's why there's so many Alt-coins now. It's the most distinctive characteristics of a "free market". The key is to first recognize the power of crowdfunding, and then to see how we can help establish it most effectively in this new and decentralized economy. This might mean 100 different sites, if that's what it must take. It could be that the key is to make specialized kickstarters. Instead of having many sites that focus on everything and nothing (effectively rendering them useless), we might need 10 times more of them, except highly specialized ones. Just food for thought....Or has dinner already been eaten?
No, you make a good point. Feel free to proceed, just be aware you are not exactly treading new ground just yet.

What features, do you think, would make a bitcoin-based kickstarter really take off?

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Chaoskampf
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May 14, 2013, 05:50:39 AM
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No, you make a good point. Feel free to proceed, just be aware you are not exactly treading new ground just yet.

What features, do you think, would make a bitcoin-based kickstarter really take off?


      Specialization is probably the biggest necessity. You can't have comprehensive and all encompassing services in the Bitcoin world like you do in the fiat market. Services like eBay and Amazon benefit not only from their early arrival on the internet scene, but also their legal teams who force competing services out of business through lawsuits and the purchasing of patents (just to let them rot on their shelves). This goes for most major corporations nowadays. Buying out patents is one of the most common techniques of crushing competition and consolidating the market into monopolies. While it may be possible to have centralized hubs like Silk Road, keep in mind that although there is a whole host of goods sold on there, it's a pretty specialized market. I think this is one of the main reasons for its success (besides the overwhelming demand for illicit drugs). By specializing services, you both increase the quality and consolidate that good's presence into a neat package (one kickstarter just for newspaper/magazine startups, for example). If there was a kickstarter specializing in only basic science research, then you would both establish a competitive environment for high level scientific research, and centralize this into one organization. If another basic research kickstarter is formed, then It must differentiate itself much more significantly, than if it were just another one with everything and nothing. Competition is the key. By having kickstarters with everything on them, you have electrical engineers on the same page as paperclip sculptors, and the two exist in a quasi-competitive environment of irrelevance. In order to have real competition, you must have real choices, and specialization is one way to gather comparable services/goods under one roof.
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May 14, 2013, 05:56:56 AM
 #8

By having kickstarters with everything on them, you have electrical engineers on the same page as paperclip sculptors, and the two exist in a quasi-competitive environment of irrelevance. In order to have real competition, you must have real choices, and specialization is one way to gather comparable services/goods under one roof.

This, I think, deserves to be pulled out and highlighted. This is a very good point. What would you say would be the first thing that should branch off onto it's own specialized site? What's the market that could gain the most from a spotlight?

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Chaoskampf
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May 14, 2013, 06:18:06 AM
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What's the market that could gain the most from a spotlight?

I'm probably not the one to ask this. I suppose markets that do the best for themselves regardless of kickstarters would have the most attention with them. Honestly, I think all markets would gain tremendously from this sort of framework. It's just a matter of some web developers taking the initiative to create them.
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May 14, 2013, 06:32:15 AM
 #10

It's also not really a question of first or last, but rather how high the quality of the services are. This can mean the ease of use, presentability, integration with other web services, etc...


It's not so much the definition of the markets which will determine their subsequent success, but the creation of solid structures over which these can grow. Once we have created an environment of market specialized kickstarters, only then will their staying power and influence be a function of the features and ease of use. Up until now the focus has been in the opposite order. Instead of focusing on market specialization first, these sites have only tried to differentiate themselves in terms of their user interfaces and other superficial qualities. First we must differentiate markets, and only then can we build strong web services.
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May 14, 2013, 06:48:20 PM
 #11

Hi Chaoskampf,

I'm always looking for feedback on my Bitcoin crowdfunding site:

http://www.bitcoinstarter.com

Let me know what questions/suggestions you may have! Always looking to improve!

Thanks,
BitcoinStarter

🔥BitcoinStarter.com🔥- Crowdfunding with Bitcoin. Fund a project or start your own
Chaoskampf
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May 14, 2013, 09:08:42 PM
 #12

Hi Chaoskampf,

I'm always looking for feedback on my Bitcoin crowdfunding site:

http://www.bitcoinstarter.com

Let me know what questions/suggestions you may have! Always looking to improve!

Thanks,
BitcoinStarter


First of all, thank you for your contributions to the Bitcoin community! We need more people investing the time and energy to produce services like yours.

      From a variety of conversations with different people I've gathered that, as you mention, there's a lot of serious interest in the idea of crowdfunding through Bitcoin but there's a lack of actual participation once the frameworks are established. Part of the reason for this, I think, is simply due to the youth and obscurity of this emergent economy. It could be that your design, in 2 or 3 years and another 200 million people with Bitcoins, could be very successful. At the moment, it doesn't seem like there's enough stability in the structures which provide the earnings to average individuals, for them to spend their Bitcoins on projects which could potentially go nowhere. Speculators on the exchanges, making dividends on worthless alt-coins, know that they can at least sell off their alt-coin holdings and get some sort of return even if they just watched the price (and effectively the value of their holdings) plummet. Crowdfunding on the other hand, is a much riskier investment. Not only are you counting on a hypothetical product which doesn't even exist yet, it could potentially never exist at all. In the fiat market, Kickstarter enjoys the comfort of having a majority of investments being small donations from wage earning individuals. Although there are big investors who throw around thousands of dollars to projects they find worthwhile, the vast majority of donations are under $50.
      When I say that BitcoinStarter's main problem is the instability of the asset distribution frameworks of the Bitcoin economy, this is what I'm talking about. Most people with Bitcoins don't get them on a regular basis from a job that they work at, and with its rapidly expanding value, many people see it more as an investment for themselves rather than a legitimate currency which they'd be comfortable letting go of. If I just put 1000 dollars into Bitcoin as an investment, then I can't really afford to let go of any because my ultimate and primary purpose in getting involved with this currency is individualistic advancement (specifically financial). I just invested 1000 dollars into myself, why would I then take that investment and invest in others?
      However, this current weakness in the crypto-economy could turn out to be it's greatest strength. Instead of assuming that the models of individualistic fiat capitalism can be transplanted into a decentralized economy, we need to appreciate that this new economy will have to depend on collaboration in addition to just competition. On your site there are many different project categories. Are they competing between categories or is the competition solely encased within categories? Clearly it's within categories. The "seed factory project" isn't competing against "photographing chernobyl". Imagine if you took one of them, say Publishing, and made a bitcoinstarter offshoot based solely around publishing. Now imagine that instead of fostering an environment based solely on competition between individuals who wan't to publish things, you created a forum for these similarly inspired people to talk to each other and share their ideas. Imagine if all the people who wanted to start online news services could talk to all the others who had similar aspirations. Chances are these people would develop their own ideas even further with this sort of collaboration. Not only that, but this community of experts now have the opportunity to find like-minded people to further collaborate with. You would establish a "guild" of sorts. Through discussions and collaborations, groups could produce guild sponsored upstarts that would be presented to the public for funding. The main difference here is that you are concentrating people who would otherwise depend on salary jobs in the other economy, to support and foster the establishment of similar institutions in this other economy. Imagine a Gaming guild, where developers and gamers come to talk about their ideas. Gamers who have no coding ability could collaborate with developers who have lesser creative abilities and the end result is better games for everyone. These relationships are supportive collaborations, but because we are putting projects up for crowd financing, we are not losing the powerful capacity of the free market to drive innovation and progress. In a Gaming guild (for lack of a better term), you will establish an atmosphere where people will actually want to invest, because they themselves are invested in these projects. You will no longer have dissociated individuals trying to compete against disparate projects in an environment where none of these people care about anything else that is being promoted on the site. In order to create institutions that people can earn a living Bitcoin wage from (so then maybe they can invest in upstarts they have nothing to do with), you need to foster the organization of these institutions by these very same experts and enthusiasts. We could call this a form of bootstrapping.

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