Crowdfunding meets Bitcoin
Why I believe this new decentralized crowdfunding platform will make history
I glimpsed the future and can’t rest until I present it to the World. That sounds like a contrived statement but it’s not. Much like the first time I used email, I got it instantly. It just made sense.
Every now and then a new technological instrument comes around that opens the door for opportunities that were previously unimaginable. These instruments change the way we interact with each other and allow people to build upon them, creating an ecosphere of innovation. There are numerous examples throughout recent history.
The Internet, Email and the Blockchain are just a few. They all share the common theme of being efficient in such subtle ways that their birth feels almost organic, as if they were destined to exist, perfectly matching the psychology and needs of their users, creating a perfect symbiotic relationship. Crowdfunding is one of these instruments.
But crowdfunding is far from a level playing field and hardly as democratized as the internet. Any project can be rejected by a centralized authority for unknown and arbitrary reasons.
From Wired Magazine:
“After a rash of late and questionable projects led to a policy revamp in September, Kickstarter tightened its requirements, especially for design and technology projects. The resulting rejected entrepreneurs have now begun finding alternative crowdfunding platforms”
“We applied to Kickstarter, we got denied, we got basically a canned response from them saying that we weren’t following their guidelines,” says Scott Roehrick, Lumawake’s chief outreach officer. Kickstarter allows rejected projects a 500-character appeal, but since Lumawake wasn’t sure which guidelines were broken, that process wasn’t very useful”.
Additionally If you don’t have a marketing budget your project will likely fail. Moreover, there are numerous challenges in many countries that prevent huge numbers of people from being able to participate. This is not a true digital democracy.
Add to that, that there are certain kinds of campaigns that while brilliant just don’t lend themselves to a traditional crowdfunding platform.
For example, if you have a clever solution to a live situation and need money fast. Suppose a young woman comes up with a way to sidestep internet censorship in the current Venezuelan protests or a teenager from a remote African village invents a solar powered water pump to combat the drought devastating his village’s water supply. These kinds of projects don’t have the luxury of being able to wait weeks for the campaign to conclude. They may not even have a bank account or the ability to receive your funds.
Crowdfunding is ready to evolve. It will inevitably grow to include the vast segment of the world’s population that can’t participate and will shed the confines of being regulated by a central authority.
So it’s with sincerity that I say I saw the future when I first thought of the Vote with bitcoin platform. This is what it looks like.
Beautiful in its simplicity it emphasizes action over advertising. Anyone anywhere in the world can instantly publish a project and get it funded. The project creator gives a short one-liner and description of the project, links to the projects’ websites and social media accounts and publishes the project. People who like the idea can instantly transfer their money using bitcoin and all the funds raised go straight to creator’s wallet without any intermediaries. And as the icing on the cake, vote with bitcoin takes no fee for transactions.
This real time funding method allows for a range of new projects to be developed live. What Twitter did for the Arab Spring Vote With Bitcoin can do for humanitarian causes around the world but with even more impact. It allows for large numbers of users to fund direct action on a local level. The macro looking out for the micro, a truly revolutionary idea.
Want to help build a well in a local African village suffering from drought or support a humanitarian group like the white helmets in Syria? Vote With Bitcoin makes it possible to do that, directly, with no meddling middlemen like banks or crowdfunding platforms. Hence the name — Vote With Bitcoin.
It is my my belief that bitcoin will become the currency of choice (in the very near future) for people living in places that have unreliable fiat currency. This growing acceptance of crypto currency will coincide with the growing popularity of the vote with bitcoin platform.
Which brings me back to why it’s going to make history. As historical events seem to be unfolding at an ever increasing rate we are seeing the new phenomenon of technology propelling these events. The examples are numerous and many, like Twitter and the Arab Spring, Fire Chat and the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution. Vote With Bitcoin will play a role in facilitating projects that will shape the course of history.
These projects will not all have a political context. There are projects that are so disruptive in nature that they are to risqué for a traditional crowdfunding platform. What kinds of projects? Crispr comes to mind as well as stem cell research.
The point I’m making is that as a river flows to the ocean the internet flows towards transparency, inclusion and freedom. It is caught briefly in shallow eddies and marshes but the current always flows back to its source. Crowdfunding wants to be free and it’s our job to make it so.
Crowdfunding meets Bitcoin on https://votewithbitcoin.com
As this is a brand new idea that's not yet tested by crowds, please join the conversation or start one within your own community!
Thanks to Ryan Perez for help with creating this post!