Crowdfunding has taken off in a big way in the last few years or so. But there are restrictions on which countries can participate in fundraising. These are mostly due to the payment processors like Stripe not yet available for countries like India. Can cryptocurrencies, the cross-border, decentralized, democratic means of payment, help?
Maybe yes, but perhaps no. At least not signs of a ‘revolution’ yet.
The trouble with Indiegogo or Kickstarter as far as funding Indian projects is concerned is that they need a bank account in some select countries. There is one service that Indiegogo promotes and which allows setting up an entire company in the US, but the charges are steep.
Some investment platforms like Wefunder accept crypto donations, but our search here is for purely crypto crowdfunding platforms — these are the ones that can be set up in an hour, and the donations can drop in straight to one’s own little wallet.
Skimming the surface of what turns up with keywords like ‘crypto crowdfunding’ reveals that are platforms indeed with nice sounding names. However, they are mostly dedicated to promoting blockchain or ICO projects rather than general purpose or creative ventures across industries, like Kickstarter or Indiegogo do.
A simple idea — collecting bitcoins, ethers or ripples and funding one’s small business, is yet to take off, though times are not afar when it would be possible to do so. Until then, here are some promising platforms that appear to be doing work in that direction.
The closest that comes to funding general projects with crypto is Fundsurfer. There is a crypto funding page with bitcoin where one can create a campaign, specify the bitcoin target and submit the project for review. However, with not a single crypto funding project listed yet, it can’t be confirmed if this is still a service offered on this platform.
For promoting ICOs, there is KickICO, which has raised over 83K in ether for its own platform. The platform interestingly lists a project called WHIRL — which is supposed to be a ‘socially driven, pay it forward’ crowdfunding platform for ‘any goals and dreams’. This project has raised over 27K in ether till now.
An upcoming crypto crowdfunding platform is CryptStart. Currently in early backer program stage, CrpytStart appears to be making the crypto alternative to conventional crowdfunding, however it will be run on its own token, CST that is based on Waves. CST will be needed to create projects and campaigns.
And lastly there is BNK To the Future, a site devoted to fund fintech and finance related projects. This is an equity based platform and supports both fiat and the top 25 cryptocurrencies. This platform appears to be for professional and registered investors, and thus of interest only for accepting cryptocurrencies along with fiat.
There could be crypto platforms for crowdfunding lurking in the dark alleys of the web, and readers are welcome to add them in the comments section.
Before closing, crowdfunding need not be carried out on third party platform. Any public platform is good enough to invite donations. The most recent and famous example is the just concluded TOR crowdfunding, for which a special page, BitcoinForTor has been set up. It has so far raised over $18K in funds. Tor is a web browser that allows strictly anonymous surfing.
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