Update: It’s real and it’s called HitStarter you can download the codebase or donate to the project at https://github.com/Miserlou/HitStarter.

Why we need anonymous donations

Many activities lie in a legal grey area. These activities may be believed to be accepted by a majority of citizens (corporations inclusive), yet may be considered objectionable by a small, well monied minority.

Residence in this grey area of law created a legal risk that is just too high for many to bear. This risk thus stifles creativity not because it is illegal but because the cost of defending its legitimacy is too high.

What’s more, this risk prevents supporters from speaking out. Creating an anonymous means of finance would empower not only the creator but those wanting to supper that creator without fear of legal retribution. 

While legal risk may not be completely mitigated for the originator, it does create a protective shield for their supporters.

What types of projects might we see

  • International protest organizations
    • Syrian rebels
    • Occupy
    • The Pirate Party
  • Wikileaks
  • Anonymous
  • Drug organizations?
    • Distribution
    • New Submarine
  • Organized Crime?
  • Copywritten works
    • Financing for Escape from Tomorrow
    • Remake Star Wars Episode 1-3, but good
    • Get someone to release the original, silent version of WALL-E
    • Make a movie version of The Silmarillion, something the Tolkein estate has expressed opposition towards)

Each of these organizations would have to make a case for why someone should donate, and state what they are going to use the funds for.  Of course they could always lie.

I wonder if these types of uses would be popular, and if so would the project creators dissimulate to try and increase appeal, or would the true mission be popular enough to raise funds?

I fear that existing power holders would be extremely opposed to this, as it subverts their own plans for controlling political and economic organization across the globe.

However I have a hope, albeit potentially a naive one, that while the above is true, the ability to raise funds may be a disincentive towards violence.

A thought experiment

How does one combat an entrenched political power? If you are poor and have no access to legitimate participation there are few options. Organized protest and violence (often both) are the only ones that come to mind. Would the availability of funding promote peaceful organization? or would it enable these organizations to buy more weapons.

Thinking about the arab spring, and the violence and regime change that arose, you could make an argument for either outcome.

Much of the unrest arose directly, or indirectly from dramatic increases in food prices (this has been a historical trend).  Would it have been possible that access to capital in this time could have been used  by the Bahraini to feed themselves, when their government wouldn’t? And if so, would this organization originally created to distribute food overtime become an advocate for the people? And overtime lead towards a less oppressive state? I like to think so, but again I thinkI may be naive. Not only because of all the potential factors in these situations affecting the outcome, but also because I do not think the American or European governments would allow such a tool to exist in the first place.

What do you think would happen if a crowd funding service using bit coin were to exist? What would the government’s reaction be? What types of projects do you think would bet funded?

What would happen if there were an anonymous, bitcoin powered Kickstarter?