Interview with Kickstarter COO: An attempt to answer blockchain questions

Kickstarter COO Sean Leow talks with a reporter from The Beat about Kickstarter's controversial blockchain strategy, which is alarming many creators, including game creators.

The reporter asks some pretty technical questions about the efficiency and reversibility concerns around blockchain. And the COO attempts to answer! For instance:

THE BEAT: Could you give a little bit more details on that? Right now, blockchain is remarkably slow – it can take up to four hours to complete a single transaction on the Etherium network (which powers NFTs). Meanwhile, we have open-source systems like OAuth authentication, which is used between countless services. We have systems like Swagger that make it easy to build on APIs that transfer data between systems. Given that, if the goal is interoperability and data transfer, why not use something that already exists and is extensively used? Or, to put it another way, what is the killer feature of blockchain that could not be achieved through existing technology?

LEOW:
I’ll admit that I’m not the technical expert on this. And there’s a lot to explore here. But we think that, based on some of the more technical investigations into this that the data can be structured and moved more efficiently on blockchain.

 

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éxypnos

Explorer
Kickstarter COO Sean Leow talks with a reporter from The Beat about Kickstarter's controversial blockchain strategy, which is alarming many creators, including game creators.

The reporter asks some pretty technical questions about the efficiency and reversibility concerns around blockchain. And the COO attempts to answer! For instance:



Umm, no. blockchain isn't designed for speed. It was designed for anonymity. There is no reason (well, no logical reason) for KS to use blockchain.
 


Two takeaways, he identifies two challenges for Kickstarter at the start, doesn’t say how blockchain addresses either. Also, COO is “not the technical expert on this”. Gonna choose to pivot the entire functionality of your platform to a thing, might spend some time becoming that.

Blockchain so often seems like a solution in search of a problem.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Also, COO is “not the technical expert on this”. Gonna choose to pivot the entire functionality of your platform to a thing, might spend some time becoming that.

In a company the size of Kickstarter, they darned well ought to have a CTO to be the technical expert on anything. I mean "Technical" is in the job description of "Chief Technical Officer", right?

Now, why they didn't have the CTO answering technical questions, I couldn't say.
 
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In a company the size of Kickstarter, they darned well ought to have a CTO to be the technical expert on anything. I mean "Technical" is in the job description of "Chief Technical Officer", right?

Now, why they didn't have the CTO answering technical questions, I couldn't say.
They’re smaller than you think. Less than 100 EEs. Near as I can tell, only have former CTOs.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
They’re smaller than you think. Less than 100 EEs. Near as I can tell, only have former CTOs.

The size isn't about the number of employees, but about the volume (and money) the platform handles.

I've worked in places with fewer than 40 FTE, that had a CTO, because, get this - for a company that exists due to its technology, technology is important, and someone ought to be shepherding that stuff.
 
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Ulfgeir

Hero
Hmm, one thought that started bubbling in my brain, if it is implemented, is that this might cause a GDPR-nightmare if user-data is spread on the blockchain.
 

éxypnos

Explorer
Hmm, one thought that started bubbling in my brain, if it is implemented, is that this might cause a GDPR-nightmare if user-data is spread on the blockchain.
Best defence for that is to not put your P.I. where you don't want it viewed by others. Or at least only where absolutely requied for critical life functions like where you bank. Any place can be hacked regardless of Gov regs so they won't prevent your info from spreading.
 

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