Through the use of this crowdfunding platform BitFlyer hopes to take a significant step towards mainstreaming the use of bitcoin in Japan. The platform already has at least one high-profile user in tow. On the fundFlyer website are listed “the arts, product and software development, events, disaster prevention and political activity” as projects with bitcoin crowdfunding potential. Project owners are being encouraged to use the platform to build long-standing, intra-community relationships.
The platform has already attracted significant government backing. FundFlyer’s first project belongs to Mieyuki Fukuda – Head of the Japenese government’s IT Strategy Committee and its leading bitcoin proponent.
Fukuda also has a live, Fiat money-based crowdfunding project running on a different platform. The aim of that particularly campaign is to fund a study tour to San Francisco and Washington DC. The plan is to gauge the level of interest in bitcoin in each locality. The project has raised 1.443 BTC of its 4BTC goal, and will finish on the 15th September.
Like more typical rewards-based crowdfunding sites, fundFlyer allows project owners to set funding goals and varying levels of gifts, or perks, for supporters. As an introductory offer to new projects fundFlyer is offering 0% usage fees. The platform would usually receive 10% of the total amount raised.
Payouts are only made if projects reach their targets. In the case of an unsuccessful campaign, all bitcoins will be returned to their original owners. In a particularly intriguing twist, owners may claim the funds raised either as bitcoins or as cash, through bitFlyer’s built-in exchange.
Digital currencies and online alternative finance providers appear to be a match made in heaven – with each already boasting considerable repute for having disintermediated long-entrenched financial models. Might we see an established alternative finance platform consider a bitcoin union in the not-too-distant future?