Patreon CEO and co-founder Jack Conte and Chief Product Officer Julian Gutman spoke on a panel at The Information’s 2021 Creator Economy Summit yesterday, where they were asked about the membership platform’s plans for crypto.
“There’s clearly enormous innovation happening in the crypto and NFT space,” Gutman said. “Obviously there’s the art market and precious goods market that we’re seeing, with crazy pricing, evolve. It’s unclear if that is sustainable across the entire creator economy, but there’s some fundamental technological components to NFTs as a way to sell value to your audience and sort of continue to gain value from that from secondary sales as what you do becomes more and more important to the world.”
Last month, Patreon floated the idea of creator coins to its creator community in advance of a quarterly Creator Policy Engagement Program livestream, which allows creators to weigh in on platform policy changes. But the concept was proposed alongside a more pressing crisis related to Mastercard’s new standards for adult content, which prevented the company from engaging in a more in-depth conversation with creators about the topic.
“We’re right now not talking about creating any type of initial coin offering, which is specifically not allowed under Patreon’s current guidelines,” Laurent Crenshaw, Patreon’s head of Policy, had said on the Patreon Connect livestream. “But we’ve heard from a number of creators who have been interested in the opportunity to offer exclusive memberships and benefits to their patrons through a coin or token, a digital item that they can hold onto that shows that they are part of your fan club. And so we thought that at the very least, we could explore the opportunity of making that type of offering allowable under our guidelines.”
While Patreon allows creators to share personal investment stories or advice, its guidelines currently prohibit coins for the purpose of the direct financial benefit for a creator or patron, coins offered as part of an investment scheme, or any explicit incentives to purchase or obtain cryptocurrency. But if creators were to express interest in offering creator coins, Patreon would consider changing these policies.
A creator coin is a kind of crypto-based social currency — companies like BitClout, Roll and Rally have worked on creating individual tokens, which essentially allow fans to invest in creators’ success. So, if you buy a creator’s token early, and then they become a superstar, you reap benefits too.
“One thing that I think Patreon has always been committed to at its core is making sure that we’re creating a sustainable, long-term path for creators, right? It’s not just a burst of monetization,” …….