Patreon Is Exploring Crypto and NFTs to Empower its “Creators for Independence”

“I love the idea of shifting power away from institutions and toward individual creative people,” said CEO and co-founder Jack Conte.

Patreon, a membership platform for creators, is looking closely at the “fundamental technological components” of digital collectibles for its users to earn more revenue but isn’t sold out on the long-term viability of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFT) yet.

Speaking at The Information’s 2021 Creator Economy Summit this week, when asked about the company's plans for crypto, Chief Product Officer Julian Gutman said, “There’s clearly enormous innovation happening in the crypto and NFT space.”

“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.”

Just last month, Patreon considered creator coins, but at the time, the platform had more pressing concerns to think about — Mastercard’s new standards for adult content. As part of its quarterly Creator Policy Engagement Program (CPEP), where creators engage with Patreon’s Policy Team, Patreon said it would roll out tools to help its adult creators meet the new Mastercard standards after OnlyFans said it would ban explicit content.

At the Creator Economy Summit this week, Patreon said it is not looking into creating any type of initial coin offering (ICO) as it is “specifically not allowed under Patreon’s current guidelines.”

But Patreon’s head of Policy Laurent Crenshaw noted on the company's Connect Livestream that several of their creators are interested in the opportunity to offer exclusive memberships and benefits to their consumers through a coin or token, “a digital item that they can hold onto that shows that they are part of your fan club.”

While the platform’s guidelines prohibit coins for the purpose of direct financial benefit, if craters are interested in such creator coins, Patreon said it would consider changing its policies.

“So we thought that at the very least, we could explore the opportunity of making that type of offering allowable under our guidelines.”

As such, Patreon is “certainly interested in evaluating and understanding how NFTs or some of the underlying technologies help us create that sustainable long-term earnings for creators” as such, they are now evaluating the crypto space.

CEO and co-founder Jack Conte also commented on crypto and NFTs saying, “I really love the idea of creators” owning their media, content, and audience data and having leverage and control over their creation.

“I love the idea of a lot of this underlying infrastructure empowering creators for independence. I love the idea of shifting power away from institutions and toward individual creative people.”

“I think that’s what a lot of this technology is getting at, and what I think is really deeply exciting about it.”

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