Bitcoin has its roots in the open source community. It’s a project that was bootstrapped by a few enthusiasts and has grown into a global settlement network where each day millions, if not billions of dollars worth, is moved every day. As the network matures, so make the applications running on top of bitcoin, and you’ll start to see some of the financial services we’ve been used to with fiat start to get bitcoin alternatives.
Crowdfunding is one of those mediums that seem ripe for an upgrade, traditionally used by startup companies, NGOs, Individual causes or growing businesses as a way of accessing alternative funds. Crowdfunding has become an innovative way of sourcing funding for new projects, businesses or ideas that might not appeal to venture capital, angel investors or have a bank willing to loan you the money.
Crowdfunding is also a way of cultivating a community around your offering. By using the power of the online community, you can also gain useful market insights and access to new customers who are open to experimenting and taking risks to support innovation or a cause.
Crowdfunding under fiat
Crowdfunding takes place on centralised platforms; these websites enable interaction between fundraisers and the crowd. Financial pledges can be made and collected through the crowdfunding platform. Fundraisers are usually charged a fee by crowdfunding platforms if the fundraising campaign has been successful. In return, crowdfunding platforms are expected to provide a secure and easy-to-use service.
While this may work for some, others may not be able to access crowdfunding due to the centralised entity’s inability to resist pressure from governments and institutions. We’ve seen certain platforms remove proposals or refuse to issue funds in the past.
In addition, crowdfunding with fiat is highly inefficient, as the platforms need to collect funds from different fiat currencies worldwide and process them into the preferred currency to be raised in. These added operational costs often get passed on to the funder or the fundraiser.
What is Geyser?
Launched in 2022, Geyser is a Lightning-native, non-custodial Bitcoin crowdfunding platform that makes it possible for anyone to create and fund campaigns for projects from anywhere in the world. Geyser was created with the idea that leveraging unstoppable, borderless, uncensorable money that cannot be diluted would be the ideal rails for building a crowdfunding service.
Think of it as GoFundMe, or Kickstarter but with Bitcoin, and they don’t hold your funds.
Is Geyser free to use?
Yes, Geyser is free to access; you merely need to sign up, and you can start using the service to donate to projects you feel would benefit from your funding. As for creators, they need to apply to have their project hosted on Geyser, but eventually, the goal is for creators to self-start their own campaigns.
What do I need to get started using Geyser?
All you need is a Twitter account; once you’ve logged in with Twitter, you’re all set up and ready to go. You can browse the site, find projects you like and leave messages such as questions or support on these projects too.
Like other crowdfunding platforms, Geyser offers project pages, users can browse the projects listed on the site, and each page acts as a project brochure and will allow supporters to donate instantly using bitcoin. Observers can also check the fundraising progress, what people are saying about the project, how much funds they need, the status of the project and much more.
While that’s pretty standard, what sets fiat crowdfunding platforms and Geyser apart is that creators on Geyser receive the funds immediately because the donations go directly to projects’ Bitcoin full nodes.
How do I use Geyser?
You can use Geyser in two ways, either supporting projects or creating a project of your own. If you are a supporter of bitcoin and have some sats to spare, you can scroll through the feed of projects and pick ones you would like to support.
Every project you support will be listed on your profile page under the contributions section for easy access so you can log in and check up on the progress at any time.
Creating a project
As for those looking to see their project get a financial boost and some additional exposure in the bitcoin community. You can simply select the “launch” button, provide your contact details and idea. The Geyser team will guide you through the process on what you need to get listed on the site.
How to add sats on Geyser?
That’s the nifty part; you don’t! Geyser doesn’t offer a custodial wallet to host your funds for distribution, you have to use your own wallet, so you remain in control of the funds you send at all times until it is confirmed by the blockchain or via the Lightning Network.
When you find a project, you want to fund, simply click the fund project button.
- Input the amount in sats or dollars
- You will then have to choose to pay via on-chain or Lightning
- Select your preferred method and pay the generated address or LN-URL
- Add a message (Optional)
- And you’re done
Once your payment is confirmed, your optional message will be displayed on the project page; Geyser will also tweet out your donation once it’s confirmed and tag you in the tweet for a little extra feel-good promotion.
Who would benefit from using Geyser?
As bitcoin has continued to monetise and attract more capital bitcoiners have put that capital to good use, it’s no secret that bitcoin users are some of the most generous communities on the internet and also some of the most practical yet creative. Since there is no centralised entity driving it, people get involved and offer up their skills in support of bitcoin, and they are coming up with all these different, crazy ideas.
These bitcoiners are either building things technically or doing creative things or educating people about bitcoin, and doing important creative work. Many would solicit funds via their Twitter account, which was largely informal until now. There was no simple, easy platform where they could raise money; Geyser aims to take an already established bitcoin fundraising experience on social media and turn it into a formal platform.
Those already doing this can migrate their projects to Geyser, while others thinking of starting a project but don’t have the social media following or support can leverage Geyser’s growing audience to get exposure for their ideas and projects and hopefully funding too.
Get the app
There you have it, an easier way to raise funds with bitcoin and the lightning network, reach more people and secure funds from contributors all over the world; what more could you want from a fundraising platform? Now go out there, start a project and as you hit funding problems, reach out to the community; if it’s a valuable pursuit that resonates with bitcoiners, you will surely attract some funds.
If you’d like to learn more about the app or give it a try, check out the links below.
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