"Bitcoin: The Movie", a film about bitcoin, has had its crowdfunding page pulled just two weeks after it launched.
The movie, which was to be a documentary on the socio-economic impact of the currency around the world, was raising its money using Kickstarter, the popular four-year-old crowdfunding site, based not far away from the movie team's own New York office.
Andrew Wong, the entrepreneur behind the movie, launched the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter on July 16, and had scheduled the project to run until August 15, with a crowdfunding goal of $100,000. However, late last week, the crowdfunding site unexpectedly suspended the project. When Kickstarter pulled the plug, the movie had $15,896 pledged by 154 backers. Kickstarter works on an 'all or nothing' basis, meaning that money isn't awarded unless the goal is met.
Wong, who also assists with NY Business Expo, was baffled by the suspension. “We were not told what the issues were. That's why we paused all bitcoin-related activities, trying to figure out what's going on at this moment,” he told CoinDesk.
Kickstarter doesn't appear to have an issue with bitcoin, or with movies. On July 12, four days before Wong posted his own project, "Life on Bitcoin – a Documentary Film", a movie by two newlyweds charting a three-month period spent living on bitcoin alone, was funded. It received $72,995 – 104% of its goal – from 247 backers.
Kickstarter has also crowdfunded other bitcoin-related projects, such as a hardware-based paper wallet printer. It also permitted a mobile bitcoin app for iOS, in spite of Apple's banning bitcoin apps from its store (although this crowdfunding project did not reach its goal).
Kickstarter has also let far more controversial projects through the net, including a book touted as a "seduction guide", which many interpreted as a manual for rapists. The crowdfunding site issued a public apology after allowing the funding to continue until its goals were reached.
“While the story sounds thoughtful, we are going to decline to participate in an interview,” mailed a Kickstarter spokesperson when quizzed by CoinDesk.
Kickstarter’s FAQ says that projects can be suspended if it:
- Materially changes the stated use of funds
- Makes unverifiable claims
- Exhibits actions that are more closely associated with fraudulent or high-risk activity.
A suspension is never reversed, the firm says.
Surprisingly, given the nature of his movie, Wong did not have a separate bitcoin-based fundraising campaign in operation, although such crowdfunding operations are available. “We're thinking of setting that up. We haven't started with the coin-based funding yet,” he said.