Launchpad feature: NekoHit – A crowdfunding platform for content creators built on Neo N3
NekoHit aims to bring a crowdfunding model for content creators to the Neo ecosystem. The project was among the Excellence award winners from the Neo Frontier Launchpad hackathon.
NekoHit is a decentralized application that aims to utilize the Neo N3 blockchain to fund creative endeavors. The platform will seek to connect content creators with individuals who can offer funding on a per-project basis, as opposed to the subscription model used by other solutions such as Patreon.
The NekoHit team is composed of Hu Rui, Yannick Koitzsch, and Wakayume Aozora. The concept was dreamt up by Hu and Wakayume while examining existing creative project funding platforms.
In a conversation with Neo News Today, Hu said that the NekoHit team was inspired to bring a Patreon-style app to Neo because the younger generations in mainland China are becoming more aware of crowdfunding platforms from creators such as YouTube personalities. Hu said:
I think the younger people are more likely to support someone. I watch YouTube a lot, and a lot of YouTuber’s mentioned that they’re using Patreon. And I think most people are willing to do that.
Patreon is a subscription service platform for content creators. Founded in 2013, it hosts over 187,000 creators with at least one active supporter, or patron. The platform is estimated to distribute more than US $1 billion to creators annually, with more than 6 million active monthly patrons. Despite its success, Hu says that Patreon it is yet to gain popularity in China, opening the door for a project like NekoHit.
While the Patron platform provides lots of opportunities for content creators, it is not without its downsides.
If a patron is unsatisfied with the content a creator has released or hasn’t released any content at all, there is little they can do other than unsubscribe. If a project is abandoned, the patron’s only recourse is to request a refund from the creator. While there are measures in place to protect the patron, Patreon states there is no guarantee that the creator will issue a refund.
To solve this issue, NekoHit has developed a smart contract on the Neo N3 blockchain to help protect the patron who wants to support a creator.
Using Blockchain to Protect Patrons
NekoHit’s Work Contract Agreement is a smart contract designed to give both creators and sponsors more control over the crowdfunding process. Where Patreon requires a monthly subscription, NekoHit uses the WCA to offer sponsorships on a per-project basis. Sponsors fund projects using NEP-17 CAT tokens. However, for a creator to request funding they must also stake CAT tokens. According to the NekoHit team:
The project aims to incorporate insurance into the traditional sponsor model, promote audiences’ willingness to support content creators financially, and motivate creators to comply with their promises and finish the project on time.
When a creator declares a project, they must also establish a predetermined set of milestones for their deliverables. For example, if a creator declares a WCA to fund a ten-chapter book, they can set timing milestones (weekly, monthly, etc.) for the release of the book chapters. When each milestone is achieved, the creator will receive a portion of the funding from their patrons.
To protect patrons, the WCA offers an insurance-like mechanism that will automatically refund the patron if the creator fails to meet the schedule. If a creator fails to submit a deliverable by the predetermined milestone, they will be penalized and lose some of the CAT tokens they staked at the beginning of the project. Patrons are also refunded for abandoned projects from this initial stake.
The team is currently seeking to optimize its smart contract to lower GAS costs. According to its roadmap, the NekoHit development team intends to release v1.0 of the WCA on Neo N3 TestNet by the end of Nov. 2021. In Nov. and Dec. of 2021, NekoHit aims to launch its contracts on MainNet, release the front-end application, and perform an airdrop of CAT tokens.
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