Our old system was subject to a number of real problems that we were never able to solve satisfactorily with the technology at hand. We had a lot of costs and bottlenecks associated with three people running a brand known around the world from almost the day it was born. We were de-platformed for adult content by mainstream payments processors. We’ve had a LOT of pushback from people who don’t want us to even know their email addresses.
Over two years ago, the downtime of the pandemic allowed us to take the time to think about how we want to take KinkBNB into the future. We’re very close to launching the new KinkBNB in a couple of phases and this is an attempt to describe in slightly technical terms so that the widest audience can understand what the system we unveil on August 1st is built on.
The new KinkBNB uses Ethereum in a private blockchain as the basis for its database. Ethereum is a distributed computing platform that uses defined elements called tokens to store data distributed across many devices. A private blockchain is called a sidechain and does not use all the processing power of millions of computers to work. In addition to all this, the Ethereum wallet can act as a login system completely independent of traditional OAuth services like Facebook, Google, or Twitter. It eliminates the need for us to have even your email address. This wallet technology is what people refer to when they say “web3” these days. These wallets do nothing but read a blockchain and read the publicly available data for how much each cryptographically signed wallet ID holds in tokens, whether it’s the ETH currency, an NFT of some stolen artwork, or a private token as long as it’s based on the Ethereum framework. For KinkBNB, we are using these tokens on our sidechain as a type of “membership card” called a social token to form the basis for access to the listings we curate. NFT tokens on our private sidechain are used to denote several different types of data that we want to represent (like playspaces, or event tickets).
A “social token” is an Ethereum ERC-20 token that has already been pre-mined or staked. We mint a large number of these tokens and then sell them for ETH to anyone who has an Ethereum wallet. The presence of this token in your private sidechain wallet lets you access the features we have spent the past year planning for KinkBNB. The presence of multiple tokens lets you put up an ad as a host, and spending one can bump you higher in our search results. We want to emphasize that this token is NOT money. It is used to fuel the functions that the new KinkBNB runs on its decentralized blockchain — the term is literally “gas”. On the Ethereum framework, the way KinkBNB is set up is called a dApp — a “decentralized” application that runs using blockchains as its database.
The public-facing parts of it, the tokens, host application system, and the community messaging system, launch on August 1st. We’ve settled on Discord to use as a means of communication with the community, and are integrating that into our web app. We have this system up and running outside of our web app, so people with the Discord app and an invite can log in — if they have a token in their sidechain wallet.
In addition to being a social token, the KINKBNB token can be used in a completely anonymous messaging system that will launch with our second phase, in 2023. There’s a lot to plan with building a messaging system from the ground up, the least of which is how to block annoying people. We’ve come up with a way for anyone to block a user by issuing them an NFT “red flag” token that cannot be deleted or transferred from a wallet. People looking at our system will see this in their profiles on the site and on Discord. An interesting side-effect of this is anyone with a block explorer and our private blockchain address can see who has these tokens in their wallet. So if someone blocks you, everyone can see that. Don’t be a dick.
By January 1st we’ll have our geographically searchable list of hosts live. It will work exactly how our old site worked. We are building it in such a way that hosts have a stake in how the network is run, based on their level of participation in the private blockchain. This also will allow a lot more privacy as well as voting on hosts when problems arise, nominating new hosts, and making a community that’s safe for everyone involved. All hosts will have the right to nominate new hosts and vote on new hosts. What we hope comes out of this is a site with better play spaces along with a better selection.
While we do have a centralized database, it’s used for ephemeral data. For most data storage, we use the Ethereum-based private sidechain. This private sidechain has everything that is on the regular public Ethereum blockchain — NFTs, ERC20 tokens, and wallet addresses. We also have a private IPFS (Interplanetary File System) node set up using this sidechain. The main difference is that our private sidechain is a Proof of Stake network. This means that there is no need to burn electricity to verify everything on the network because all the tokens have already been minted. It’s as green as Ethereum and things that run on computers can be.
We continue to use Django as our website and token bridge server. To implement this iteration of KinkBNB, we contributed to an open-source project called django-allauth to allow Metamask logins. django-allauth also allows us to connect Discord accounts. This information is used to tell our Discord bot how many tokens a Discord user has in their wallet and allows access. If you have no tokens, then you can’t do anything on the Discord server.
Part of the reason we’ve been away so long is that we’ve had to build a lot of our tools ourselves, such as the login via Metamask. This is the very beginning of the web3 era of the Internet, and very few tools have been written to enable any of this stuff. In addition to designing the smart contracts to run our new iteration, we also have to build front-end tools to interact with those smart contracts. We’ve had to develop ways to stuff multiple pictures into an NFT and make them searchable by GPS without giving exact locations. Figuring out how to use this technology is part of the fun though.
We hope that our foray into blockchain technology changes the way people think about it. We’ve attempted to create a system that is usable for ordinary people. To make this a truly decentralized system, we need to have nodes all over the world. We are running several nodes ourselves, but what we would LIKE to see is people in the kink community with a large stake in our system run their OWN nodes and help us develop the server software along with voting on the issues we need community consensus to resolve. In web3 terms, this sort of organization is called a DAO or a “decentralized autonomous organization”. One of our biggest problems with the old site was translations. We would love to see a system evolve whereby we have staked users in other countries to help us write the translation for their country, run a node for us, and run that country or region’s server node in our system (promotions and customer service) in return for a cut of the income. We are still working on this program, so if you are interested in participating please email firstname.lastname@example.org.