As anyone who has visited our website since the start of the pandemic knows, KinkBNB has been “hibernating”. This basically means that we’ve had a single static page with our two oldest listings on the front and not much else. We did this to cut down on costs as well as set up a Patreon to keep this single page alive. Our Patreon has worked great in this respect! But going forward we knew it would never be sustainable.
Our old site cost a LOT of money to run. We had to pay Google about $800 to $1000 a month in API fees. We got rid of our mailing list software and brought it all in-house because it was quite a lot of money for the 100,000+ email addresses we had to inform. And we had our troubles with de-platforming and credit cards that served as a double-whammy when combined with the pandemic to make it a no-brainer to stop and re-think how we’re doing things.
Now — over two years after we started thinking about it — we’re on the verge of relaunching KinkBNB with an eye toward the future. With all the talk over the past year about building solutions on the blockchain, we started studying that. Initially, we were drawn to blockchain because of our de-platforming from Stripe, but while people were locked up and bored the NFT craze hit, and that’s been all anyone’s talked about. These subjects were studied because we were bored in lockdown too, and we determined it would be a real stretch for KinkBNB to justify putting any of our data on a PUBLIC blockchain.
This is not to say that this technology is bad. But our primary interest is always the privacy of our users. We wanted to figure out how to give the benefits of the blockchain to our users while mitigating the bad in a way that is easy on our infrastructure. The solution we came up with is what some journalists (Forbes is one) call a Social Token. At the same time, we didn’t want to put everyone’s information on the open internet so we built what is called a sidechain — a private blockchain.
We’re hoping to change the conversation around this technology back to how it can help marginalized people, rather than enrich a select few. We have a model for governance that solves a major problem that we had with the old version of our site — most of the really GREAT spaces didn’t want to be involved with a site that had inferior listings on it. Our blockchain-based system incentivizes our hosts to participate by giving them a voice in who is listed on our system as well as policy decisions that we recognize are too big for one person to make for a community. It solves so many of our problems.
Our initial client is now live at www.kinkbnb.com and you can log in to the site with your Ethereum wallet. Currently, this requires a browser extension or app called Metamask. It works best on desktop, but there is a mobile app that also works with a little additional configuration. This change to login methods allows users to create accounts without email addresses — complete anonymity. In the future, we will implement this without Metamask but for now, you can install Metamask by going to https://metamask.io. Also, all accounts will be transferable if we drop Metamask in the future.
We are starting our testing by giving tokens to our Patreon subscribers and hosts from the old version of our site. The tokens are also on sale, though currently only in return for ETH or the main Ethereum token. We are currently pinning the value of each token to a dollar. There is no expiration on these tokens either, so it’s essentially a lifetime membership — if you don’t use the token in a few of the ways that we have set up. If you had an email registered before Covid-19 hit, if you emailed us between then and now asking to be put on the list, or if you were or are a Patreon subscriber then you will find a code to put into the new site when you have logged in with your wallet. This code will send an amount of our social token to you, for your use and to send to friends.
A note about this: It’s not money. While we charge $1 per token, it’s only usable exclusively on our system. You cannot “cash-out” with it unless you are a host on our system. Hosts and stakeholders on our system have a bit more responsibility and opportunities than with our old system as well. This information is all available on the host info page. We are adding a Discord server for our community messaging and customer service. If you already have a Discord account and know it, great! If not, you can read a basic primer here.
We picked this because we wanted to build community again as soon as possible and this is one of the systems used by social token communities with a lot of development behind it. You’ll need at least 20 tokens in your account to use the Discord server. This is an additional perk to KinkBNB token ownership that we are launching in this first phase.
These are the two first phase changes to the user experience of KinkBNB. When we launch our second phase in 2023, everything else will work pretty similar to the way it used to work. We won’t use technical terms like NFT or Token on the site itself. I mean, we had to study for two years to figure out how we could refactor KinkBNB to properly use blockchain technology — it’s highly confusing and the jargon is best left to the “professionals”. If you are really curious about the technical details then read our technical explanation here .
Why are we doing this? We have a completely different use for this technology and a large enough user base to change the narrative (there’s that phrase again) about the web3 trend. Nobody is talking about how this technology allows you to log into websites without a centralized address — no more “Facebook” logins, no more Twitter logins, etc. You sign a transaction with a publicly available key to prove your identity. To some, this is more valuable than all the cryptocurrencies in circulation right now. It’s proving your identity without giving it up to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.
We expect to talk about this change a lot in the coming months, and we hope you’ll join us for that conversation!