While the rest of us are messing around with our PayPals and Amazon Payments, some folks in Argentina have created the first crowdfunding platform in America to take Bitcoin.
The platform, called Idea.me focuses primarily on artistic, musical, and retail projects although, as evidenced by the project photos, many campaigns have a philanthropic bent. The platform was “born in Argentina” wrote Pia Giudice and is now in seven countries in Latin America. It is the area’s only regional crowdfunding platform. The platform has seen $750,000 in funding and should be raising $2.4 million in March 2014 in a Series A.
Idea.me has already funded 450 projects and seen $2 million pledged to backers. Pledges can come from multiple sources but they’ve recently enabled Bitcoin as an alternative to credit cards and PayPal. “We’re the only platform that accepts Bitcoins in the whole continent, including US and Canada,” said Giudice. “Also, our business unit is unique in the world: Idea.me is the only platform that executes campaigns with multinational companies to fund specific projects.”
I’d love for Kickstarter and Indiegogo to start taking Bitcoin, although, presumably, the long gestation times of most projects and the volatility of BTC could be problematic for the company and its customers. Idea.me uses Bitpay, “automatically converts Bitcoins in dollars, so that the pledger pays with BTC, but the creators will receive the contribution in USD” according to a blog post. When BTC turns into a medium of quick exchange, it makes a lot of sense. Best of all it’s helping the little guy in South America.
“With the very limited access to formal capital in Latin America, Idea.me is essential for the development of our countries,” said Giudice. Looks like things are little speedier when it comes to virtual currency far south of the border.