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Kickstarter CEO steps down but transition to blockchain will continue

Move follows "personal reflection".

Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan has stepped down from his position, though he insists it's not due to blockchain backlash.

Speaking to Fast Company, Hasan said his decision to leave came after "personal reflection" around his creative work and desire to spend more time with family.

However, in December 2021 a Kickstarter blog post detailed plans to move the platform to the blockchain, aiming to develop a "decentralised crowdfunding protocol" so people can "launch and fund creative projects anywhere" across the web.

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The decision received widespread criticism. Kickstarter followed up shortly afterwards with an FAQ shared on Twitter, stating: "We know our community has a lot of questions about this new direction, including how it will benefit creators, and how we'll stay true to our environmental commitments. We are listening."

Though Hasan's departure is for personal reasons, he told Fast Company that plans to put Kickstarter on the blockchain will still go ahead.

"Kickstarter as it exists today is not sitting on the blockchain," he said. "We're going to work so that people can see it."

"I am so proud of the work we've done together," said Hasan in a blog post on his departure. "Leading such a passionate, skilled, and dedicated team through intense moments of change, milestone victories, and complex challenges has been a humbling and rewarding experience.

"I close my tenure here with so much gratitude and a much deeper personal connection to how powerful and impactful creative projects are in the world."

COO Sean Leow will take over as interim CEO until a replacement is found.