Protocol vs. Platform

Protocol vs. Platform

We use “BackedBy” to refer to multiple things depending on the context: the BackedBy protocol and BackedBy platform. It can be confusing. We use “email” the same way. It’s a protocol that sends messages, it’s an application where you read your letters, and it’s a letter that you get electronically.


“BackedBy” is a set of smart contracts that enable recurring monthly subscriptions. That’s the protocol. “BackedBy” is also a platform–the website you’re currently on, that serves as the middle man between you and the smart contracts. That’s the platform. Let’s dig into it…


The BackedBy protocol is a payment processing and subscription service infrastructure. It’s a system of rules powered by smart contracts, which are publicly viewable, tamper-proof, and immutable, that allow creators and supporters to communicate online. Our protocol lets users subscribe to projects in the form of stable coins, mapped 1:1 with the US Dollar, and process these subscriptions monthly. All of the information necessary to manage this process is locked into the immutable protocol. Essentially, the BackedBy protocol functions like a Web3-powered version of Visa’s recurring revenue subscriptions.

Protocol FAQ

How does the BackedBy protocol work?

Using smart contracts deployed on the Polygon blockchain, the BackedBy protocol powers monthly subscriptions, tips, paid messages, and other popular forms of monetization geared towards online content creators.

How do you use the BackedBy protocol?

Because the BackedBy protocol functions as infrastructure, you need to use a platform to interact with it. We built a platform called that creators can use to interact with the BackedBy protocol, but you can also build your own platform to communicate with the same smart contracts.

Can I get kicked off the BackedBy protocol?

So long as the Polygon blockchain is functional, the smart contracts that power the BackedBy protocol are still accessible. This means that no one can prevent you from accessing this information and using the smart contracts, even if you are kicked off a platform like that uses these smart contracts. So long as you know how to communicate with the protocol, you will be free to access it.


Using the BackedBy protocol (the smart contracts), users can build platforms to host their content. One example of this is the website you’re on right now. is our platform that enables creators to own their networks of paying subscribers. This setup is an alternative to platforms like Patreon that use traditional payment processors like VISA and Mastercard to facilitate tiered subscription plans for creators.

However, this is just one implementation of the BackedBy smart contracts. You can easily make your own and in fact, we can’t stop you. You can create your own content platform, PoS system, even a B2B service. You can charge for it or you can release it for free. Our smart contracts are entirely composable and interoperable with anything you want to build on the blockchain. That’s the point of Web3. 

Platform FAQ

How does the platform work? uses a Web2 interface powered by the Web3 BackedBy protocol. Using Backed.By, creators can host their content and manage subscriptions. Their fans can sign up for accounts on, allowing them to subscribe to tiered payment plans in order to access exclusive content, send tips with messages, and receive paid messages.

How do you use the platform?

In a similar way to other web2 platforms, creators can upload content to with a creator account. From there, they can choose to put some or all of their uploaded content behind a paywall that their fans can access by sending payment in the form of stablecoins. All subscriptions and account information creators collect are their personal property and can be stored in any wallet compatible with ERC tokens.

Can I get kicked off the platform?

You can be removed from the BackedBy platform. But you can never be removed from the BackedBy protocol.

As a Web2 platform, is subject to the same rules and restrictions as similar platforms. If it is necessary, creators can be removed from the platform, but they will still own the relationships built on the protocol. Their content will remain encrypted and accessible by supporters and their subscriptions will process like normal. This is the way it should be.

How much does it cost to use the platform? automatically charges 1% of all transactions made on the platform. These fees are placed in a treasury and used to fund development of the BackedBy project. Creators and users can choose to contribute more than 1% to BackedBy (and we hope you do! Other platforms charge 15-30%!), but the minimum is 1%.

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