Civil Announces $5 Million In Funding From ConsenSys

Civil is Building a Newsroom Platform Using Blockchain Technology and Cryptoeconomics To Create an Open Marketplace for Journalists and Citizens

BROOKLYN, NY — October 25, 2017 — Civil, a decentralized newsmaking platform, today announced $5 million in funding from ConsenSys, the leading global blockchain venture studio. ConsenSys is committing $2.5 million in capital and $2.5 million in services in support of Civil’s newsmaking platform that enables a direct relationship between journalists and readers.

In Civil’s self-governing marketplace, readers may directly sponsor newsrooms, and journalists collaboratively run their own publications. Readers may subscribe to Civil-hosted publications, and will use Civil’s cryptocurrency or “CVL” tokens to sponsor individual journalists, investigations and stories, creating a new collaborative model for the gathering and dissemination of news. Civil’s independent journalism advisory board will govern the platform overall, in order to ensure that fair, objective, professional standards are met throughout the network.

The blockchain-based platform and its smart contracts will protect journalists against censorship and intellectual property disputes while fostering transparency across the network. Meanwhile, properly incentivized collaborative editing and fact-checking will substantially limit misinformation.

“By providing the economic incentives and governance structures for newsmakers — writers, editors, photographers, fact-checkers — to self-organize, Civil offers a new business model for journalism,” said Civil founder Matthew Iles. “Our goal is to create a self-sustaining global marketplace for journalism that is free from advertising, fake news, and outside influence.”

Initially the platform will focus on local, policy and investigative reporting. Civil has dedicated one million dollars to fund the First Fleet, a diverse group of top-tier journalists creating their own newsrooms and publications. Interested journalists can apply on Civil’s website.

Civil’s newsmaking platform and its CVL token sale will launch simultaneously in early 2018 with live newsrooms including Popula, an alternative news and culture publication. Journalist, editor and entrepreneur Maria Bustillos, whose writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Awl, Harper’s, the Guardian and The New York Times, will manage the Popula newsroom, joined by Sasha Frere-Jones, Ryan Bradley, Aaron Bady and other well-known journalists.

“The events of November 2016 demonstrated that our media is in a state of crisis, owing to the increased power of moneyed interests in our politics and publishing, as well as the colossal media power of platform companies such as Google and Facebook,” said Bustillos. “Only a direct, incorruptible conduit between journalists and readers can protect our free press and First Amendment rights. Civil’s development of an Ethereum-based platform for media is the first step, and I’m very proud to be involved.”

Civil is partnering with ConsenSys; the cryptoeconomics advisory team at CoinFund, led by Jake Brukhman and Alex Bulkin; and editorial strategy firm Old Town Media, led by Josh Benson, Katherine Lehr and Tom McGeveran to launch the platform, tokens and newsrooms.

“Decentralizing technologies have enormous potential to unlock new business models and reinvigorate the digital media landscape, putting power back in the hands of journalists and readers. Built on the Ethereum platform, the most advanced manifestation of blockchain technology, Civil will provide opportunities for journalists to build reputations and take home value, and for users to access trustworthy, high-quality information. As a leader driving the development of the Ethereum ecosystem worldwide, ConsenSys is proud to support Civil, which is not only a natural, innovative, excellent use of the technology, but also backed up by a strong team and aligned with our mission to drive change which puts economic, social and political systems on firmer, healthier foundations,” said Joseph Lubin, Ethereum co-founder and founder of ConsenSys.

Journalists can apply to become First Fleet newsmakers at www.joincivil.com. Those interested in participating in the community can follow Civil on Medium, Twitter, and Slack and subscribe to Civil’s newsletter to learn more about the platform and token launch.

About Civil

Civil is a self-governing marketplace where citizens directly sponsor newsrooms and journalists collaboratively run their own publications. The blockchain-based platform will protect journalists against censorship and intellectual property disputes while substantially limiting misinformation through properly incentivized collaborative editing and fact-checking, increasing transparency and openness across the network. For more information visit https://www.joincivil.com.

About ConsenSys

ConsenSys is a venture production studio and custom software development consultancy building decentralized applications (DApps), enterprise solutions and developer tools for blockchain ecosystems, focused primarily on Ethereum. Powered by smart contracts and secured through encryption, our applications provide the benefits of transparency, auditability, and immutability that are unique to blockchain-based solutions. For more information, please visit: http://www.consensys.net.

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Press contact:
Christine Mohan
christine@joincivil.com