Blockchain has found a surprising home in journalism funding

Blockchain has found a surprising home in journalism funding

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Meet Civil, the blockchain-based journalism market this has baffled the media for the last couple of years, since it became public in the summer of 2017. Funding for journalism is somewhat scarce these days due to a combination of several factors, including less investment, decreasing advertising revenue and increasing reluctance of consumers to pay for their news when they can get it for free on social media. However, journalists still need to be paid for their work, so the industry started trying to get creative.

Simply put, blockchain is a series of digital information (the blocks) stored in a public database (the chain). Blocks are made up of three things: transaction information; information about the persons or entities involved in a transaction, using a unique digital signature, devoid of any identifying information; and information that distinguishes blocks from other blocks so that identical transactions are not mixed up with each other.

When a new block is added to the blockchain it becomes publicly available for anyone to view and users can sign up to connect their computer to the blockchain to receive automatic updates when a new block is added. Each computer on the blockchain network contains a copy of the blockchain, creating thousands of copies and making information incredibly difficult to manipulate.

Cryptocurrency protocols are often built on blockchain – they are essentially fully peer-to-peer electronic money systems without the involvement of trusted third parties such as banks or governments that are often involved in such systems.

When Civil was first announced, the cryptocurrency boom – symbolized by Bitcoin’s ascendancy in the zeitgeist – was in its early days. The start-up described itself as a “self-sustaining global marketplace for journalism, free of ads, fake news and outside influence”. This would be achieved through a new blockchain-based token called CVL, which would function as a combination currency/governance structure/voting mechanism. As a general rule, journalists aren’t the most tech-savvy people in the world (most of us come from liberal arts backgrounds) and many were confused as to what Civil really was, but even so it launched a decent number of newsrooms that really started. to do a good job.

Read too: Best Crypto Exchanges to Trade Bitcoins, Altcoins

The official sale of CVL tokens was originally scheduled for the end of 2017, but it was postponed to September 2018 and failed badly. It raised less than 20% of its minimum target, mainly due to the confusing 44-step process to purchase said tokens – which looked downright ridiculous when compared to, say, Amazon’s one-click purchase mechanism. However, the folks behind Civil went back to the drawing board and released a slightly less complicated version on March 6, 2019 with just 33 steps. Basically, they’ve removed functions that meant buyers had to leave and return to the Civil site multiple times during the process, made the steps and language used to describe them much clearer, and ask you to pass one questionnaire instead of both. previous required. It’s still incredibly cumbersome when compared to most online shopping experiences or overseas digital transfers, but at least this time there’s no deadline to buy; instead, the sale will end when – or if – Civil sells a total of 34 million tokens.

There are several reasons why someone might be interested in buying CVL tokens and they haven’t really changed with the recast (spoiler alert: Profit doesn’t appear on the list, although it might in the future depending on how the exchange rates). The most attractive is also the most obvious: it offers the opportunity to engage on a news distribution platform that belongs to the participants (as opposed to a rich media mogul), who govern each other and promise to engage in ethical journalism ( unlike some of the rich media moguls mentioned above). If you buy your tokens directly from Civil rather than on the open market, you are also supporting the Civil Foundation, which in turn supports various newsrooms. That said, it’s now possible to donate to these newsrooms with your credit card, no tokens. However, you can also use your tokens to tip Civil newsrooms and journalists, and at the $1,000 level, you can start your own Civil newsroom and unlock various blockchain-related publishing tools. Learn how to invest in cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin.

This is obvious value for a virtually incorruptible money trail, direct connections to readers, reduced reliance on third-party technology companies (such as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which are known to accidentally encourage the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories). by promoting so-called “fake news”) and easy access to funding. However, in addition to these advantages, Civil has also presented itself as a way for journalists to fight censorship around the world. As changes made to the blockchain are all in the public domain, third parties such as governments will not be able to change the information stored on it without prior notice. In theory, this means that no one can stop these organizations from publishing what they want. However, Civil will first have to deal with the legacy baggage of continued turmoil and distrust in the cryptocurrency markets and a lack of understanding about the underlying technology and processes.

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