Can an initial coin offering selling “tokens” that will fund media ventures be used to revolutionize, and even save the news business? The Civil Media company is testing that model. Benjamin Mullin reports for The Wall Street Journal:
The company is trying to sell a maximum of $34 million in “tokens,” digital currency that its owners can use in a new online marketplace for media ventures being created by the company.
The tokens — which will be valued between $0.94 and $0.27 each — will eventually give their bearers the ability to pay freelancers, support news organizations and help resolve newsroom disputes, said Matthew Iles, chief executive of the Civil Media Company.
The cryptocurrency will primarily be used to pay for the costs of creating news, Mr. Iles said. News consumers will not be required to buy cryptocurrency to read, watch or listen to content produced by companies funded by Civil tokens.
Civil represents one of the most ambitious efforts to date to apply the tenets of cryptoeconomics — the practice of powering online marketplaces with digital currency logged on encrypted ledgers — to the financial challenges facing the news industry. Mr. Iles, 31, is aiming to create a network of stakeholders united under the banner of supporting and sustaining quality journalism.
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