Blockchain journalism startup Civil has announced it will issue refunds to investors who participated in its token sale, as it failed to hit the $8 million minimum that it set out to raise.
Civil is a blockchain-based economy that involves the direct, peer-to-peer exchange of value between journalists who report articles, make videos, record podcasts, and the people who read, watch, listen and support their work.
In a blog post, Civil founder Matthew Iles said that the CVL token sale, which kicked off on September 18 and concluded on October 15, was not able to reach the goal of collecting at least $8 million.
“It’s a setback for us, though not a shock,” Iles said. “We watched the CVL token sale’s progress with the rest of you. We expected a different outcome when we launched the sale, but circumstances changed. We learned a lot of lessons which we will reflect on in the coming weeks and share with our community and the public.”
Iles said that they are now planning a new token sale that will precede the official launch of Civil, which is likely to take place in the forthcoming weeks. Buyers in the initial CVL token sale will be able to opt into this new sale, request an immediate refund, or be automatically refunded by October 29.
“We’ll offer full refunds,” Iles said. “But we’re also working on a new token sale process, very different from the last one and, we hope, much easier. We’ll be sharing an update soon on how you can continue to support and participate in Civil.”
ConsenSys, a blockchain venture studio that invested $5 million in Civil in October 2017, has agreed to purchase $3.5 million worth of those new tokens.
“ConsenSys has committed $3.5 million to the Civil Foundation, which will be used to fund existing grants to the 14 initial newsrooms as well as overhead,” Iles said. “Future proceeds from the new CVL token sale will exclusively fund the foundation’s work, including its grantmaking.”
Once the tokens from the new sale are distributed, Iles said Civil will be ready to launch. This will include a blockchain-publishing plugin for WordPress, a community governance application, and a developer tool for building with Civil data without blockchain expertise.
“Civil is not going anywhere. The Civil Media Company is here to stay,” Illes said. “We’ve built a community of newsrooms and engaged members of the public, highlighted by the 125+ journalists across 18 newsrooms (14 from Civil’s “First Fleet,” and four more that joined the Civil network earlier this month) that already form the backbone of the Civil community, and publish daily.”
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