The last 12 to 18 months have seen an explosion of new businesses created on blockchain technology—the underlying technology behind Bitcoin which is rapidly expanding to support new businesses with a wide range of functions in a wide variety of markets. Funded with “ICOs” (Initial Coin Offerings), these businesses form by creating new cryptocurrencies and selling them to a large and diverse group of buyers, who then become stakeholders in the resulting company; the currency is then used to power the activity of the company, increasing the value of the company and distributing the rewards for that value increase to the users, who in effect are the shareholders.
The new, “decentralized” web has attracted increasing attention as ICOs have pushed into the nine-digit stratosphere in initial raises, creating companies with pretty massive spending power right out of the gate.
At least three such companies are presently operational or in formation with the idea of developing a media economy on the blockchain that will support journalism with an entirely new, decentralized business model. One of these three—Civil—is a project the author is working on directly; two others—Steemit and DNN (Decentralized News Network)—are pursuing similar goals, differently.
“Journalism on the Blockchain” will explore the possibilities for creating new economic models for journalism on the blockchain. In the process, it will document the challenges and successes of the people who are trying to execute on this idea right now, assess where the space is heading, and what the major challenges and proven successes are and have been.
Project lead: Bernat Ivancsics