Blockchain Media Startup Civil Shuts, Staff to Join ConsenSys

Civil, a startup decentralizing journalism funding and vetting, has publicly announced the shut down of its operations.

The homepage of Civil’s website now features a message from Matthew Iles, CEO of the startup, which was posted on Tuesday.

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“We built innovative technology, supported award-winning journalists, and inspired many people all over the world with our vision for a more participatory media landscape. But ultimately, we failed to sustain ourselves independently,” Iles wrote.

“This isn’t the outcome we had envisioned, but nevertheless, we’re proud of what we accomplished. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our passionate community.”

Harsh market or a faulty business model?

Founded in 2016, Civil was one of the first companies to bring blockchain technology into journalism. The startup was aiming to build a trustworthy newsroom by staking CVL tokens which can then be used to reward the journalists or even in the platform’s governance.

Though the company failed with its approach to the market for an initial coin offering (ICO), it raised $5 million from Consensys in 2017.

The startup was also working with Consensys for the development of products related to decentralized identity in the media and advertising space, “which attracted enterprise interest for use cases such as trackable content licensing and transparent ad decisioning.”

The blog post also detailed that Civil’s team will join Consensys and continue developing decentralized identity software for Ethereum.

“The Civil Registry, Civil tokens, and other work are open-source and operational, but there will be no further active development or management on our part,” Iles noted. “The Civil Foundation’s future is uncertain, but it is effectively in hibernation for now.”

“Our grand experiment did not achieve its mission, but we did succeed in bringing many people together around something radically different and in service of something deeply important.”

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