ConsenSys Backed Blockchain Media Startup, Civil, Shuts Down; ‘Failed to Sustain Ourselves’
Civil, the blockchain-based media startup, is shutting down according to blog post announcement by the company's CEO, Mathew Iles. The team will be joining ConsenSys to advance its work on identity solutions based on Ethereum. Notably, Civil had been funded by ConsenSys around $5 million back in 2017.
In the announcement, Mathew noted that the firm has set the pace for independent and trustworthy journalism through decentralized technologies. However, the decision to shut down was inevitable as Civil failed to sustain itself,
“We set out to decentralize how the news is vetted, how journalism is funded, and how we stay informed as a society…. But ultimately, we failed to sustain ourselves independently.”
Civil's Industry Highlights
This project began four years ago and has made some notable milestones prior to the unexpected ‘death'. In fact, Civil had inked partnerships with brand media names like Forbes, the Associated Press (AP), and WordPress in a bid to advance its market foothold. Many participants of the Civil open-source network seem to have leaned towards the platform given the transparency of operating on a public blockchain. Mathew highlighted that the platform will continue running although Civil's team will no longer contribute to its development,
“Newsrooms on Civil have always operated independently, and therefore will remain unaffected. 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.”
As highlighted earlier, Civil had acquired quite a significant funding from ConsenSys, Ethereum's incubator. This placed the project on the map for some time until it initiated a fresh $8 million funding round through a second ICO in 2018. Unfortunately, the firm did not hit its target and was forced to rework the strategy. Civil then issued another fresh funding round in Feb 2019 which again failed to materialize. Since then, the firm has faced a number of challenges resulting in a final decision of closing shop.
Mathew concluded by thanking his teammates, newsrooms, supporters, partners and noted that Civil will hold a special place in his heart,
“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. Our mission for journalism is more important now than ever.”