Some Thoughts on Civil

My first reaction to every new coin is 1) assume its a complete scam 2) assume no working product actually gets delivered 3) assume market is already saturated with like products 4) If product gets delivered, assume it’s not going to work as intended.
Civil doesnt appear to be a pump and dump exit scam. Website is legit enough, they were on NPR, yadda yadda. They’re probably not going to disappear after the ICO. But, they are still having an ICO. I don’t support ICO’s for anything competing with Bitcoin as money. Civil is not competing in this sector, but it is still a form of money as it’s easily transferrable and has a fluctuating value. With any coin that ICO’s, you have to look into the distribution of coins, release schedule, etc.
Using ICO’s/tokens to replace stock is also tricky, which is pretty much what Civil and others try to do with their token sales.With tokens, you usually have no voting stake for the company overall and also have no claims on the company’s assets if they get liquidated. I havent found many projects that seemed like good investments from a classic stock investing point of view. If I do buy into a project, it’s mostly because I want to participate in the network and/or support the cause. So, I’d view any buy into Civil as a donation.
On to specifics.
There are many projects working on:
1) incentivizing decentralized information creation
2) using micropayments to pay for content instead of using advertising
3) creating reputation systems where your reputation is directly ties to your value
4) ensuring participants in a chat have a vested interest, or “skin in the game”
“Fake News’ is a problem. We need thoughtful, well-researched journalism. There should be a reputation system where bad actors get punished for continuously reporting fake/purposefully misleading/inflammatory news. Some journalistic content should also be decentralized. Sites like Reddit have decentralized short-form content creation. They also have reputation systems. however, most accounts are still anonymous, shell accounts can be made quickly and for free, and there’s no real payment mechanism tied to reddit.
A project called SteemIt launched a couple years ago which is very similar to reddit. However, you get STEEM tokens for posting quality articles, and even for upvoting quality content. You can buy STEEM to get more exposure on the network and to “advertise” your posts. If you continuously upvote or post crappy information, you not only lose reputation but you lose money (or dont make as much). It’s be cool if a seriously journalistic network joined something like STEEM. Something that already exists, instead of doing a cashgrab ICO, but maybe CIVIL has some other unique features.
A lot of people are experimenting with micropayments to pay for articles instead of having to view ads or subscribe to a service. Some solutions are being built on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Another solution for the content/”attention” problem is Brave and their Basic Attention Token (BAT). This was created by one of the creators of the Firefox browser. I havent researched this in a while but I own some and it’s one of the more legitimate projects in the space. I think theyre mostly after the micropayment thing, but also into getting better statistics/payments for posts that actually garner attention, and not ones that just get clicks/visitors quickly leave.
Another serious project in the space is Status. They have an all-in one phone app that serves as a crypto wallet, messenger, and platform for apps. One of the main uses for status in the whitepaper is for reputation systems. One cool feature is that you can show that you have “skin in the game” in oder to comment in certain chatrooms/discussion threads. For instance, if you wanted to have your opinion heard on some conservation project. You can provecryptographically that you own some of that projects tokens, then participate in the convo. This would help eliminate trrlls/those with no skin in the game.
Maybe I’ll write an artizle on this. The big takeaway is that all ICO’s are suspicious, most are bad investment, even the ones wiht good intentions and a capable team. I think solutions to problems like fake news will arise more organically out of Bitcoin, specifically, but some of these specialized token projects on Ethereum could very well work. I’d likely not buy into the ICO, keep an eye on the coin prive/development/community, and consider a buy-in later, but there’s jsut so much to track in this space.
-Chris