Despite a flurry of media attention surrounding the project, Civil, an Ethereum-based platform aiming to save journalism, can’t seem to get enough buyers for its token.
The project released a transparency report showing the figures behind its CVL token sale, which ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, October 15, 2018, and the numbers do not look good.
“This isn’t how we saw this going,” Civil founder Matthew Iles wrote on October 10. “We don’t know if it will work.”
The project needs to raise $8 million to meet its “soft cap” goal, but, so far, it has only raised $1.3 million from 680 people since September 18, 2018, when the sale started. The ICO money would have supported grants for Civil newsrooms, as well as original journalistic work. Civil has said in the past it will refund people if it can’t raise enough to meet its goal.
Most of the tokens ($1.1 million worth) were bought by ConsenSys, a blockchain venture studio run by Joseph Lubin, an Ethereum cofounder. ConsenSys purchased the tokens in two separate buys last month, the report said. The venture studio also backed Civil with $5 million in funding in October 2017. ConsenSys is the project’s sole investor to date.
Civil has a fixed supply of 100 million tokens. The project is holding on to 33 million tokens. Some of that will go to employees and advisors who contributed to the project early on. Another 33 million tokens will go to “mission-aligned partners” who joined the network at launch. (The Associated Press and Forbes count among those partners.) And the final 34 million tokens were to be sold to raise money for the project. Civil said it was hoping to close several large buyers in addition to ConsenSys to “go the distance,” but that hasn’t happened.
One of the problems is that Civil is only allowing individuals who actually plan to use the tokens on the platform to participate in the sale. Purchasers have to pass a test before they are allowed to buy CV...