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No Fear No Favour

To fund investigative journalism, new kind of cryptocurrency to be used

In a battle to fight for the justice in the world, the journalist from various parts of the world has come together to create a cryptocurrency to continue funding for investigative journalism. Called PressCoin, the digital currency was made to get rid of the advertising revenue model, decentralize funding sources, and upend corporate media monopolies with collaborative content made to strengthen civic participation around the world.

A 28-day initial coin offering (ICO) is scheduled to begin November 22, with one PressCoin for sale at the value of $1.

“If PressCoin succeeds, I’m going to delete my Patreon account. Kind of a different ball game,” Nafeez Ahmed told VentureBeat in a Skype interview.

The readers and the journalist both will get the currency to their respective wallets based on the level of engagement they are able to create, as measured using the Quintype content management system.

In order to receive PressCoin, readers have to generate insights from the thoughtful conversation. Compensation levels will depend on the reputation documented and recorded in the blockchain. PressCoin publications will not allow readers to engage in comments or interact with anonymous accounts.

“When you integrate something like that [reader compensation] on the blockchain and allow them to share in the total revenue that we’re generating, then you’ve got a real game changer I think in terms of how you incentivize people to interact,” Ahmed said.

Publications under PressCoin will be focused on selected areas of coverage such as politics, education, science, democracy, energy and health and science.

In addition to Insurge, PressCoin’s initial publications include NextElection, an election tracker that tells the stories of challengers over incumbents; Mojonomy, a platform for citizen journalists around the world; and ChickenSoup.News, a news outlet bent on telling positive stories.

Other members of the PressCoin media team include Indian TV host and Washington Post writer Barkha Dutt and war correspondent John Pilger.

In September, chat app Kik raised $98 million in its ICO, which it plans to use to seed its bot ecosystem and to compensate users and developers based on the levels of engagement they’re able to generate.

Sensay, an anonymous advice service that runs on popular chat apps, had a token sale this fall to compensate advice givers. used a similar approach to compensate people for sharing their medical information.

A portion of PressCoin transactions will be set aside for use of the Quintype platform and to support an accelerator program to pay for the establishment of other news startups.

“A certain part of the proceeds go to our accelerator program, which is our own panel of founders, and extended experts will sort of help innovation happen in startups and in our countries around the world to help newsrooms and creating virtual newsrooms too,” said HigherOrderVC founder Amit Rathore, creator of the Quintype content management system currently used by Amazon, Fortune, and Bloomberg.

PressCoin was inspired in part, Ahmed said, by De Correspondent, where readers are encouraged to assist in the reporting process and interact with reporters. The Dutch news startup De Correspondent was launched in 2013 following a €1 million crowdfunding campaign used to create its own content management system.

Like De Correspondent, PressCoin will allow limited access to read its content, but to read full stories, interact with journalists, or comment on stories, users will have to pay for a subscription or make micropayments for individual stories.

After the token sale, people will be able to become subscribers or join the PressCoin system using fiat currency, credit cards, or online payment systems, PressCoin said in a statement shared with VentureBeat.

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