Blockchain for Journalists
Civil, Consensys spoke, is a “A community-owned journalism network” where blockchain is used to provide censorship resistance and content quality governance.
When we first started collaborating with the founders we set out to build a network where each member could directly influence the content that exists on the network itself. A direct democracy judging the merits of quality of Newsrooms that published inside that network.
The main goals were to:
Build the blockchain technology supporting the network
Create a great experience for the developers, so that Newsrooms and participants could easily reuse the open data inside the ecosystem and build their own products on top
Grow the developer community around the ecosystem itselfasd
17+ Companies currently publishing in the ecosystem
500+ Want to use it in close future
The first thing we set out to do was to develop the legal and licensing strategy for code.
The main ecosystem is meant to be open and accepting anybody with open hands. We’ve used copy-left licenses (LGPL 3.0) for the core ecosystem ensuring that improvements in the community can easily be introduced back into the main network. That way the network stays strong and grows along with the people building it.
During the building of the main network, a lot of tools were created that are useful in many other Ethereum projects, we’ve decided to use open licensing (Apache 2.0) to give back the community and increase the speed of growth of the whole cryptocurrency.
13+ Developers using the libraries
Next we’ve set out to write the Core of the Civil’s ecosystem, a combination of Ethereum’s smart-contracts written in Solidity and libraries around it in Typescript. The libraries are used both internally inside Civil Company and by external contributors, there’s no distinction between those two groups as anybody can add and improve the network or build products on top. The libraries are designed in a way that an engineer without previous knowledge of blockchain can easily get up to speed and start getting traction and users instead of spending months of learning the very delicate intricacies of blockchain development. Multiple tools used inside Civil Company took hours instead of weeks to build due the availability of those libraries.
2700+ code commits and growing
We’ve also built an optimised on boarding experience optimised for happiness of the engineers and run multiple tech meet-ups presentations getting people interested. We used those meet-ups to source talent and kickstart the community.
At the end of the road we’ve conducted an audit with the help of Consensys Diligence, working together to fix important problems such as ability for bad actors to impersonate as journalists.