PressCoin began its challenge of the global news media landscape on Monday with its $100 million ICO launch. The company aims to support a network of independent media organizations to incentivise and promote unbiased news.
The founders are setting out to reduce media dependence on advertising revenues and its resulting impact on media output. As such they have identified 15 potential revenue streams of which advertising will simply be one.
PressCoin will support any platform that wishes to join its blockchain-based ecosystem. Five platforms will be included at the time of launch.
These include: Insurge which maps the relationships between key global issues; NextEelection to track local elections worldwide; Zolori which hopes to revitalize local news organisations across the globe; another platform for citizen journalists known as Mojonomy; and finally ChickenSoup News which will focus on news about positive change.
The PressCoin token, NEWS, is based on the ERC-20 standard. Unlike most tokenised projects, NEWS will actually represent equity in the company, PressCoin Plc. The goal is for NEWS to be the currency of a “PressCoin Economy” that will incentivise and support an independent, unbiased news media.
Some analysts have their doubts about the true goal of the ICO. Exactly how tokens will be converted into equity is not made clear in the white-paper.
Moreover, the 100 million tokens being released for the ICO represent 40% only of the equity in PressCoin Plc. That means token holders will not control the Plc or its revenues.
This may be problematic as the white-paper states that the token “is an asset-backed currency”, and that its economic value is “derived from the increasing revenues of all the interconnected platforms.”
Although not unusual within the ICO space, the looseness in outline may mean that investors and other potential project stakeholders will require more transparency in relation to the structure of the company if the ICO wants to achieve its $100 million hard-cap.