Prominent Denver Post journalists, who recently left the embattled newspaper amid a battle with its hedge fund owners, are forming a start-up that's embracing one of the hottest trends in technology: blockchain.
The Colorado Sun is launching as a reporter-owned, ad-free publication in partnership with Civil, a New York-based media company that's applying cryptoeconomics to journalism. The online paper is sending out its inaugural newsletter, the Sunriser, on Wednesday afternoon, and the full site will be up and running in the coming months.
Blockchain has thus far largely been applied to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, which are tracked on an electronic ledger and not subject to the rules of central banks. But tech entrepreneurs have been pursuing all sorts of other uses for blockchain, from storing medical records to managing music distribution, and any number of projects that require housing digital data and transactions.
Civil said it is experimenting with blockchain in the news business and has plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, a token that would be used for accessing content, rewarding newsrooms for good reporting or even challenging the quality of work.
"We are all about doing great local journalism, and we think this is the best model for doing that, said Larry Ryckman, a former senior editor of The Denver Post who is now editor of the Colorado Sun. "It is new and unproven, but we are willing to take a chance."