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Daily Byte: Thursday, December 20, 2018




Buterin funds startups, Coinbase to pay users, and Civil to press on despite ICO.

Buterin Gives $300K to Ethereum Startups

Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum (and ostensibly a "non-giver of ETH"), has just donated 1,000 ETH to three blockchain startups – seemingly, in response to a tweet.

It all started when Preston Van Loom, a software engineer at Google and co-founder of Prysmatic Labs, tweeted, "Our biggest distraction @prylabs is that we are still working full time for other jobs. Even with recent grants, it's hardly enough to take the whole team full time with significant pay cuts and it's certainly not even for us to scale the team to where we need it."

To this, Buterin tweeted, "Just sent 1000 eth. Yolo." This was followed by two more requests, from ChainSafe Systems and SigmaPrime, which Buterin also honored. All three companies are working to develop Ethereum 2.0, the cryptocurrency's next proposed iteration. (Want more details? Here's the full article.)

Coinbase to Pay Users to Test Crypto

Crypto exchange Coinbase has come up with a novel idea to get new users to try out cryptocurrencies: pay them.

In an initiative announced Wednesday, Coinbase users can earn 0x (ZRX) by watching videos and taking a few exams. The average participant stands to earn...maybe the equivalent of a regular Starbucks coffee. 0x is a token that can be used to facilitate the trade of other tokens via a decentralized exchange.

ZRX has earmarked 1.6 million tokens to the program. This represents the first new project for Earn, a company Coinbase acquired last year. Earn offers users nominal amounts for completing marketing tasks. Coinbase plans to extend the program to other offered coins in the future. (Read our thoughts in the full article.)

Civil to Give It Another Go After ICO Failure

Despite the failure of its coin offering, which only raised $1.4 million against a minimum target of $8 million, blockchain journalism startup Civil will still open to the public in February, per a blog post published yesterday.

"Civil was never about ICOs and tokens, or even blockchain," Civil founder Matthew Iles wrote. "We're about community-ownership, transparency and trust. We believe journalism (and media at large) should compete on craft, but collaborate on infrastructure. Technology is a critical means to an end, but we let it overwhelm our message, complicate our experience, and distract from our core objectives. We won't make that mistake again."

While 1,012 investors invested in the token sale, another 1,738 registered but did not complete the purchase. This time, Civil plans to actually sell off all 34 million CVL tokens.

Civil reports that it has 18 newsrooms signed up to the platform, with more than 50 additional newsrooms expected to join by February. Civil projects it will have over 1,000 newsrooms worldwide on its platform by 2020. (For ETHNews' take, read our full article.)

Be fast, be clever, be wise. Most importantly, be here tomorrow for your Daily Byte.

Frederick Reese

Frederick Reese is a politics and cryptocurrency reporter based in New York. He is also a former teacher, an early adopter of bitcoin and Litecoin, and an enthusiast of all things geeky and nerdy.

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