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Wikipedia Competitor Everipedia's Blockchain Is Now Live

The mainnet for decentralized encyclopedia startup Everipedia is now live.

The blockchain-based Wikipedia competitor announced the launch on Thursday, allowing users to earn its IQ tokens for adding or editing articles to the platform. These tokens, in turn, will let users participate and vote on network governance issues.

Everipedia’s developers hope that this type of model will ensure that the platform remains fully independent of donations or advertisements. At the same time, the push toward decentralization is aimed at making the platform itself “uncensorable.”

While Everipedia was previously accessible by anyone with an internet connection, the mainnet launch means it will now move from a traditional Web hosting service to a blockchain with a new URL.

The platform is built on top of the EOS blockchain platform, with Everipedia having moved to the EOS network earlier this year.

Everipedia announced that it would initially distribute its IQ tokens through an airdrop after EOS went live. Any user who owned EOS tokens could receive IQ tokens, the startup said at the time.

The startup notably boasts Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger as its chief information officer, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

In a statement, Sanger praised the launch, saying “we are elated to release our minimum viable network which allows users to vote on and create articles in a decentralized manner for the first time.”

Image via Shutterstock

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Wikipedia Rival Everipedia Plans Token Airdrop in June

Decentralized encyclopedia startup Everipedia plans to distribute its proprietary tokens next month through an airdrop.

Announcing the move Tuesday, the Wikipedia competitor said its IQ tokens will be part of an incentive program, which rewards users who improve the articles on the platform by curating information or editing previously published pieces. The startup will use the EOS network’s genesis snapshot tool to distribute the tokens.

To redeem their tokens, Everipedia members must register their existing EOS tokens with the startup. Any user who purchases EOS tokens through June 2018 will be eligible to receive the IQ tokens, according to the release.

Everipedia further announced that its network would go live after the EOS mainnet is released, though in the event there are multiple competing EOS mainnets, members of the community would be able to vote on which network Everipedia should choose.

Users should not have to share public keys or provide access to their funds to receive tokens, Everipedia said. The startup “is committed to transparent communications and security, which is why it has chosen to proceed with this method for the airdrop.”

Everipedia co-founder and chief executive Theodor Forselius said:

“We’re delighted to share the airdrop date with our growing Everipedia community and look forward to further disrupting and democratizing the traditional encyclopedia model.”

Encyclopedias image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Novogratz's 'Crypto-Bank' Is Backing Everipedia's Blockchain Pivot

Galaxy Digital, the crypto-asset merchant bank launched by former fund manager Mike Novogratz, has made its first major investment.

Everipedia, the decentralized offshoot of Wikipedia, announced Thursday that it had secured $30 million through an equity sale led by Galaxy Digital’s EOS.io Ecosystem Fund. The funding round was restricted to strategic investors, according to statements.

The startup plans to use the proceeds from this funding round to launch its peer-to-peer network, led in part by chief information officer and Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger.

Everipedia announced last year that it was moving to the EOS.io blockchain, with its newly-envisioned infrastructure being built on top of that network.

The company hopes to develop a censorship-proof system using smart contracts which record contributions while using a cryptocurrency token to reward its contributors, as CoinDesk previous reported. Sanger, who joined last December, said at the time that he joined the startup to be part of a system which is not controlled by a small number of individuals.

He said in a new statement:

“In the era of fake news and a general distrust in central entities like governments, corporations and the media the world stands to benefit enormously from a decentralized and uncensorable knowledge base.”

Galaxy Digital was announced and launched last month by Novogratz, who sees it as a full-service, digital assets bank, as previously reported by Coindesk. The company was set to launch a hedge fund supporting crypto-projects, but the move was reportedly canceled late last year.

Books image via Shutterstock

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Encyclopedia Blockchainica: Wikipedia Co-Founder to Disrupt His Own Creation

A co-founder of Wikipedia doesn’t like what Wikipedia has become.

Dr. Larry Sanger has been an outspoken critic of the online encyclopedia he helped found for some time, but his latest move, joining venture-backed startup Everipedia as its chief information officer shows just how serious he is about disrupting the model.

Revealed today alongside news of Sanger’s hire, Everipedia is moving the entire process of approving articles, making edits and storing information to the EOS blockchain.

According to the Everipedia team, using smart contracts to record the editing workflow and store articles stands to create a truly censorship-proof system. And by incentivizing contributors with a cryptocurrency token, the company hopes it can create a platform for more accurate information.

In interview, Sanger explained his decision to join the startup as part of what he considers the next evolution of online encyclopedias.

He told CoinDesk:

“The biggest problem with online information today is that it is centralized and controlled by a very few players, that it benefits to have the most salacious and hype-ridden information. We can do much better.”

Tradeable IQ?

In an unpublished draft of Everipedia’s white paper provided to CoinDesk, the company details how this move to blockchain might create an improved Wikipedia.

Instead of a centralized server, content would be hosted by nodes – similar to how bitcoin’s ledger of transactions is held. But as has been clear throughout this year’s scaling debates, many of the largest blockchains in the space would face significant challenges storing the amount of data needed for an online encyclopedia.

In an effort to steer clear of those hurdles, Everipedia explored a number of platforms to host the smart contracts that execute the logic around contributing and editing articles, including the Plasma framework designed for ethereum.

In the end, however, the startup settled on a combination of the EOS blockchain unveiled in June and the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) — a sort of decentralized server — that will be used to store the more data-heavy files including video and images.

Also using the EOS blockchain, the company plans to develop a cryptocurrency token called IQ to incentivize the creation of content. Editors and curators will then “mine” that cryptocurrency by making accurate, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia.

“Just like miners who find blocks get newly minted bitcoin, these editors who are voted to have a very good state-change proposal get newly minted tokens,” said Everipedia co-founder and white paper co-author Sam Kazemian.

According to the white paper, which hasn’t been formalized, 50 percent of the total 100 million “IQ” tokens will be distributed in an initial coin offering (ICO) and 30 percent will be “minted” over 100 years to pay out editors and validators for their work.

To supplement $1 million the company previously raised from Mucker Capital, an additional 20 percent of the tokens will be set aside to pay development costs.

Ground to cover

Similar to the mission of many blockchain startups, Everipedia set out to eliminate the bureaucracy the startups’ founders thought allowed a relatively small number of people to be gatekeepers on Wikipedia.

The founder and CEO of Everipedia, Theodor Forselius, argues that contrary to Wikipedia’s original mission to tap the wisdom of the crowd, the online encyclopedia’s editorial hierarchy has resulted in a slanted view of history and a decreasing number of editors.

“Essentially, a doctor from the 1800s that gets five searches a month on Google could have a Wikipedia article,” said Forselius. “But bloggers, social media stars and up-and-coming rappers that are getting hundreds of thousands of searches a month were not seen as notable enough.”

Yet, Everipedia’s ostensibly more democratic process hasn’t always resulted in numbers or accuracy to compete with Wikipedia. For instance, whereas Wikipedia offers 43 million pages and has about 136 million active users, Everipedia only has about a half-million pages and 2.3 million unique users.

While there’s a long way to go, Sanger believes the company can implement a blockchain solution to rival Wikipedia in as little as nine months.

“The vision that I have for the next stage of the evolution of encyclopedias is what this team is implementing,” he said, adding:

“It opens up so many doors when information is truly decentralized and offered in a protocol such as blockchain.”

Dr. Larry Sanger image via Everipedia

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