The intersection between beer and blockchain is where you’ll find Civic.

Like most things on the internet, blockchain accounts are either anonymous or pseudonymous, which means it is very difficult or impossible to know anything real about the person behind the account.

Civic is building technology that allows people to use the blockchain to do things like verify their age to buy beer. No bartender or bouncer required. Can they do it? We explore below.

What is Civic?


Civic is a system of dapps built on Ethereum that revolves around verifying and requesting information about identity. The Civic ecosystem is built around Users, Requesters, and Validators.

  • A User would be a person that wants to prove some aspect about their identity such as their age so they can buy beer.
  • Requesters would be organizations that want to know an aspect about a person’s identity such as their age so they can sell beer to them.
  • Validators are trusted organizations that confirm to the Requestors that the User is old enough to buy beer.

Identities on Civic are reusable and stored locally on a user’s mobile device so personal data is completely in the control of the user. Using private keys and their fingerprints to verify transactions, Users only share the information that they want to share with only those who they want to share it with.

Who Invented Civic?

Civic was founded by Jonathan Smith and Vinny Lingham in 2015.

Did you know?

Vinny Lingham was a reality TV star in his native South Africa. He was both a Dragon and a Shark on the country’s version of the Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, which were competitions for local entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to prominent investors.

A brief history

  • June 2017 – The Civic token sale is completed, raising $33 million.
  • May 2018 – The world’s first crypto beer vending machine is revealed using Civic’s identity platform to verify the age of buyers.
  • March 2019 – Civic Pay is previewed at South by Southwest (SXSW) allowing users to verify their age and buy beer using Civic (CVC) tokens at the same time.

What’s so special about it?

To make identity checks faster and more streamlined, Civic users only have to upload identity documents such as passports or driver’s licenses once. After setting up their identity on Civic, users can confirm their information to any organization that uses the Civic system. To protect user’s information, data and personal information are stored locally on the user’s mobile devices and not on Civic’s servers.

What else is different?

Civic is developing its Civic Pay app that allows users to verify identity and pay for purchases at the same time. The ability to reliably confirm the identity of buyers means age-restricted items like beer can be purchased in vending machines. By allowing payments using cryptocurrencies, vending machine operators can accept small amounts of digital payments without high credit card processing fees. Initially, Civic Pay used the Civic (CVC) tokens for payments, but has plans to incorporate a stablecoin such as Gemini USD in the future.


How is Civic (CVC) produced?

A fixed supply of one billion CVC tokens was produced following the Civic token sale in June 2017. Of the total supply: one percent covered the token sale costs, 33 percent went to the Civic team, 33 percent went to token sale participants, and 33 percent is allocated for participating in the ecosystem.

How do you get hold of Civic (CVC)?

CVC is an ERC20 token that can be exchanged for on major exchanges like Binance and Huobi. You can also become a Validator or a User in the Civic ecosystem to start earning CVC tokens.

What can you do with Civic?

The Civic platform relies on CVC tokens to incentivize and reward participants in the ecosystem. The system uses reliable Validators that verify the identities and attributes of Civic Users. These Validators are trusted organizations such as banks or utility providers and are rewarded in CVC for their verification work. Users can also earn CVC by choosing to provide their personal data to organizations that value it.

The Future

Civic plans to focus heavily on the usage of their technology in the vending machine industry by integrating cryptocurrency payments and identity verification through Civic Pay. They have very recently announced a partnership with 12 companies that control more than one million internet-connected vending machines. Through these partnerships and many more, Civic hopes to allow age-restricted items like alcohol, tobacco, and even hemp and cannabis products to be purchasable through vending machines.

Just remember to use Civic responsibly.

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.