Gab, an anti-censorship social media platform, has reportedly been de-platformed by Coinbase, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin wallets and exchanges.
On January 5, the Gab team said the accounts of both Gab and Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab, were closed by Coinbase.
As predicted: the on ramps and off ramps (exchanges) are going to start censoring not only companies, but also individuals. @coinbase has now banned both Gab’s merchant account and Andrew Torba’s personal account.
Decentralized exchanges are the future. pic.twitter.com/LXkjblrdgu
— Gab.com (@getongab) January 4, 2019
Square Able to Support Bitcoin Withdrawals
Over the past several months, leading payment processors in the likes of PayPal and Mastercard are said to have practiced censorship on high-profile political commentators and content creators, placing pressure on subscription platforms like Patreon to de-platform certain individuals.
Dr. Jordan Peterson, who revealed that he was receiving $80,000 a month from his Patreon account during a podcast, had his account unjustifiably shut down by Patreon without any prior explanation or warning.
Gab said that the presence of companies and governments with significant control over the global financial industry disallows the freedom of speech and enables censorship and said that decentralized financial systems are the sole solution to censorship.
The company said in a statement:
As predicted: the on ramps and off ramps (exchanges) are going to start censoring not only companies, but also individuals. Coinbase has now banned both Gab’s merchant account and Andrew Torba’s personal account. Decentralized exchanges are the future. The next phase of financial censorship as people move to bitcoin is censoring the on ramps and off ramps (exchanges.) This will force and incentivize people to not use those ramps and instead only use bitcoin for all things. Keep censoring. It will only push people to bitcoin.
If Coinbase was forced by payment processors to close the accounts of Gab and its CEO, Square, the $26.5 billion payments giant operated by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, would have also found difficulties in providing Bitcoin support to Gab.
However, on January 7, Gab announced that Square’s Cash App enabled Bitcoin withdrawals for the company, raising concerns about Coinbase’s termination of the firm’s accounts.
Free at last pic.twitter.com/6rUBYtVF6Z
— Gab.com (@getongab) January 6, 2019
Dr. Jordan Peterson Comments
A best-selling author and the acclaimed Canadian clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, who is in the process of developing a new Patreon-like platform, said that the decision of Coinbase to de-platform Gab is likely to be an unpopular move in the cryptocurrency community.
Peterson suggested that the replication of censorship by major financial institutions contradicts the purpose of cryptocurrencies as a decentralized, open, and transparent financial network.
Previously, Peterson questioned the authority of payment processors and their ability to practice censorship at a large-scale.
“Down we go further into the rabbit hole: why are MC/Visa/PayPal/Patreon acting as censors? They are fighting ‘hate speech.’ But–the Achilles heel of such conceptualization–who defines ‘hate?’ Answer: Those to whom you would least want to grant such power,” he said.
Square’s Cash App has already surpassed all top apps on Apple’s iOS store to become the world’s most popular free application. The company’s willingness to operate as an alternative to censorship-encouraging platforms may give the firm an edge over its competitors in the cryptocurrency space.
Andrew Torba Image from PAHomepage.com/YouTube