Gab, a purportedly uncensored social media microblogging platform, has recently revealed it sent its over 850,000 users an email promoting bitcoin as “free speech money” that’s censorship-resistant and allows for free speech to continue online.
The organization’s email was sent in the wake of various high-profile online censorship cases, where alternative media personalities and platforms have been de-platformed. As Vice reported, last year saw crowdfunding platform Patreon ban the accounts of figures associated with the alt and far right.
Media Censorship Turning Political Commentators to Bitcoin
These figures included British YouTuber Carl Benjamin, known as Sargon of Akkad, political commentator James Allsup, and political activist and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
Other platforms, including PayPal, are known to have de-platformed individuals and organizations. These include right wing reporter Tommy Robinson, which has since turned to bitcoin, controversial psychologist, writer, and public speaker Jordan Peterson, who moved by censorship started accepting bitcoin donations, and Gab itself.
After turning to cryptocurrency payment processors like Coinbase, Gab was then again censored. It has been under fire for its status as a refuge for far-right social-political proponents, including a gunman who slew eleven Jewish worshippers in Pennsylvania last year. As noted in its email, Gab was also banned by Stripe and Bitpay.
As a result, the platform has been promoting BTC as “free speech money” that cannot be stopped by any bank, corporation, government, or other entity. The flagship cryptocurrency, thanks to its decentralized nature, is censorship and tamper-resistant.
Email is going out now to 850,000 Gab members introducing them to Bitcoin. pic.twitter.com/f1kNR0cB1x
— Gab.com (@getongab) January 9, 2019
Gab noted that the United States of America “can not regulate Bitcoin or stop it.” This as, in order to do so, it would “need to destroy the First Amendment,” something the country’s citizens wouldn’t allow.
As such, it noted that although a lot of people fixate on bitcoin’s price, it isn’t what’s important. The email reads:
What’s important is censorship-resistant free speech money and payment processing. As long as you own Bitcoin, you can support any person, business, or cause that you wish without permission from any bank, government, or corporation.
Near the end, Gab advised its users to visit Buybitcoinworldwide.com to learn about how to buy, store, and use BTC. To buy the cryptocurrency, it recommended Square’s Cash app, which allows them to buy right from their mobile devices. As part of its commitment to what it called ‘free speech money’ Gab has been promoting the flagship cryptocurrency via social media.
Bitcoin’s Role as Censorship Resistant Money
The first well-known case of an organization turning to Bitcoin after being de-platformed is that of Wikileaks. In late 2010 major payment processors were denying the organization services, and Julian Assange, its founder, turned to BTC as an alternative.
According to Bitcointalk forum post, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto asked WikiLeaks not to use the cryptocurrency as it was still in its early stages. Responding to a user who encouraged the organization, he said:
WikiLeaks is currently still accepting cryptocurrency donations. Reacting to the events unfolding in front of them, the crypto community has been cheering mainstream payment processors’ conducts, as they’ve been promoting cryptocurrencies by encouraging censorship, enabled by their centralized power.
Thank You PayPal, Patreon, Visa and MasterCard! You've promoted #Bitcoin more than its biggest advocates ever could. Censoring free speech is exactly what we need you to do. Keep it up. Oh and while you're at it, write an article or two about Bitcoin being used by criminals. 🙂👍
— A v B ⚡ (@ArminVanBitcoin) December 31, 2018
Earlier this month, Gab promoted decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEXs) by claiming these are the ‘future’ after being banned by Coinbase. While there are various DEXs out there these suffer from poor trading volumes. Binance, a leading centralized exchange, is looking to launch its own DEX in Q1 of this year.