Gab Promotes Bitcoin as 'Free Speech Money' to Over 850,000 Users

Francisco Memoria

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.

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:

Satoshi on WikiLeaks accepting BTC

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.

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.

BTC Now Below $8300, but Tom Lee Says ‘2020 Should Be Great for Bitcoin’

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (January 23), Thomas Lee, Co-Founder, Managing Partner, and the Head of Research at independent research boutique Fundstrat Global Advisors, while appearing as a guest on CNBC's post-market show "Fast Money", predicted that "2020 Should Be Great for Bitcoin" and explained why.

According to data from CryptoCompare, at press time (around 10:20 UTC on January 24), Bitcoin is trading at $8,273:

BTC-USD 24 Hour Chart on 24 Jan 2020.png

This is the first time that Bitcoin has traded below the $8,300 level since January 14, as you can see in the two-week BTC-USD price chart shown below:

BTC-USD 2 Week Chart on 24 Jan 2020.png

Since Bitcoin reached $9,151 at 01:00 (UTC) last Sunday (January 19), the BTC price has been steadily falling, perhaps in anticipation of the "traditional" slowdown in Bitcoin trading around the time of the Chinese New Year (which, this year, starts on 25 January 2020 and ends on 11 February 2021). This expected drop in Bitcoin trading volumes was something that Arthur Hayes, Co-Founder and CEO of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, predicted in a tweet he sent out yesterday:

However, Lee, does not seem concerned about the currently falling prices of Bitcoin and altcoins in the crypto market.

Lee, who was appearing on Fast Money to give his views on the stock, bond, and crypto markets, was asked by the shows's host, CNBC news anchor Brian Sullivan, if he was still bullish on Bitcoin.

Lee replied:

"Yeah, 2020 should be great for Bitcoin because you got number one the halvening happening -- the block reward for miners getting cut in half -- that's a good supply demand change. I think last year the White House killed the Bitcoin rally with their opposition, but with the presidential election cycle underway, it's not gonna be in the headlines, and that's bullish for Bitcoin. And then with geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, I think that's good for crypto... We're getting a lot more interest in it from our clients."

It is worth remembering that two weeks ago Lee tweeted about a report he had published on January 9 about the outlook for crypto in 2020. According to this report, there are three positive convergences/catalysts for Bitcoin in 2020:

  • Bitcoin halving/halvening (which is expected to take place around 12 May 2020).
  • Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
  • 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Lee said at the time that the bottom line is that "financial markets tend to discount 1-3 months, and maybe 6 months (max)" and therefore the "highest probability is halvening not priced in."