Gab to Use Square Cash App After Coinbase Ban

John Vibes

Earlier this week, CryptoGlobe reported that the controversial, censorship-free social media platform Gab was cut off from Coinbase without explanation.

Gab has had a series of challenging months, as a result of hateful content that they refuse to moderate on their website. Gab has become somewhat of a safe haven for people with extreme views who have been banned from more mainstream social media sites, but supporters say that that there must be some places on the internet that have zero moderation in order to preserve free expression and freedom of speech.

In October, Gab was dropped by Stripe and multiple web hosts after a mass shooter posted on the site before his attack. He posted on Facebook and Twitter also, but those sites did not receive any penalties.

Next, Gab turned to cryptocurrency for its censorship-resistant properties, but the company soon learned that these features are only guaranteed to users who hold the private keys to their wallets, and that these features are often forfeited when crypto is held on custodial services.

Without giving a reason, Coinbase closed the official account for the site, as well as the account of Gab’s co-founder Andrew Torba. In a post on Twitter after receiving news of the ban, Gab made a post on Twitter saying that "decentralized exchanges are the future," because crypto on/off ramps are very easily compromised.

Possible Alternatves

Gab seems to have moved onto Square's Cash App, according to a post made on Twitter this week.

However, Square is also a centralized company, which means that Gab could encounter the same problems again, especially if Square comes under enough pressure from the public and the rest of the industry.

New platforms are in development to serve users who might experience censorship, specifically activists and journalists. As CryptoGlobe reported, newscaster Ben Swann announced a new blockchain-based journalism project called Isegoria, which hopes to give a voice to some of the reporters who have been disenfranchised by the dominant social media websites.

ErisX Tells Regulator's Why Ethereum Futures Would Create Better Markets

  • Nasdaq and Fidelity Investments-backed ErisX exchange sends explanation letter to CFTC.
  • Letter explains that regulated Ether-based futures contract would create more efficient crypto markets.

ErisX, a US-based digital asset exchange, has filed a comment letter with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) - after the federal regulator requested more information regarding Ethereum (ETH)’s current market.

Submitted on Friday, February 15, ErisX’s letter asserted:

The introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether would have a positive impact on the growth and maturation of the market.

As covered, ErisX is a newly launched cryptoasset exchange that received $27.5 million in starting capital from multi-trillion dollar investment manager, Fidelity and Nasdaq Ventures, which is Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) VC investment division.

Consistent With CFTC's Efforts

In December 2018, ErisX’s management revealed its plans to offer bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and ether (ETH) spot trading and it also noted that it was seeking regulatory approval - in order to list cryptocurrency futures at a later point this year. Explaining why such futures contracts would help investors, ErisX’s letter noted that “listing and trading Ether futures compliantly on CFTC regulated markets is consistent” with the financial regulator’s efforts to create “open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound derivative trading markets.”

The letter from ErisX further mentioned that regulated crypto-based futures would “prohibit fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices in connection with derivatives and other products subject to the (Commodity Exchange Act) CEA.” According to the CFTC, bitcoin can be considered a commodity as it has been designed to potentially replace existing fiat currencies (as a medium-of-exchange). Because of bitcoin and ethereum’s decentralized nature, they are arguably not securities, the CFTC has clarified on several occasions.

Explaining the differences between the Ethereum and Bitcoin protocol, ErisX’s letter has stated: 

Ethereum built upon some of the architectural principles of Bitcoin to extend [its] functionality of [a] distributed, (cryptographically) secured, (blockchain-enabled) record-keeping system to include new computational capabilities for the execution of arbitrary code.

"Unregulated Exchanges And Brokers" Trying To "Fill The Gap"

Per ErisX’s analysis of current trends in the global Ethereum (and larger digital asset) market, there is still not a proper regulatory framework in place. This, according to ErisX, has discouraged several large enterprises from entering the fragile crypto ecosystem. At present, ErisX believes there’s a trend emerging in which “unregulated or lightly regulated ‘exchanges’ [and] ‘brokers’ [are trying] to fill the gap, many of them off-shore.” However, ErisX cautioned there may be certain risks associated with this type of market such as increased volatility and liquidity fluctuations.

As noted in ErisX’s letter:

Not unique to Ether, but [current crypto markets could suffer due to] the current fragmented global market structure of trading platforms and ‘exchanges’ with significantly varying degrees of regulatory oversight and operational transparency and integrity.

By introducing standardized, CFTC-regulated Ether-based financial products, ErisX argues the crypto space might receive a more positive response from institutional investors - which could potentially lead to “more robust, liquid, and resilient markets.”