In recent weeks, CryptoGlobe has been covering the ongoing struggle of the censorship-free social media platform Gab.
Gab has been around for a few years and was designed with the explicit purpose of harboring free speech. No users are banned on Gab, but instead, the site offers a variety of different blocking options to allow users to filter out the content that they don’t like without censoring anyone.
Gab did not start off with the intention of harboring hate groups, but as traditional social media companies are beginning to crack down on a range of users for different reasons, Gab has been the only alternative for many and has become an accidental safe haven for those groups.
In October, Gab was dropped by Stripe and multiple web hosts after a mass shooter posted on the site before his attack. Importantly, the user also posted on Facebook and Twitter, neither of whom were penalized by payment processors.
Turning to Crypto
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 said that “decentralized exchanges are the future,” because crypto on/off ramps are very easily compromised.
Earlier this week, CryptoGlobe reported that Gab was turning to Square’s Cash App as a possible alternative. However, as suspected by many, within a day Gab’s founder had his account with Square closed:
Update: Square has blocked Andrew Torba's personal Cash App account and we've reached out for an update. https://t.co/d7YPzA3kt8
— Gab.com (@getongab) January 8, 2019
With seemingly nowhere else to turn, Gab decided to integrate BTCPay server to their platform.
Thank you for soooo many nice comments regarding our @BtcpayServer integration into Gab today to accept bitcoin payments. A very interesting experience!
— Gab.com (@getongab) January 9, 2019