Gab, a social network messaging platform that describes itself as a place “where people, free expression, and individual liberty come first,” has announced that its Coinbase account was suddenly closed by the popular US-based crypto exchange.
Gab: Centralized Exchanges ‘Contradictory to Everything Crypto Stands For’
Gab is a relatively young social networking platform launched in August 2016 as a response to censorship controversies involving major social media companies — such as Facebook and Twitter — which founder and CEO Andrew Torba calls “the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly.”
It has been battling this “Big Social Monopoly” in court with a legal fund that accepts donations in PayPal, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. In an email to Breitbart Tech, Torba claimed the Gab Legal Fund “will be used to directly explore any and all legal options against the anti-competitive actions of the Silicon Valley oligopoly.”
Now, the alternative social network announced that Coinbase has closed its account on the exchange — presumably used to send, receive and cash out cryptocurrencies — without providing any specific explanation.
Gab, meanwhile, slammed the move, calling the centralized cryptocurrency exchange “cancer,” saying:
Coinbase has banned Gab’s account. Centralized crypto exchanges/wallets are cancer and contradictory to everything crypto stands for.
Social commentator Kevin Pham, however, believes he may know why the San-Francisco based exchange decided to shutter Gab’s account. Pham pointed to a recent tweet from Gab that suggested “crony capitalism” could have been behind yesterday’s SEC announcement that Ethereum is not a security.
Is it a coincidence Coinbase closed your account after this tweet?
Also what surveillance mechanisms is Coinbase using to determine whether a user is "encouraging hate"? https://t.co/hUMxWvWjDs
— Kevin ''DELETE COINBASE'' Pham (@_Kevin_Pham) June 15, 2018
Pham also encouraged others in the cryptocurrency space to sign up for Gab just in case “Twitter tries to silence us.”
Meanwhile, other users encouraged Gab not to use Coinbase and set up their own wallets controlling their own private keys. “There are plenty of open source options you can just install and run without having to use any third party,” @username0ne wrote, continuing:
Utilize the censorship resistance of Bitcoin which allows you to be your own bank, and not use Coinbase.
Bitcoin, Crypto, and Censorship-Resistance
Torba created the alternative social network “after reading reports that Facebook employees suppress conservative articles.” His platform got a significant boost to its user base in November 2016 following permanent suspensions of conservative activist accounts such as Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos.
The platform, however, has been accused by critics of being supportive of white supremacists and the alt-right.
On its website description, Gab vehemently opposes suppression of online speech. “Censorship and closed systems are ultimately about two things: destruction and control,” it reads. “Censorship does not create value, it annihilates it.”
In line with its anti-censorship ethos, the social network has unsurprisingly embraced Bitcoin, which can be used to transact without trusting middlemen and third-parties. In fact, it even launched its own Gab Token ICO, raising over $5 million to date in an effort to build the next-generation social network focused on supporting free speech online.
“Gab Tokens will represent tokenized equity in Gab AI Inc and are not a ‘utility token’ of any nature,” its ICO website explains. “We believe that, like many of our users, investors in Gab will be supportive of a crowdfunding campaign that champions a truly democratic approach to raising capital.”
Do you support Coinbase’s decision to close Gab’s account? Share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, gab.ai, Twitter.