Controversial social media platform Gab has switched to using cryptocurrency payments after being denied banking services.
Founder Andrew Torba posted on Gab last week that the platform had been denied by many payment processors and banking services, and as a result had turned to cryptocurrencies, specifically integrating the BitPay payment processor, which processes Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash:
“Gab has been denied by multiple banks during the underwriting process for a new payment processor. Multiple processors supported us, their banks did not.
Gab is the supreme example of why bitcoin exists. We will be integrating BitPay asap because Coinbase already banned us.
Outside of this we will be setting up a PO box to mail cash/checks to.
This is what we need to resort to in order to have any revenue. This is the level no-platforming has reached. Banking blacklists. We’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and have fully audited financials. What a time to be alive. More info soon. Working on getting this all setup so we can start selling Pro and merchandise again.”
Gab came to prominence by hosting politically-right voices that had been deplatformed on other sites and services. Controversy generated by its more active users has led to pressure on the site for providing a platform for certain voices and views.
BitPay integration short-lived
The change to accepting cryptocurrency, however, did not last long before running into continued problems. Not long after the initial announcement, Torba posted that BitPay had denied services to Gab. In a posted screenshot of a received email, BitPay explained that the termination was because of supposed “higher risks” posed by supporting the platform:
Cryptocurrencies do not require third-party processors to receive payments. However, BitPay’s prime advantage is its ability to convert to fiat currency, and without a similar censorship-prone element, accepting payments in cryptocurrency means that recipients such as Gab would have to find ways of using it directly to pay bills.
Mass adoption solves censorship issues
One of the more significant hurdle in enabling cryptocurrency to prevent financial censorship is its relatively limited adoption rate. Because of the low percentage of businesses and services around the world that accept cryptocurrency for payments, most recipients must convert to fiat currencies, and in so doing must rely on centralized services that can be shut down. Mass adoption, however, allows censored businesses and services to pay their bills even if no processor will support them. With over 4,200 businesses and counting accepting Dash payments listed on DiscoverDash, Dash is presenting an increasingly strong case for being one of the first to reach critical mass in adoption, strengthening its censorship resistance qualities.