According to the tweet posted by official Gab account, last week, Coinbase banned Andrew Torba’s (Founder at Gab, the social media platform), Coinbase merchant account. Gab’s business account on Coinbase was already closed in December, as per the report by blockchain blog Breaker. In November Gab was banned by BitPay, the cryptocurrency payment processor.
In August 2017, Gab was banned by Google and the company removed the app from the Google Play store for violating the company’s hate speech policy. Last year in July, Microsoft threatened to stop hosting the site after a pair of anti-Semitic posts were published on the website. In 2017, Gab was banned by Apple and removed from Apple store because of the objectionable content. Just two months ago, even GoDaddy banned Gab for breaking the domain registrar’s rules against hosting violent content. Other companies like Medium, Stripe and Shopify have also banned Gab.
Possible reasons for getting banned
Gab has described itself on its website as a “social network that champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online. All are welcome.”According to blockchain blog Breaker, one of the major reasons why it is hard for Gab to get a payment processor is its reputation for being the social network for users banned from mainstream platforms because of hate speech.
As per a report by the New York Times, last year in October the alleged shooter, Robert Bowers in Pittsburgh used Gab to post a final message before attacking the synagogue. Post which, Torba stated that the Pittsburgh shooter doesn’t represent the broader user base of Gab. Paypal also banned Gab after the Pittsburgh incident. The official logo of Gab also got some controversies around it because of the green frog which is similar to Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that became popular for racist memes. As per a post by Cointelegraph, last year, in April, the Coinbase merchandise shop of the anonymous international publishing nonprofit WikiLeaks had been closed due to a terms of service violation.
Users have given mixed reaction to this news. Few users are not happy about this and are questioning Coinbase on restricting freedom via censorship. Many users got banned and are unhappy because of that, they are now comparing Coinbase with other platforms like Gemini and Cex.io.
Coinbase did that to my account about a year ago. Never did tell me why and did not respond to any of my emails. But, I found Gemini and https://t.co/JX1NhyzaUF instead and have been using that for my onramp ever since. No loss.
— TallHandsome (🍕+🍍=💪) (@TallHandsomeOne) January 4, 2019
yeah their whole mission statement about "Building a borderless open financial system" is a bit of a joke.
— Hashsandwich (@Hashmandu) January 4, 2019
Im closing my coinbase account right now, they are all what anti-bitcoin is.
— Antares (@caballoantares) January 5, 2019
What's the best way to get my btc off coinbase?
— _Fruhmann_ (@_Fruhmann_) January 5, 2019
According to few users the idea of bitcoin is freedom and the whole idea of bitcoin exchange would get ruined with Coinbase’ strategies and is anti-freedom. Users are are now looking forward to Decentralized Exchange, a cryptocurrency exchange without the central authority. Users are awaiting Skycoin’s first working decentralized exchange which is built directly into their software wallet. Skywire, Skycoin’s flagship app is expected to launch sooner. Skywire will build a decentralized internet that will be fully encrypted and censorship proof.
Users are also angry at Brian Armstrong, the founder of Coinbase and they are labelling him as a hypocrite as he talked about economic freedom and his latest move differs from it. Few users think that the decision taken by Coinbase was wise enough and it makes sense to ban platforms like Gab.
It’s primarily a bunch of right wing racists and hate groups. Why should any platform be forced to allow them? Coinbase am twitter are free to do what they wish with their platforms.
— Aaron Rentfrew (@livingrightco) January 5, 2019
Check the official announcement on Twitter.