Social Network Gab Banned By Stripe, PayPal, And Coinbase, Motivating Move To Bitcoin Payments Through BitPay
Much of the purpose of cryptocurrency is to provide an opportunity to consumers to transact without their own personal data on the internet. Protecting credit cards and account numbers, the adoption of cryptocurrency affords an opportunity that most payment processors simply said offer. Recently, social network Gab became abundantly aware of how helpful this market could be, according to a report from The Block.
In the report, Gab proclaims itself to be a network that “champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online.” While they have no official affiliation with any political party, they have expressed their target market to include 50 million “conservative, libertarian, nationalists and populist internet users around the world.” However, recent developments have challenged their stance in this audience.
Early October brought some new ultimatums for the network, as payment processor Strip demanded that Gab remove “adult or illegal content” from their website within a two-week period. Shortly after the synagogue shooting that happened in Pittsburgh a few short weeks later, PayPal and Stripe banned the network. Though it was not revealed until after the ban, it seems that their decision correlated with information that the shooter posted anti-Semitic speech on Gab’s website, posting “I’m going in” just before the shooting. As this news was announced, their hosting provider Joyent, along with GoDaddy and Medium, ended their relationships.
Since Gab has been unable to take payments, their premium subscription and merchandise has gone unsold. CEO Andrew Torba took to the company’s official website to let users know that they’d been denied by multiple banks during the underwriting process for a new payment processor. Even though there were many that supported Gab, banks were not part of that support. Continuing, Torba added,
“Gab is the supreme example of why bitcoin exists. We will be integrating BitPay asap because Coinbase already banned us.”
Gab has had a lot of trouble in finding a payment processor for their subscription, which offers extra features to users. The ending of their relationship with Coinbase in June was abrupt and without any reason. Though Gab ultimately deleted their Twitter post on the subject, they said,
“Coinbase has banned Gab’s account. Centralized crypto exchanges/wallets are cancer and contradictory to everything crypto stands for.”
Torba believes that this move in banning Gab from the traditional finance market is unfair, since they’ve “done absolutely nothing wrong and has fully audited financials. Still, it is possible that the new connection with BitPay could end as well. In fact, the Block commented that Gab’s eventual fat seems to be forced bans and cut-off relationships with banks, due to their lack of accepting bitcoin directly. In the meantime, Gab will work on rallying support, even amid service interruptions and payment problems.