The Potential Implications of Gab’s Dissenter on Single-Use Utility Tokens Like BAT and ERC-20s
Gab.com, a social network similar to Twitter, introduced the Dissenter platform with the aim of improving freedom of speech. Last month, the team integrated a forked version of Brave, an open-source web browser. This development has had a significant impact on BAT and other ERC20 tokens in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Throughout its existence, Gab.com and its users have labeled the platform as a champion for freedom of speech. Coincidentally, the site's main activities are centered on right-wing ideologies. Nothing outside this contentious niche has been mentioned on Gab.
In response to this situation, the Gab team have been working on adding more offerings to their platform. The introduction of Dissenter, a browser extension labeled ‘the internet's comment section,' was the first step towards this goal. The platform allows users to post and view comments on everything. There is no moderation of posts unless they breach any laws.
As mentioned above, Gab developers recently forked the Brave browser and integrated it onto their platform. The most significant change they made was removing the BAT functionality from the browser. Usually, users get BAT rewards for using the Brave browser. Dissenter, on the other hand, will use the Bitcoin Lightning Network to facilitate rewards and payments.
The substitution of the BAT token in favor of Bitcoin has substantial impacts regarding the ideology that each token should have a specific use case. In fact, many crypto enthusiasts have expressed their concerns over the use of unique tokens for purposes other than the intended.
The main shortcoming of independent tokens is their limited accessibility as well as diminished utility. Because of their comparatively smaller markets, single utility tokens often have higher volatility than conventional cryptocurrencies. This poses a huge challenge for users of such a utility, as the devaluation of the token equates to significant losses on their investment.
The BAT token was specifically created for one use case. Thus, substituting it for Bitcoin indicates that it is replaceable. This could have a significant ripple effect on other similar single-use utility tokens, as developers would start forking projects to remove such tokens.
Now that Gab has set a precedent, developers of single-use utility tokens find themselves in a dilemma. To prevent others from forking their code, they can make it private. However, this move contradicts the two key ideologies of cryptocurrencies – transparency and decentralization. Alternatively, if they leave the code as it is, it is highly likely that the forking will render their utility tokens useless.
Ideally, single-use utility tokens should be able to sustain themselves like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The problem, however, is the lack of adequate resources, which is why the actions taken by Dissenter threaten to jeopardize the future of utility tokens.