Cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase has recently started facing community backlash after shutting down the account of social network platform Gab, seemingly without an explanation.
Gab, a relatively young social network that describes itself as a place “where people, free expression, and individual liberty come first,” was launched as a response to controversy surrounding alleged censorship being enacted by social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. The company has been accused by critics of supporting the alt-right.
The social network describes these titans as an “entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly,” which it is battling in court with the use of a legal fund that accepts donations in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and PayPal, as the company isn’t yet profitable.
The company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Andrew Torba, revealed through a post that the San Francisco-based exchange closed its account, which was presumably used to manage donations.
In the post Torba wrote that “centralized crypto exchanges/wallets are cancer and contradictory to everything crypto stands for.” Various users reacted by telling Gab that there are plenty of alternatives out there that allow the company to control its own private keys.
Social media user Kevin Pham noted that Coinbase could have deleted the social network’s account over a tweet it sent, that suggest “crony capitalism” was behind the SEC’s announcement that revealed Ethereum isn’t a security.
Coinbase’s move sparked a movement on Twitter under #deletecoinbase that sees various users screenshot images of them delete the company’s app from their phones. The movement is seemingly also being fueled by the company’s decision to add Ethereum Classic (ETC) to its platforms instead of the XRP token.
The backlash Coinbase has been receiving even saw Bitcoin.org co-owner Cobra tell users not to use the company.
Don’t use Coinbase.
— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) June 17, 2018
Notably, Gab has its own initial coin offering (ICO), which has already raised over $5.2 million to support the company’s development and help it build a “next-generation social network” that’s set to support free speech online. The tokens, per its ICO page, are set to “represent tokenized equity” in the company, and aren’t utility tokens.