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Financial Deplatforming: How Gab and Others Must Beat the Bank Card Assocations with Bitcoin
DISCLAIMER: None of the following is intended to be investment advice. Also, full disclosure, any links to Coinbase and Binance, etc., include referrals. It actually benefits you to use them because we will both get an extra $10 worth of BTC for free if you deposit at least $100 to Coinbase. Thanks in advance if you follow the links when you make your accounts — and even if you don’t, I hope you find this article interesting!
Right now we are in a state of war. Every single one of you reading this right now is caught on the battlefield of that war, even if you don’t realize it. The bombs and the bullets are heading for you, me, and everyone else who enjoys a free and open internet.
What I’m talking about here is the end of freedom of expression. The internet has always been a bastion of free expression, and it has empowered average human beings in a way that no other technology has. Your voice can be heard across the globe. Imagine that we live in a world where any man with a keyboard, a microphone, and a camera can effectively compete with global media companies! It’s an amazing concept, but that dream is slowly being eroded.
This should surprise no one. Of course the elites don’t want to share that kind of power. Their latest tool: deplatforming.
“No Platform, sometimes deplatforming, is a form of boycott where a person or organisation is denied a platform to speak.” — Wikipedia
I’ve previously talked about various forms of deplatforming on my YouTube (and BitChute!) channels:
Why Free Speech Matters
I am a free speech maximalist. As long as someone isn’t directly threatening people or directly calling people to violence, I will defend their right to say it. This often leads to some pretty shocking reactions, where people tend to assume I’m their personal political bogeyman:
I know what you’re thinking: I should argue less on the internet. You’re probably right. But that’s beside the point. Setting aside political views, most reasonable, forward-thinking people should see the dangers in any kind of censorship. Where your enemies are getting censored today, you are getting censored tomorrow. The machinery of censorship doesn’t stop threshing just because you ended up in its maw. It chews you up. This is a problem for all of us, and we need to start figuring out how to solve it.
More and more, you’re seeing payment processors like PayPal and Stripe revoking service to people who have unpopular opinions. I call this “financial deplatforming,” and it’s often done under the guise of enforcing terms of service.
I could rattle off a dozen or more examples of this sort of thing but suffice to say, it is an enormous problem. Here’s the thing: without Bitcoin (or intensive federal government intervention), the problem can only get worse.
Bank Card Associations
If payment processors like Stripe and PayPal are dukes, the bank card associations are kings. You’ve heard of these even if you don’t know them by this name. These are the big names on the cards you use to pay for almost everything in your life: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover. Combined they enjoy a market capitalization of around 670 billion dollars (for reference, Bitcoin’s market cap at the time of this writing is about 113 billion).
If the bank card associations collectively get together and decide they don’t like you, you’re not processing credit card transactions. Period. All merchant accounts, payment processors, and so on must bow to these masters. I talk a lot about the terrible and horrifying power of Silicon Valley companies to control speech, but the bank card associations have the power to put people out of business. This is a very useful tool if you want to silence someone who makes a living from spreading their ideas.
There are rabid people out there with very little respect for freedom of expression, and if you say anything remotely unpopular, they will do their best to silence you. Getting the actual bank card associations (or even banks themselves) to put people out of business is the next logical step, and I believe we will see that soon. The people at Gab (a social media platform dedicated to freedom of speech) seem to agree with me:
It’s become obvious that any and every open avenue will be used to shut people up if they espouse unpopular opinions. Maybe there’s some way to fight this sort of thing within the system, but as a tech guy I am more interested in forward-thinking solutions that bypass the problem entirely.
Bitcoin is that solution.
A decentralized network cannot be harassed into dropping one of its users. It cannot be politically pressured into silencing someone. It cannot be bought off. It cannot shadowban you. It is open to everyone, and it is unstoppable.
My message to Gab and anyone else running afoul of pedantic, small-minded censors: get serious about promoting the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Your livelihood may depend on it.
Before you go…
Know of any other hot-button issues with cryptocurrencies? Want me to write about them? Let me know! I love to hear feedback from people and get ideas on what cryptocurrency topics I should research. You never know, I might even write an article about your suggestion!
If you’re new to cryptocurrencies, don’t worry — it’s easy to get in on this! Here are the basic steps if you’re interested in Bitcoin or altcoins:
- Buy some Bitcoin or Ethereum from Coinbase.
- Trade them for altcoins on Binance, KuCoin, HitBTC, or Changelly. Out of these, Binance is my preferred exchange. Skip this step if you’re uninterested in altcoins, of course!
- If feasible, store your coins offline in a wallet for security purposes. Use an inexpensive Android phone with the Coinomi wallet app, or go ultra secure with a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S or Trezor.
If you’re looking for a more lengthy guide to purchasing coins from start to finish, just take a look at my page — I’ve written a lot about this! Any of my instructional altcoin articles (such as this one) will first explain in detail how to get Bitcoin if that’s all you want.
Come back soon because more content like this is always coming! If my work helped you or gave you something to think about, share it with others:
Sharing helps more people find my articles, and I’d love to be able to assist as many people as possible with cryptocurrencies. Also, if you have any ideas for future articles or specific questions, I’d love to hear them. Comments section coming soon! One last thing: if you’d like to chat with me in real time, check out my Patreon - I am running a public Discord for the discussion of cryptocurrency, and if you subscribe to my Patreon you can get a special role there!
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