Gab.com sets the best example of power and terror inspired by blockchain as the social network was used by the accused Pittsburgh synagogue gunman to threaten Jews. Nearly a month and a half prior to the alleged gunman acting on those threats by killing 11 people when he opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue, Gab submitted paperwork to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $10 million via an initial coin offering. The offered received commitments to raise $5.6 million in capital for the “free speech” social network so far, which Forbes reports, “is a favorite of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other members of the “alt-right.”
Gab was shut down by a host of mainstream services, since the shooting took place, which includes payment processors Stripe and Papal. Web-hosting company Joyent and briefly, domain registry GoDaddy shut them down as well.
“It doesn’t matter what you write. It doesn’t matter what the sophist talking heads say on TV. It doesn’t matter what verified nobodies say on Twitter. We have plenty of options, resources, and support. We will exercise every possible avenue to keep Gab online and defend free speech and individual liberty for all people,” says Gab’s CEO Andrew Torba.
Although, none of this may matter because Gab has already taken the first step towards freedom from dependence on traditional infrastructure and support mechanisms due to its funding through the Ethereum blockchain. Gab plans to create an entire ecosystem – in which centralized authorities cannot reach, making it nearly indestructible.
“Ultimately, what we’re trying to accomplish is to cut out the middleman,” said Gab co-founder and CEO Andrew Torba on a Bitcoin Uncensored episode last year. “I want to see VCs tremble, just crumble.”
Andrew Torba launched Gab in August of 2016, in which he cited censorship Facebook, Twitter and Reddit as examples of why he founded the ad-free social network. His initial funding came directly from donations, while memberships on Gab took off very quickly from the start – though it was rejected by Apple’s App store and Google Play.
Torba mentioned to Bitcoin Uncensored host Chris Derose that Gab contained 200,000 users and by the time it filed its paperwork to use the ethereum blockchain to raise capital, the number of users almost doubled to 394,000. It was revealed that the number increased to 635,000 people in an updated SEC filing last month. Now, it reportedly has roughly 800,000 users.
Google Play and Y Combinator weren’t the only companies to shun Gab, as Torba reports. Venture capitalists also “blacklisted” him, preventing Gab from achieving its true potential and scaling even more rapidly. Torba reacted strategically and sought out StartEngine, a crowdfunding website launched in 2014 that had been taking advantage of Obama’s Jobs Act exemptions to help companies sell equity to small investors. In 2018, StartEngine launched a new ICO funding service, which Torba obviously signed up for.
“We empower creators, support free speech and defend the free flow of information online. We stand for bringing folks together of all races, religions, and creeds who share in the common ideals of Western values, individual liberty and the free exchange and flow of information. Our mission is to provide people with the tools they need to create and shape their own experience.”