Gab, the so-called “free speech platform,” is holding a Series A funding round in Bitcoin. The platform says that users can now invest in the company using “free speech money” (i.e. Bitcoin).
Gab has been a controversial platform since its exception. Formed as a backlash to major social media giants banning conservative voices, it has since emerged as a potent voice online. Blamed for various hate-crimes and terrorist attacks by media outlets, the ‘free speech’ platform is now taking its efforts a step further: it plans to expand, contrary to what even its harshest critics expected.
Being pushed into the sidelines, and outright banned by PayPal and GoDaddy, Gab plans to tap into cryptocurrencies to fund its ascent. It will be holding a Series A funding round in Bitcoin with expectations to raise around $10M. The funding model matches Gab’s new appreciation for decentralization and cryptocurrencies. Gab even plans on integrating Bitcoin and its Lightning Network across all its products in the future.
Gab’s $10M target is undeniably ambitious. Previously, the social media platform raised $2M in two crowdfunding efforts. Gab is now planning on taking this a step further. Yet, unlike many others holding cryptocurrency-related funding rounds, Gab is not issuing a token. Each investor will instead receive a non-voting preferred stock and will only accept Bitcoin. It could end up being the largest series A funding round made exclusively in Bitcoin, if successful.
In the past year, Gab has been booted from virtually every major payment processor last October when it was found that anti-Semitic messages were posted by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter on the platform. Cash App, Square, Coinbase, and BitPay have all refused to work with Gab as a result. This has left Gab with no other choice but to take Bitcoin payments themselves, forcing the social media platform into adopting decentralization.
The long-term payoff may be worth it given the rapid pace of expansion in the cryptocurrency industry. However, due to its often inflammatory content, the platform is still considered on the fringe.
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