Gab has had a rough time lately under the constant scrutiny of the public eye. After hitting the social media scene in August 2016 as the product of CEO Andrew Torba’s disappointment with “the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly,” the platform acquired approximately over 12,000 users in its first month, likely because of the website’s dedication to putting “people and free speech first.” It’s various successful implementations of decentralizing itself as a social media platform have been praised by the likes of Breitbart News and Milo Yiannopoulis.

In a statement released during an interview with Breitbart’s tech reporter Charlie Nash, Torba explained his view on the site and is rapid growth: 

“Our mission is to put people and free speech first. That mission statement is connecting with tens of thousands of people not only in the United States, but around the world. The sentiment and feedback has been phenomenal and very exciting. It’s also refreshing to see that this issue of censorship is not strictly limited to conservatives as many progressives are also joining Gab and expressing interest in a user-first, pro-free speech platform

We believe that the only valid form of censorship is self-censorship, an individual’s freedom to opt-out. Gab empowers users to self-censor and remove unwanted followers, words, phrases, and topics they don’t want to see in their feeds to help stop and prevent different forms harassment.”

In a somewhat foreseeable turn of events, Gab has announced their vision “for content creators to have the ability to earn Gab’s cryptocurrency for creating content on Gab. They can do this in a number of different ways including through the receipt of tips from other users, subscription fees for providing exclusive content, selling merchandise, and creating high quality content that people enjoy.”

You heard that right. Instead of other social media platforms, which profit from your usage by implementing ads and sponsors on your news feed, Gab is planning on providing a method for its users to generate revenue instead! This will be done by implementing a blockchain system, which is the famous technological underpinning of Bitcoin. The kickoff of this implementation will be ushered in by an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which is an unregulated means of crowdfunding via cryptocurrency, usually acting a source of capital for startup companies.

Gab’s white paper is officially forthcoming, where official details regarding how users can go about investing in Gab’s digital-financial system. The ramifications of this decisions effectively means more decentralization and less censorship. Gab is effectively setting up a legitimately democratic social media forum, where the mob is allowed to promote content via digital currency, which can then be exchanged for actual money. 

In an unreleased conversation with our very own Taylor Larson, Andrew Torba stated that Gab would not be available to comment any further on it’s ICO; however, it is likely that this is due to liability issues rather than Torba’s unwillingness to expand on this exciting announcement. 

Digitial advertising is an enormous market, reaching hundreds of millions of users on a daily basis. However, with the increasingly decentralized approach to the field, many companies may find that they are incapable of competing with the financial incentives that lesser-known media outlets offer. The upcoming digital advertising recession with hit large social media platforms very hard; however, Gab is keeping its head above the water by monetizing itself via an ICO, and will be able to sustain itself in the midst of the upcoming advertising collapse

ICOs are large investments with lots of potential, and as Gab, the fastest growing social media platform, is planning to offer such an investment to its users, the final result will be very, very big.