Tag Archives: decentralization

Watch: Ben Swann Talks Media Disruption at Block2TheFuture

In early April, Ben Swann attended the Block2TheFuture blockchain and digital currency conference in San Francisco, CA. During his time there, Swann gave an informative talk that detailed the imminent transformation in how news and media will be produced and consumed, largely due to decentralization and cryptocurrencies.

Swann, the first independent journalist to be solely funded by cryptocurrency, summarized his professional career, including his transition from conventional broadcast reporting to founding his own independent media organization. He explained how the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) of Dash Digital Cash played a primary role in Swann’s mission to remain an independent journalist.

Swann highlighted how digital currencies such as Dash make it possible for independent creators to endure by freeing themselves from the longstanding corporate funding structure that has exerted power over the news for generations, noting that following his sponsorship with Dash many other independent organizations have subsequently followed suit in seeking funding through similar DAOs including the Dash treasury.

Swann also noted that real-life experiences with the blockchain, cryptocurrency and decentralization and their potential to solve a number of societal problems starkly contrast mainstream media narratives that paint these aspects as harmful to “the greater good.”

Barlow’s Legacy: A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

(Dash Force News)

“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”

So begins “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” by John Perry Barlow [1]. Fully intending to have the tonal ring of the US Declaration of Independence [2], Barlow threw a stake in the ground declaring that the Internet was ours (the public’s) and not yours (the government’s). It was written as a response to the passage of the Communication Decency Act of 1996 in the US, an act that put a great deal of power and control over the Internet into the hands of relatively few oligarchs [3].

…if you have not done so already, stop what you are doing and read his paper now (it’s short)…

The proclamation may have been focused on this piece of legislation, but its impact was far broader. Around the time of the initial explosion of the Internet in the late 80s and early 90s, civil-libertarians (and those simply concerned about government overreach) became increasingly vocal realizing a revolution in communication was unfolding. Governments, being governments, were, predictably, scrabbling to ensure this new medium was both regulated and economically funneled to blessed corporations.

Barlows declaration served as a voice to an expanding crowd of people who viewed their citizenship as empowered by this revolution and increasingly borderless; where governments no longer had jurisdiction. They were citizens of cyberspace [4], netizens, the digerati.

The paper galvanized a movement. At the center was Barlow and the organization he co-founded, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It helped that Barlow had a high-profile, fascinating background ready made for internet stardom. Growing up and indeed later in his life, he was a cattle rancher —eloquent, charismatic, and articulate, but also a cowboy of sorts — salt of the Earth. One of his high school friends became a musician and through that connection, one thing led to another and Barlow became a lyricist for the Grateful Dead. Ahead of his time technologically (pre-internet), Barlow became involved in the WELL [5]where he met other like-minded cypherpunks in John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor who co-founded the EFF with him.

These cypherpunks were some of the more prominent the founding fathers [6] of an activist movement to keep online life free. This virtual universe expanded so rapidly that controlling powers did not have time to adapt. The cypherpunk community and the EFF strove to retain as much autonomy for participants as possible. They were a new and free global citizenry, who could communicate anywhere at the speed of the electron, only limited by access availability.

Activists associated to the cypherpunk movement included a lot of technical people as well, as you’d expect. Some became associated to the movement even if they did not directly identify with it. Ironically, western governments both encouraged this openness, while at the same time trying to control it. For example, the US government developed the original Internet and built tools to make encrypted computing more accessible (DES, etc). And even later, the US government developed two notable projects that greatly enhance security and privacy which were then subsequently released to the public as open source projects: The Onion Router (TOR) and Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux). The US governmental tech community was likely harboring plenty of cypherpunks as well, sympathetic to The Cause.

Over time, cryptography became more and more accessible to individuals, projects, and companies. Most notable were technologies and protocols built on top of Public Key Cryptography. Public key crypto was originally developed in the 70s, but brought to the common man by cypherpunk Phil Zimmermann and his famous package of tools and libraries called Pretty Good Privacy. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) developed by Netscape ushered in the era of online commerce. The importance of public-key cryptography to today’s modern free Internet cannot be overstated.

At this time, governments, backed by legacy tech industry giants, started to fight back. Many governments classified encryption as munitions and criminalized distribution of PGP and any software that shipped libraries implementing strong encryption. After years of court cases and civil disobedience (the cryptography was well distributed anyway), governments gave up the fight and opened the flood gates on encryption instead focusing on backdoors, centralized services, ISP hacking, and spending enormous funds on collecting data and hiring as many security experts as possible.

Building on the ideals of the early cypherpunks, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was born and published the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL built a workable framework for copyrighting software so that it could be distributed, modified, and consumed, but maintained as “free as in freedom”. The GPL encouraged code distribution and sharing. In fact, it demanded it. It took the industry time to adjust to this, but free software, now more commonly referred to as open source software, radically changed how software is developed and distributed and has led to unprecedented innovation.

Cypherpunk leaders in the open source movement included FSF founder Richard Stallmanand Eric S. Raymond, the author of probably the single most influential manifesto advocating open source that also spoke the corporate world, The Cathedral and the Bizarre. Linux, with all of its important components adopting open source licenses, it is now the most dominant operating system on the planet .

Even 100% open source companies sprang forth, led by Cygnus Solutions (also co-founded by John Gilmore) and then Red Hat which proved that you can build a Fortune 500 company and still release every line of your source code to the world.

The message carried through: Freedom is achievable, maintainable and necessary. World class legal scholars even joined the fight with the likes of Lawrence Lessig and Mark Webbinkwho counseled companies, organizations, and legislatures. They pioneered in new ways to leverage software patents yet remain ideologically ethical [7] and also helped refine existing open source copyright licenses in order to make them more powerful but less ambiguous so that they were more palatable to companies unfamiliar with them.

Throughout the years of governmental and corporate hand-wringing, John Perry Barlow ensured that a clear, rational, diplomatic approach to combating censorship, surveillance, and oppression, was maintained. The Electronic Frontier Foundation assumed the role of always being the adult in the debate who never compromised her ideals.

The Internet and the Web gave us a freer platform for building applications, sharing knowledge, and discussion. However, though much improved, commerce was still handicapped by a fraud-filled, error-prone, slow, unreliable legacy central-banking-system backend. Credit card companies and banks smoothed over some of the rough edges with high fees and interest to cover the rampant fraud. Many central banks began insuring retail bank deposits. There had to be a better way. A cypherpunk way. Commerce that promised greater sovereignty. Commerce that embraced the ideals promised by the Internet. Commerce which was borderless and censorship resistant.

As soon as the promise of the Internet became obvious (1988 for this author) cypherpunks started envisioning virtual currencies. In 1989, David Schaum created DigiCash. It was cryptographically sound, and distributed, but it was not decentralized. And it was a bit early. Too early. Ecommerce wouldn’t take hold for another 10 years. DigiCash was a great experiment, but it did not survive the dot-com bust (early 2000s). Others started experimenting with that idea though, most notably, Adam Back (proof of work) and Nick Szabo (smart contracts and research on Byzantine fault tolerance).

And then, in 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published his famous whitepaper: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” [8], followed up shortly thereafter with the implementation of the world’s first truly decentralized, trustless, censorship resistant, global store of value. The release of that whitepaper, much like Barlow’s Declaration of Independence though less bombastic, sent a chill down this author’s spine. It was again another eureka moment —Cryptocurrencies were another freedom-enabling innovation that would change the world.

Since then, Bitcoin has been improved and has gained in market value. More importantly, innovation in the general cryptocurrency space has continued at breakneck speed. Dramatic improvements have been layered on top of the original idea. Dash is leading this charge. Dash took the original innovation of a new programmable money (store of value and unit of account) and addressed the payments gap [9] making Dash a viable medium of exchange —the first cryptocurrency that is truly a currency. Dash continues to innovate, but plenty of other projects are also experimenting with a many ideas.

“First they ignore you; then they laugh at you; then they fight you; then you win.” —Mahatma Gandhi (apocryphal)

And much like the Internet, the Web, ecommerce, and even more loudly, open source were initially maligned… Cryptocurrencies have been dismissed, then mocked [10]. They are now openly fought by governments and banking institutions in some region of the world, though it seems many world governments have learned from their past failed encryption and speech battles and are taking a more prudent and cautious approach with cryptocurrencies.

There will be more setbacks. There will be more successes. In 1996, John Perry Barlow, with intelligence and wit, thumbed his nose at draconian state authorities and in the process rallied an army of technophiles to join the cypherpunk community. His dedication to Principle for the last 30 years went a long way towards building a formidable ideological foundation where respect for civil liberties are now expected by even the most casual netizens …globally! Today, cryptocurrencies offer the promise of breaking governmental monopolies on our financial lives, allowing citizens of cyberspace (all of us) to have even more sovereign control over their lives.

“We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.” [1]

John Perry Barlow died on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

Thank you, Mr. Barlow. May you rest in peace with the knowledge that the torch you lit in 1996 continues to light our way forward in the neverending fight for a freer world.


[1] John Perry Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”, February 8, 1996 — Wikipedia article.

[2] Thomas Jefferson et al., “United States Declaration of Independence”, July 4, 1776 (adopted). It’s purpose was to clearly proclaim the independence of the American colonies from British rule. Wikipedia article.

[3] “Telecommunication Act of 1996”, aka the Communication Decency Act. Enacted January 3, 1996. As described in the Wikipedia article, “The original intent of the Act was to provide more competition but the bill actually did the reverse. The implementation of the Act led to a complete reversal of the growth of the telecommunications sector.”

[4] Cyberspace, coined by Gibson and once in common parlance by net-dweebs, has now been coopted by the US government. Oh, the irony.

[5] The WELL, or The Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link, a pre-internet virtual community that has attracted many early free thinkers and pioneers of cyberspace. It still exists today.

[6] “founding fathers” because they were all mostly male. There are exceptions though, of course. Jude Milhon, who coined the term cypherpunk immediately comes to mind.

[7] Mark Webbink (original primary author), the Red Hat “Patent Promise”, — In 2002(?), Red Hat’s Patent Promise introduced the concept of “defensive only” patents. Red Hat counsel at the time (Webbink) acknowledged the illogical and destructive nature of software patents, but instead of caving to the system, per ce, he cleverly turned patents on their head, declaring that Red Hat would begin aggressively patenting software, giving free license to other projects, communities, and even companies, and only using them in court defensively in case of attack. And thus, Red Hat preserved her cypherpunk ideology within the confines of a broken system.

[8] This author has a sneaking suspicion that Satoshi Nakamoto identity is closely linked to Schaum, Back, and Szabo. It would be a bit surprising if Satoshi turned out to not be one of them, all of them, or others plus one or more of them. Let’s hope we never know. Life needs its mysteries.

[9] t0dd, “Dash and the Cryto Confidence Gap”, Dash Force News, January 30, 2018. Dash fulfills the requirement to be a currency by enabling rapid execution of trades without fear of doublespend. But that is merely one of Dash’s many improvements to the baseline Bitcoin codebase. Learn more at Dash.org.

[10] t0dd, Cue the Naysayers, Dash Force News, February 9, 2018.


Written by t0dd. You can find him at: t0dd @ Dash Nation | toddwarner @ keybase

Ben Swann at Anarchapulco

Ben Swann will be making a keynote presentation at Anarchapulco on Thursday Feb 15th. Bookmark this page to find updates from the conference!

Update 1:


Update 2:

Good morning from Anarchapulco!

anarchapulco ben Swann

Update 3:

Ben Swann will be speaking today in #Anarchapulco about #decentralizingthemedia. Plus, new Reality Check drops today on how U.S. Foreign Aid policy has created “s***hole” conditions in places like Haiti.


Update 4:

Ben Swann at Dash Booth

Update 5:

Standing ovation from a packed crowd.


Dash: The First DAO

(Dash Force News) The decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO is one of the most revolutionary concepts to take form in recent years thanks to advances in technology. Dash was arguably the first of such organizations, and certainly is the most successful one today, operating a rich ecosystem with significant funding. Here is a quick breakdown of the components of Dash’s DAO, and an explanation for how each concept works in practice.



As with any proof-of-work cryptocurrency, Dash’s base network runs on mining, running software to solve complex algorithms. This is used to both create new coins (diminishing over time until an eventual limit somewhere around 18 million) and run the network, processing transactions in exchange for minimal fees. In theory, anyone can be a miner and run the network. In practice, specialized machines called ASICs have a significant competitive edge in mining, and you’ll probably need one to get anywhere.

Miners receive 45% of the block reward, the newly minted coin supply.


The second part of the Dash DAO is the masternodes. These are nodes that run the second layer of Dash’s network and provide special services including instant transactions and private transactions through mixing of funds between peers. Most importantly, masternodes vote on major protocol changes and on the distribution of the treasury. Because of the importance of the masternodes, a proof of collateral of 1,000 Dash is required before operating a node. This ensures that an attacker can’t simply spin up thousands of nodes and hijack the network. In the future, masternodes will provide a host of additional functionality as Dash’s offerings expand, and as such may be required to run custom hardware.

Masternodes receive 45% of the block reward.


Finally, the key to Dash’s DAO is the treasury. This is a portion of the new funds created which can be spent monthly on anything and everything, pending a masternode vote. Originally this was mostly used to pay developers, but since then it has expanded to feed a whole ecosystem. A proposal includes text, a Dash amount, and a timeframe (most commonly a one-month, one-off duration). A net 10% of the masternodes have to approve it, meaning with 4,700 nodes it would need to receive at least 470 yes votes, 600 yes votes and 130 no votes, or any similar combination. Once passed, a proposal is paid out straight from the blockchain.

The treasury can contain up to 10% of the block reward.

How It Runs

Mining/treasury/spending ensure open participation

The most crucial element to a DAO is its decentralization, and a requirement of this is open participation. With Dash, anyone can mine to run the network and receive funds in the form of fees and new coins created. There’s no way of stopping a particular person from mining, and therefore acquiring Dash. Acquire enough of it and you can form a masternode and vote on how the network is run and how the treasury is spent, all without the permission of existing holders. Theoretically, every single person involved in Dash presently could be wiped out or otherwise censored, and the DAO would continue on. Someone could simply start mining, collect and distribute/spend Dash, form new masternodes, start putting in proposals to fund a new development team, and revive the whole network.

It’s also important to note that the incentive structure of Dash contributes to its healthy distribution. Its value is drawn primarily from its usefulness as a payments system, meaning that in order to remain valuable it will have to be spent and used in commerce, thereby distributing the funds far and giving opportunities to more people to form masternodes and participate in governance. Treasury proposals are paid out to fund various projects, which will either sell or spend Dash in order to operate, further distributing coins. Finally, both masternodes and miners both receive income from the network and incur expenses to run their operations, encouraging them to sell or spend Dash to remain operational, further distributing the coin.

Collateralization and balanced ecosystem ensure decentralization and harmony

Dash has a balanced ecosystem with many actors, but can be roughly divided three ways: miners, masternodes, developers. The development team writes the code upon which the whole network is based, and relies on both the miners and masternodes to implement the code, and on the masternodes to vote to continue to fund them. Miners run the code and process the network’s transactions, and rely on developers to write valuable code for them to run, and on masternodes to help with special functionality and make governance decisions that will bring value to the network. Finally, masternodes need miners to run a smooth network of transactions for which they can provide additional functionality, and need a strong development team to keep the network innovative and stable so as to increase the value of their investment. All three complement each other and need each other to survive.

An important principle that keeps Dash’s DAO running smoothly is collateralization. Masternodes have a significant financial stake in Dash and can’t afford to make decisions that lessen its value. Miners invest in specialized equipment to run the network, equipment which may or may not work well for mining other coins (and in the future miners may be required to hold some Dash as collateral in order to mine). Developers, rather than volunteering or being paid by some outside entity, receive their salary both from and in Dash. All elements of the ecosystem have a direct financial interest in seeing the network do well.

Treasury, incentivized nodes, and digital cash focus ensure full self-sufficiency

An important element that makes a true DAO is autonomy. Dash is completely self-sufficient, with every aspect of the network funded by the network itself. Masternodes are paid to keep their nodes active, and as such will be able to afford better hardware and higher bandwidth as the network requires. Miners are paid to run the network, and as they must process more and more transactions, the fees they receive increase as well. Finally, development, public relations, marketing, distribution, and anything else required to make a robust ecosystem is able to be funded through the treasury. All these ensure that no outside entity has to fund any portion of the network, and therefore has no ability to provide undue influence.


Finally, a key element of what makes a decentralized autonomous network an organization is consensus. While the network runs smoothly with each part acting independently, when decisions must be made for the network as a whole, consensus can be achieved through a masternode vote.

This was most famously demonstrated by the network vote on whether or not to raise the block size, cementing the network’s consensus to pursue a path to massive on-chain scaling through bigger blocks, rather than an off-chain approach using the main chain for settlement. This very issue was contentious in the Bitcoin community for years, until finally the coins split in two over an inability to find consensus over scaling. Dash’s ability to find consensus ensures that the network, while a decentralized web of thousands of individual actors, still operates under a singular vision.

What Is a DAO and Why Is It Revolutionary?

(Dash Force News)  First popularized by the ill-fated Ethereum project which resulted in the split to Ethereum Classic, the DAO is a bit of a blockchain buzzword. This innovation extends far beyond simple hype, however, and could revolutionize the way we structure organizations. Here’s a breakdown of what makes a DAO, as well as an explanation of why we should care.

What is a DAO?

“DAO” is an acronym for “decentralized autonomous organization.” In order to qualify as a DAO, an entity must complete all three requirements: decentralization, autonomy, and organization.


The first, and possibly most important, aspect of a DAO is decentralization. This means that no single person or group of people has control over the organization or can dictate its membership. In order to function properly, a DAO must have hard-coded rules for participation that theoretically could allow anyone to participate and have a say in how the organization is run without permission from existing members or founders. In order to test this theory in practice, an individual or group would have to participate in, and have some control over, parts of the DAO in a situation where founders and key members did not wish this to happen. A DAO has open participation and influence: just plug in members and it runs.


Another aspect that is as crucial as the first is autonomy. A theoretically decentralized organization that is not a self-contained ecosystem will have to submit itself to outside influences for funding and other support. This means that outside groups can control a decentralized organization simply by providing funding or other important functions, thereby rendering the organization centralized in practice. A true DAO, therefore, needs a self-funding model. For a currency-based DAO this simply means having a portion of funds set aside to self-fund the group. For others the model may vary, and may include token sales or group ownership over income-producing assets.


Finally, a DAO must be organized. An open-source project may be decentralized in that anyone can use or build on its services, and some decentralized projects may even provide internal funding for participants. However, in order to qualify as a DAO a project must have some sort of organizational structure that allows the entire group to come together and make unified decisions about the direction of the network.

A true DAO, therefore, has to be completely decentralized and open to participation from anyone who qualifies under its uniform rules, has to have completely independent funding and support, and must be able to come together as a unified network to make decisions.

[RELATED: 3 Reasons Credit Cards Are Blocking Cryptocurrency Purchases]

Why does the DAO matter?

That’s all well and good, and certainly exciting, but why does a DAO even matter? What problems does this innovation actually solve?

Trustless governance solves corruption

The main attraction of a DAO is how it enables trustless governance. This means that a true DAO will run itself automatically, without having to trust any individuals or entity to function. Historically, many theoretically decentralized governance structures have come to be, but with rules and laws written on paper. These systems inherently trust participants to follow the rules, or at best provide incentives to behave honorably, but can never ensure that the rules are followed. With a DAO, participants are limited to the rules of the system, with no room for corruption. A well-designed DAO can theoretically make decisions that are not optimal, but are technologically incapable of corruption.

Decentralized structure minimizes external threats

A true DAO also minimizes external threats, a concept commonly known as “censorship resistance.” A traditional organization that has somehow managed to remain true to its mission can nonetheless be conquered and compromised by force. A perfectly democratically-elected government or board of directors of a company can nonetheless be intimidated and taken over by a hostile group, and be forced to dismantle or centralize. With a DAO the rules of the organization cannot be modified through force, and the loss of a few key members does not jeopardize the rest of the group. Even if the majority of the DAO’s membership is destroyed or forced to exit, new members can simply join in and continue to run the group without issue. The implications of a truly censorship resistant organization on today’s global stage are huge.

Self-funding gives strength and autonomy

The final crucial piece of the DAO is self-funding. By functioning without any outside help, the organization remains immune to major conflicts of interest, or de facto control by powerful entities. A fully decentralized organization that doesn’t pay its own bills has to rely on donations, corporate sponsors, and other methods in order to continue to function, and those funding sources can completely control the output and actions of the group indirectly. Self-funding takes care of this problem and ensures the integrity of the DAO.

Facebook Moves to Ban Advertising Promoting Cryptocurrency

Menlo Park, CA – On Tuesday, Facebook announced a new policy banning ads promoting cryptocurrency, as a means of preventing what the company called “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

This means that advertisers – including companies that operate fully legal businesses – will be banned from the promotion of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, the most widely accepted crypto. Additionally, the promotion of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and binary options will be eliminated by Facebook, according to a blog post by the company.

Advertisements that violate the new policy will not only be banned from Facebook’s core app, but also from Instagram and the company’s ad network, Audience Network, which places ads on third-party applications.

In the official announcement by Facebook Product Management Director Rob Leathern, he wrote:

“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

Leathern added, “This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram.”

The move comes on the heels of persistent claims of spam-like and fraudulent cryptocurrency ads on the platform. The decision has been largely welcomed by savvy crypto enthusiasts, who recognize that these types of spammy advertisement often do not promote the actual benefits of cryptocurrency, according to Kai Sedgwick, in a report from Bitcoin.com.

The report by Bitcoin.com went on to explain:

Of the myriad places on the web where a person can learn about cryptocurrencies, Facebook is possibly the worst. Its users tend to be less sophisticated than those who frequent other social networks, and are easy prey for scammers, charlatans, and snake oil salesmen.

The moratorium on crypto ads can only benefit the cryptocurrency community. Scams such as Bitconnect and Arisebank are allowed to ferment on platforms such as Facebook, out of the reach of sharp-tongued Twitter traders who would otherwise call them out. Examples of ads that Facebook cites as being in contravention of its new policy include “New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount NOW!”

Just how effective the crypto ad ban will be remains to be seen, as last year, following a report by ProPublica, which revealed Facebook was allowing advertisers to discriminate based on race, the company announced a ban on discriminatory ads. When ProPublica conducted a follow up over a year later, it was still able to purchase discriminatory advertising that would allow advertisements to not be shown to blacks or Jews.

Interestingly, the move has prompted speculation as to whether Facebook is attempting to position itself to launch its own blockchain product, with the implication being that it is removing all conversation around the competition. Although there is no hard evidence to suggest that is the impetus behind the crypto ban, at the beginning of January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly described cryptocurrency as something that can “take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands.”

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote:

For example, one of the most interesting questions in technology right now is about centralization vs decentralization. A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people’s hands. (The first four words of Facebook’s mission have always been “give people the power”.) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force.

But today, many people have lost faith in that promise. With the rise of a small number of big tech companies — and governments using technology to watch their citizens — many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it.

There are important counter-trends to this –like encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.

These statements by Zuckerberg may be considered ironic, as the centralization of Facebook has led to the soft censoring of material that runs contrary to the corporate-government narrative. This soft-censorship is achieved by continual tweaks to the Facebook algorithm; the latest of which was rolled out last week under the auspices of limiting the reach of “untrustworthy news sources” while boosting local news outlets and posts from friends and family.

In real time, this equates to large swaths of independent media and citizen journalists being squeezed out of existence, as their reach, and subsequent ad revenue, is decimated as large corporate entities are relatively unscathed.

There will likely be pushback from tech investors and entrepreneurs that believe the wholesale ban punishes an entire sector of technological innovation and crypto-related services and products. In fact, two prominent tech investors — Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen — sit on Facebook’s board, both of whose firms are strong supporters of the ongoing crypto revolution. Additionally, David Marcus, the head of Facebook Messenger, sits on the board of the mega-popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.