Electronic Money or e-money is any form of digital currency that is not a cryptocurrency. Electronic money is distinct from physical cash. E-money systems include banks, Paypal, VISA, MasterCard, Stripe, WeChat Pay, etc. Unlike cash or cryptocurrency, electronic money requires using centralized permissioned gateways that jeopardize freedom and privacy. The term may also apply to cryptocurrency held in a custodial account such as on a centralized exchange. In this case what the user owns is a receipt for funds in an internal ledger. To withdraw the funds the user must ask permission from the exchange. Virtual currency such as purchasable videogame credits is also electronic money unless it has been tokenized on a permissionless ledger.
Electronic money is increasingly prone to corporate censorship as politicians and activist groups seek to influence companies to drop business with those who run afoul of the popular opinion. In many countries e-money is subject to direct government oversight and censorship.
The EFF has called on payment providers to start publishing transparency reports.
The EFF is commited to tracking instances of financial censorship.
GNU Taler is a compromise between traditional payment networks and cryptocurrencies that aims to resolve many of the problems with electronic money while providing facility for government taxation. It does not use a blockchain or any form of proof of work.
Censorship by PayPal
- In 2010, PayPal banned WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks resorted to Bitcoin donations instead.
- PayPal may freeze your funds for up to 180 days without offering an explanation.
- PayPal censors individuals and organizations based on recommendations from the SPLC. The PayPal CEO justified the practice as part of their mission toward "diversity and inclusion".
- PayPal has banned Gab.
- PayPal banned Austrian economist Karl-Friedrich Israel and held his funds hostage for 180 days. No explanation was provided.
- PayPal has banned French organizations that boycott Israel, citing a French Law against dicrimination against national orgiin.
- PayPal banned the accounts of several ASMRtists and froze their funds for 180 days despite not violating any PayPal policies.
- PayPal threatened to close the accounts of several book publishers unless they stopped selling erotic books with taboo themes. They later went back on the policy.
- In September 2018, Paypal banned Alex Jones and his website InfoWars.
- In November 2018, Paypal banned BitChute.
- In November 2018, Paypal banned black conservative commentator Desi-Rae.
- In Februrary 2019, Laura Loomer announced on Instagram that she had been banned from PayPal. The original post is no longer after she was banned from Instagram in May.