Google’s War Against Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies On YouTube Is A Harsh Lesson Showing Why Centralization Is So Dangerous
The crypto community must switch to decentralized alternatives.
Christmas Eve 2019 will forever be remembered as a black day in the history of YouTube’s relationship with the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Indeed, Google has chosen this day to declare war on the cryptocurrency community by attacking the YouTube channels of many influencers.
These influencers were using YouTube to democratize Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to the general public by giving investment advice or presenting key concepts of the cryptocurrency industry.
Google’s new attack on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is another harsh lesson in why centralization is so dangerous in today’s world.
Google Has Always Had A Difficult Relationship With Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
Google’s history with cryptocurrencies has always been complicated. The online search giant had already banned advertisements for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from its search engine for three months in the summer of 2018, causing the price of Bitcoin to drop.
Google had then joined Facebook’s position as one of the opponents of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies under the pretext of fighting against the increasing number of scams.
At the end of September 2018, Google had then surprisingly changed its position by allowing again these ads on its search engine.
Some had then seen it as a sign of Google’s willingness to prepare its own cryptocurrency. Finally, it is Facebook that chose this path with the announcement of the launch of Libra in June 2019.
Google Removes Videos And Deletes YouTube Channels Arbitrarily With No Reasons
Google’s relationship with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies became much harder on December 24, 2019. This is the day that Google has chosen to launch a large-scale offensive against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies on YouTube, its online video sharing platform.
Google has removed hundreds of videos about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, even going so far as to permanently terminate the YouTube channels of some YouTubers.
This YouTube crypto-purge appears to target mainly YouTubers with medium sized channels ranging from 10K to 500K subscribers.
Larger platforms such as CoinTelegraph or CNBC have escaped this purge for the moment.
These YouTubers therefore have all the more reason to feel that they are specifically targeted by Google. The example of Chris Dunn’s YouTuber is striking. He has been creating videos on his YouTube channel for 10 years, has more than 200K subscribers and more than 7 million views.
YouTube has decided to remove most of its videos for the generic reason of “harmful or dangerous content”.
No further explanation was given by YouTube to the various impacted YouTubers whose list keeps growing hour after hour.
Google Shows Why Centralization Is So Dangerous
Google is a privately owned company and owns the YouTube network. YouTube is a centralized platform with a clear hegemonic position in its field.
Google can therefore afford to take arbitrary decisions that amount to censorship without anyone being able to intervene.
Google’s lack of respect for the YouTubers behind the success of its platform is reminiscent of its attitude with Android developers who see their applications and accounts deleted from the Google Play Store in a matter of hours.
In both cases, Google does not offer any possibility of dialogue since everything is managed by robots. It’s a miracle to be able to talk to humans to understand the reasons behind one of their decisions and plead one’s case.
Host of the CryptoTrader show on CNBC Africa, Ran Neuner gives his position on the situation:
“YouTube deleting all Crypto content is a massive blow to the industry.”
Indeed, YouTube plays an important role in evangelizing the general public about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Removing this educational medium is a major blow to the cryptocurrency industry and its adoption by the general public.
The Community Must Move Towards Decentralized Alternatives
Google’s attack on the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is a blow to many YouTubers who used their channel as their main source of income.
Many people are calling for a boycott of Google, but I doubt that this will scare off the Mountain View giant, which is far too powerful.
The community must now organize itself and move towards decentralized alternatives.
In order to make further progress in the democratization of the cryptocurrency industry, YouTubers need to shift their content to decentralized platforms in order to fight censorship.
The main problem with these decentralized alternatives is that they are much less lucrative than YouTube at the moment.
Nevertheless, it is by promoting these decentralized alternative platforms that more and more people will be able to react and try to organize themselves to fight YouTube and the Google’s censorship.
Launched in September 2016, DTube (Decentralized Tube) is a fully decentralized video sharing platform built on the Steemit blockchain and the Peer-to-Peer IPFS network. DTube can be a solution to explore for these YouTubers but there are of course other solutions.
The most important thing is that the community takes the step and leaves YouTube in protest against Google’s censorship.
This May Be A Blessing In Disguise
The situation is currently very harsh for all these YouTubers and so for the cryptocurrency community as a whole. Nevertheless, looking a bit further, I have the feeling that this crypto-purge led by Google on YouTube may be the starting point of something interesting for the community.
This harsh lesson that reminds us why centralization is so dangerous may be a blessing in disguise. A unique opportunity for the community to send a strong message to Google by leaving YouTube for good to switch to fully decentralized video platforms that truly respect content creators as well as users.