Extremist site 8chan turns to blockchain tech

If it’s racist, misogynistic, extremist, or glorifies violence, you’ll find it on 8chan.

In the wake of the El Paso Walmart shooting that killed 20, the hate-filled message board has moved to privacy-first hosting provider ZeroNet, which uses Bitcoin cryptography, after being kicked off its previous host, Tucows.

8chan was also dropped by Cloudflare, the Internet security and infrastructure company that protected it against DDoS attacks, according to Forbes. Both Tucows and Cloudflare acted after the El Paso mass-shooter posted a hate-filled screed to the anything-goes site popular with white supremacists.

“8chan is almost like a bulletin board where the worst offenders go to share their terrible ideas,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told the New York Times on August 4. “It’s become a sounding board where people share ideas, and where these kinds of ideologies are amplified and expanded on, and ultimately, people are radicalized as a result.”

While ZeroNet is not built on a blockchain, it uses Bitcoin cryptography tools and is built on a decentralized system of peer-to-peer host nodes. So, as long as one node is active, the content will remain, according to the company’s website. It also uses the Tor Internet browsing anonymizer and BitTorrent P2P filesharing.

The sites hosted on it use .bit domain names, which are registered using Namecoin (NMC), a bitcoin-fork cryptocurrency currently selling for $0.78, according to CoinMarketCap.

“ZeroNet uses Bitcoin cryptography for site addresses and content signing/verification,” according to ZeroNet’s FAQ page. “User identification is based on Bitcoin’s BIP32 format.”

Because ZeroNet sites generate a standard private key for the site addresses, content providers can accept Bitcoin payments, it added.

In announcing that it was no longer working with 8chan, Cloudflare pointed out in a blog post that three mass shootings were preceded by messages on 8chan: the mosque shooting in…

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