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Elon Musk: ‘PayPal has become a Black Mirror episode’

By Darius McQuaid

Edited by Charlie Mellor

12:46, 14 December 2022

 Elon Musk attends the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating
Elon Musk has likened PayPal to the dystopian TV series following claims users have been banned by the firm – Photo: Getty Images

Elon Musk, one of the co-founders of PayPal (PYPL), has accused the US online payments business of becoming “a Black Mirror episode” following reports the business has been banning users.

Musk, CEO of Twitter, SpaceX and Tesla (TSLA), tweeted his criticism that the company was like the dystopian TV series created by Charlie Brooker in response to an article in The Free Press that highlighted PayPal’s policy of deplatforming some of its clients.

Another PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who was the company’s CEO until 2002, described the recent debanking policies of PayPal as “totalitarian”. He told The Free Press:

“If the online forms of your money are frozen, that’s like destroying people economically, limiting their ability to exercise their political voice. There’s something about destroying people economically that seems like a far more totalitarian thing.”

According to the article, banned users received an email that told them: “You can no longer do business with PayPal.” The email continued:

“We decided to permanently limit your account as there was a change in your business model or your business model was considered risky.”

The email concluded: “You’ll not be able to conduct any further business using PayPal.” Prohibited users were also informed PayPal would hold their account’s funds for 180 days after which it would email them with information on how to access their funds.

The article reported PayPal had not revealed how many accounts it has suspended or banned.

Despite Capital.com’s request for a comment from the PayPal team, there was no immediate response from the company.

Founding COO criticises current CEO

David Sacks, the founding chief operating officer (COO) of PayPal, also voiced his criticism of the company’s present CEO, Daniel Schulman. Sacks said: “The CEO has got like every woke award you can win.

UNI/USD

10.54 Price
-5.240% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.08964

ETH/USD

3,753.00 Price
-2.040% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 6.00

BTC/USD

67,397.80 Price
-1.300% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00

DOGE/USD

0.16 Price
-0.910% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0012872
“It’s a symbiotic relationship, he implements their agenda and in exchange they give him awards, and that furthers advancement up the corporate totem pole of woke capitalism.”

PayPal has shut down accounts linked to news website Consortium News; the Free Speech Union; and lockdown sceptic blog The Daily Sceptic.

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PayPal is seen as a crypto friendly platform

In August 2021, PayPal launched its cryptocurrency service which enabled customers in the UK to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies.

The company confirmed that customers can choose from four cryptocurrencies – bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) – and could purchase as little as £1 of cryptocurrency via their PayPal accounts.

Also, in January 2022 Jose Fernandez da Ponte, senior vice-president of crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, told Bloomberg “We are exploring a stablecoin; if and when we seek to move forward, we will, of course, work closely with the relevant regulators.”

The payment company’s exploration of a stablecoin was discovered by developer Steve Moser. He found hidden code and images in PayPal’s iPhone app that indicated the company was working on a stablecoin.

The PayPal Coin will be pegged to the US dollar.

Markets in this article

BCH/USD
Bitcoin Cash / USD
467.70 USD
-1.7 -0.360%
BTC/USD
Bitcoin / USD
67397.80 USD
-883.95 -1.300%
ETH/USD
Ethereum / USD
3753.00 USD
-77.98 -2.040%
LTC/USD
Litecoin / USD
83.68 USD
0.34 +0.410%
PYPL
PayPal Holdings (Extended Hours)
61.05 USD
-1.13 -1.820%

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Related reading

The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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