PayPal terminates relationship with domain registrar Epik over ‘alternative’ cryptocurrency

Epik says the decision “simply defies logic” and has suggested the move is political, not financial.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

PayPal has cut ties with Epik over financial risk issues and problems reportedly associated with Epik's digital coin services. 

The domain registrar and web hosting company's transactions will no longer be processed by PayPal on its behalf.

In a series of open letters posted by Epik in response, the company cited "service risk" as the reason given by PayPal to withdraw its support -- and while PayPal regrets the "inconvenience caused," the e-payments service said, "the matter has been reviewed at length, this decision is final, and there will be no appeals to the decision."

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Epik offers domain registration and hosting services and has been connected to Gab, a network popular with right-wing audiences, which was previously de-platformed by GoDaddy.

According to Mashable, the problem lies within Epik's "Masterbucks" cryptocurrency, which can be purchased, converted into fiat currency including US dollars, or used to purchase domain services. Unnamed sources said the digital coin has not been processed through the appropriate "legal steps," and while PayPal attempted to sort out the situation a month ago, no agreement has been reached. 

This appears to have been disputed by Epik, which claimed that the move was political -- with it being only a few weeks away from the US Presidential Election -- and is a public move against conservative viewpoints. 

In an open letter to PayPal executives, Epik SVP of strategy and communications Robert Davis said the decision "simply defies logic," and claims there was no dialogue, no option for review, and "no reason" given for the termination. Masterbucks has not been mentioned in the published correspondence. 

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Davis said the action highlighted PayPal's "targeted, biased, and subversive" manner of operations and said the consequence of the company's actions could "serve to reduce the amount of freedom we all experience in the future."

"It is grossly disturbing to see PayPal present the belief that it is beyond any sense of accountability or justification for its dishonorable actions," the executive added. 

A PayPal spokesperson told Mashable: 

"PayPal has sophisticated risk controls in place to alert our teams to potentially violative activity occurring on our platforms. The company independently reviews each matter and bases its decisions on the management of risk and compliance with our long-standing User Agreement."

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Last week, reports surfaced that suggest PayPal is on the verge of acquiring cryptocurrency-related companies. Talks are thought to be being held with BitGo, a digital asset platform -- although no deal has been agreed -- and sources close to the matter say that PayPal could end up exploring other acquisition targets instead. 

PayPal has confirmed plans to enter the cryptocurrency market in 2021, with support expected for the sale, transfer, and storage of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

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