A change the WhatsApp terms of service causes a massive exodus of the messaging platform to more private and independent rivals like Telegram and Signal, who have registered millions of new users in the past week.

Rather than agreeing to new terms specifying the app’s right to share user data with Facebook, millions of WhatsApp users simply gave up using the platform and left it for less intrusive competitors. Telegram alone has been downloaded 25 million times in the last 72 hours.

Some of those new registrations include refugees from free speech platform Parler, looking for a way to connect and organize after the right-wing Twitter alternative was suddenly taken offline by hosting provider Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The ability of web hosting giants like AWS to unilaterally shut down sites and infrastructure has left some in the cryptocurrency industry concerned about the future health of blockchain-related projects.

Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin described Parler was downed as “very disturbing” in a series of tweets, noting that AWS was much more of a “community infrastructure provider” than a social media site. Buterin too expressed some degree of dismay at Twitter decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump from his platform:

“The fact that so many people who would never normally support such corporate power are now encouraging tech CEOs to take on democratically elected officials deserves some introspection …”

In the past, estimates have suggested that approx 60% of the Ethereum nodes run on AWS.

EOS and Bitshares co-founder Daniel Larimer recently called for the massive abandonment from major social media platforms prior to Parler’s shutdown. He correctly predicted that it might be the “last chance” to download certain social media apps. Larimer recently resigned from his position as CTO at EOSIO developers block.one, pledging to work on censorship-resistant platforms that he believes will become increasingly important as more people are banned or suspended from traditional platforms.

Other crypto projects are wary of the centralized nature of tech giants like Amazon, and anticipate issues relying on them. The decentralized liquidity network For example, THORChain encourages nodes running its software to avoid AWS through award additional benefits for using alternative service providers.

Providers of decentralized solutions, such as a domain name server Handshake, are censorship resistant because they do not rely on traditional domain name conversion processes. Pirate archivists of scientific magazines Sci-Hub switched DNS providers with Handshake, as mentioned by Buterin.

Censorship issues are not the only reason why reliance on a single hosting provider poses risks for crypto-based services. In November, AWS outages affected Coinbase, causing users to have trouble logging in and navigating their accounts.





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