Gala Investment & Trading Talk Ban On Discord Free Speech Restriction? | Chief Legal Counsel Explains

3 min read

The recent ban announced by Gala Games about investing or trading on the Discord platform has led to controversial discussion. There was talk of restricting the right to free speech. But the matter is not that simple. It is mainly about speculative expressions of opinion that Gala wants to prevent. Because at the end of the day, according to the statement of the gaming platform, Gala is not concerned with the question of how much money can be made with Gala games, but rather with the question of how platform and the games make each individual player capable of acting.

So far so good? Read the statement from Jesse Hynes, Gala’s Chief Legal Counsel, here.

What is ROI: Put simply it means “Return On Investment.”

Gala’s Estranged Relationship With ROI

Anyone in the crypto or blockchain space has heard “Wen ROI?” or some similar variation. At Gala Games we have decided to take a conservative stance towards ROI in our discord so as to ensure that there is no confusion.

Understandably, the above has raised comments such as “I should be able to talk about whatever I want” and “other projects do it, so why not Gala?”

“I should be able to talk about whatever I want” — Unfortunately, this is just not how free speech works — our Discord is a privately owned Discord. Similarly, there is nowhere in the constitution where it says that you have to wear a shirt and shoes to enter into a restaurant, yet many still require it. Further, no one argues about the “No Political/Religious Discussion” rule.

“Other projects do it, so why not Gala?” — Just because other people are doing something, does not make it right (or legal). More importantly, this type of speculative talk deters from our mission of empowering our users. We want a community focused on “what can I do with this now”, as opposed to “how much can this make me?”

So why is ROI Talk Banned?

The answer is both complex and simple: Investment talk could cause confusion. In the blockchain space there are all types of people from all different backgrounds, education, and training. While some may understand the difference between “investment” and “investment contract,” many unfortunately don’t. In the legal world, that confusion could actually matter.

At Gala, we make it abundantly clear that no one should buy anything with an expectation of profits from Gala. But we also understand that baked into things we sell, there is a potential for you to take actions that could generate rewards (in the form of tokens, NFTs, and otherwise). Similarly, I can go to the store and buy a package of chocolate with the intention to sell said chocolate at a markup and to make a profit. While my actions could actually make a profit for me and I may personally consider this to be an investment, I certainly did not own any interest or expectation in the store or chocolate maker to provide me a profit.

So what counts as “Investment” talk on Gala Discord?

Good question! Glad you asked!

There is a difference between current statements of fact, vs. speculative statements of personal expectations. In our Discord we permit, even encourage, statements of fact, but we remove speculative statements of personal expectations.

For Example:

Good: Running a Founder’s Node on August 13th, 2022 resulted in a reward of 161.06 GALA. At that time, $GALA was trading for $.06, so my reward was $9.66 for my one node.

Bad: Running a Founder’s Node on August 13th, 2022 resulted in a reward of 161.06 GALA. If the reward remains steady and $GALA rises at a [insert % here] rate, you can earn $1,000,000,000.00 running a Founder’s Node!

Conclusion

You are entitled to your own opinion as to what is and what isn’t an investment. No matter what Gala says or does, we cannot (and will not) take that away from you. But, what is common sense to one person may be confusing to another, and we at Gala have more interest in building a legitimate project as opposed to a project based on smoke and mirrors and hype surrounding investment opportunities. As such, to prevent that confusion and misunderstanding, investment talk cannot be a normal part of our discord. Let’s keep it to the facts and remember the first rule of our Discord…

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