No — this is not primarily the result of some “middle school drama sh!t“, among the people who read / run that blog — is my guess….
Let us [again, reasonably] posit that he is nearly out of funds — on all fronts.
Let us safely assume his appeal never reaches the Supremes’ docket, for argument. Thus his convictions stand. His forfeitures… likewise stand. His lifetime bans from the securities and investing business communities will also… stand.
Now, if all he wanted to do was preserve his cult of personality / vanity project, he’d want to make his musings as easily accessible to his [at one time; no longer] more than 90,000 followers… as possible. If all he wanted was “follows”… he’d stay wide open — no membership screening process.
If, on the other hand, he and his surrogates ultimately hope to cultivate a roster of potential investing leads — ones his surrogates could simply bundle up, and sell to say a TD Ameritrade, or StockPile, more plausibly… he’d want as much detail as he can get, on each reader.
Personally, I think it a regulatory impossibility that any SEC and FINRA licensed entity could lawfully buy the list, outright — even if it were offered solely by / from his surrogates.
But there might be a non-scrupulous buyer [like HC Wainwright, for example] out there, that might be willing to do it, on the sneak.
Truthfully though, the more likely path to monetizing… will be selling ads — to the registered readers on a per impression basis. To make real money, the surrogates will need to show that these are people who actually buy stuff. Not just bots, in Russia, or the Ukraine — and are not seven to eleven year old girls [or boys] — with a crush on.
So I end where I started: this is a move to let his loyalist surrogates make some money off his notoriety — before he is completely forgotten by the world. And over 40 — as a just-released ex-con felon.
There you have it. These are just… my guesses. [But they should be yours, too. ;->]