Bitcoin (BTC) Donations Flow In After Julian Assange Arrest
WikiLeaks, a controversial project, received both financial and morale boost from the Bitcoin community.
Following the arrest of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange in London this April 10, the Bitcoin (BTC) community immediately showed its support as donations in the WikiLeaks wallet piled up. Donations started coming into one of the newly disclosed donation wallets, which already holds upward of 6 BTC. The amount nearly doubled in the past days, with donations triggered by the arrest.
One of the known addresses of WikiLeaks has already collected more than 4,000 BTC over the years, after most major payment processors in the USA blocked the accounts of WikiLeaks.
The digital asset community has aligned some of its interests with the WikiLeaks agenda, including an anti-authority stance. The controversial site has received polarized views, with some seeing it as a key to the freedom of speech, while others reject the site’s transparency efforts as a form of treason, or a way to push foreign policy agenda.
But WikiLeaks is also seen as one of the sites that gave visibility to Bitcoin in its early days. The creator of the Bitcointalk blog, @CobraBitcoin, remarked that Bitcoin owed to WikiLeaks:
The messages within cryptocurrency related social media point to support for WikiLeaks and disapproval of the tightening censorship, seeing the arrest as an attack to the opportunity for free media reporting. Now, Assange awaits a decision on deportation to the USA.
What is even more curious, one of the latest posts of Satoshi Nakamoto on the Bitcointalk forums is linked to the spotlight WikiLeaks brought.
“It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us,” wrote Nakamoto on December 11, 2010.
The statement is puzzling, making commenters suggest the disappearance may not be deliberate.
But what is without a doubt, the crypto community, at least in its early stages, was closely linked to the ideas that gave rise to the culture of leaks and transparency, combined with self-sovereignty and personal privacy. Other commenters have pointed out that Bitcoin is one of the reasons WikiLeaks has survived that long. The site, however, has not sold significant amounts of the coin, despite the need for funding, in fact choosing to hold onto the asset.
WikiLeaks also accepts donations in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and ZCash (ZEC).