Bitcoin donation pours into Wilileaks after the arrest of Julian Assange – the founder of the organization. Assange was arrested on the 11th April 2019 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been staying since 2012.
Julian Assange’s Arrest
Julian Assange took refuge in Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case. His asylum was claimed to have been withdrawn by Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno due to repeated violation of the international convention. Assange is now facing a U.S. federal conspiracy charges related to secret government leaks.
Wikileaks tweeted that “UK Metropolitan police confirm Assange has been arrested in relation to a US warrant. Assange lawyers confirm it concerns an alleged conspiracy with Chelsea Manning in relation to 2010 publications.”
If convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, he faces up to five years in a U.S. prison. Apparently, his asylum withdrawal is collusion between Ecuador and the U.S. to have him extradited to the States.
Bitcoin Donations To Wikileaks
Immediately after the arrest of Julian Assange, various prominent figures in the crypto space referred to the donation page of the organization. The page reveals the organization does not only accept traditional methods such as bank transfer but also, Bitcoin and Zcash.
Donation started pouring in after Assange’s arrest. Blockchain data indicates WikiLeaks wallet holds 3.75 BTC ($18,900) at press time, with well over 1BTC flowing after the news of his arrest went viral.
Wikileaks and Bitcoin
Wikileaks is one of the first organizations in the world to adopt Bitcoin as an alternative currency. Its adoption of Bitcoin was so early that Satoshi Nakamoto expressed his concern over the attention the budding project was getting then.
Satoshi noted in a post on Bitcoin talk forum at the time that it would be nice to get the attention WikiLeaks was bringing in a different context. Satoshi commented that “WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.”
Cobra Bitcoin, a co-owner of the Bitcoin.org domain tweeted that “Julian Assange and @WikiLeaks were one of the first advocates and supporters of Bitcoin. They were the first to put Bitcoin in the mainstream spotlight. For that reason, we Bitcoiners owe them a huge debt and should speak up about what’s happening to Assange. Very sad.”
While reacting to this recent development, U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May told the House of Commons that “this goes to show that in the UK, no one is above the law.” Meanwhile, press freedom organization – Reporters Without Borders noted that a dangerous precedent might have been set for journalists and whistleblowers as it shows the U.S. may wish to pursue them in the future.