The world was shocked when Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange was arrested in April after being cooped up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. Following his arrest, the original Wikileaks bitcoin address saw significant support as $32,000 worth of BTC poured into the wallet in two days.
Since 2010, Wikileaks’ address saw 4,043 BTC donated or around $37 million at today’s exchange rates. Moreover, Wikileaks has gathered over $400,000 in BTC donations since Julian Assange was taken into custody last spring.
Wikileaks Gathers Over $400K in Bitcoin Donations Since Julian Assange Was Taken Into Custody
Years ago, the U.S. government started an investigation on Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange for computer-related crimes allegedly committed in 2012. However, Assange requested asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and Ecuador’s government allowed him to stay until 2019. A U.S. indictment charges Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion during the Chelsea Manning investigation.
Manning accessed classified government intelligence and it was subsequently published on Wikileaks. On April 11, 2019, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London was raided and he was charged with failing to show up to court. Assange also faces extradition to the U.S., but he remains in prison awaiting trial, which started on Monday. Assange is also accused of using the Ecuadorian Embassy to meet with Russian leaders and international hackers.
Immediately after Assange was arrested, BTC donations started pouring in and the Wikileaks donation wallet saw roughly $20K in BTC on April 11th alone. The following day, donations continued and that Friday Wikileaks accrued $32,000 worth of BTC donations. Wikileaks has recently started a new address and has asked people not to donate to the older address. The old address obtained approximately 4,043 BTC ($37 million) before the nonprofit organization shared a new address.
The new Wikileaks BTC address has 6.76 BTC ($63K) on February 25 and people can also donate bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), monero (XMR), and zcash (ZEC). Since the arrest last April, Wikileaks obtained over $400,000 worth of BTC including the 6.76 BTC donated during the course of last week.
The First Financial Blockade Against Wikileaks
Wikileaks has always been supported by the general public and cryptocurrency advocates have rallied for the website and Assange as well. Donations pay for “Wikileaks projects, staff, servers, and protective infrastructure.” In 2010, Wikileaks and Assange contemplated using bitcoin for donations after the U.S. government, Senator McCain, Senator Lieberman, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Amex, and Moneybookers created a financial blockade against the organization. In 2017, Assange tweeted that the 2010 financial blockade invoked “[Wikileaks] to invest in Bitcoin” and the nonprofit generated a “50,000% return” from those donations. Read More...