WikiLeaks has called for a “global blockade” of Coinbase after the world’s biggest Bitcoin brokerage banned the whistleblowing organization’s online store from using its service to accept payments for its store.
The WikiLeaks shop stated that Coinbase blamed the suspension on U.S. financial regulations, which to this writer’s knowledge there are no new regulations for cryptocurrency in the U.S., so it is unclear to what financial regulations Coinbase is referring.
Andreas Antonopoulos pointed out on Twitter that users were first attracted to Bitcoin as a way to donate to WikiLeaks after PayPal, VISA and Mastercard donations were cut off in 2010. Antonopoulos expressed how Coinbase was repeating history by barring WikiLeaks from using its services for its harmless shop that sells merchandise for its supporters including – T-shirts, coffee mugs, mousepads, posters and the list goes on and on. But one thing the WikiLeaks shop doesn’t sell is weaponry being an anti-war organization, so the ban makes no sense unless it is politically motivated.
Last year WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mocked the U.S. government, thanking them for forcing the last blockade noting that WikiLeaks had made an unheard return of 50,000% from hodling Bitcoin since 2010.
Wikileaks has also opted for Litecoin, and they have since expanded recently to accepting the more secure altcoin Zcash as well.
Litecoin creator Charlie Lee and Assange both vowed to fight government censorship using cryptocurrency last December. Around Christmas last year, Lee tweeted in gift-giving spirit that he had sent an unknown donation amount to the recently recognized media organization (WIKILEAKS) thanking the group by stating “no company or government can stop me. That’s what makes crypto-currency valuable!”
Lee added that people being upset with him for donating to WikiLeaks shows why censorship resistance is so important, stating that if those people could they would stop everyone from donating to WikiLeaks. “The point is, it’s my money and only I decide what I do with it. Period,” Lee tweeted.
Lee, known online by his Twitter handle SatoshiLite, has not responded to the news of the WikiLeaks shop being banned from Coinbase, as of the time of this report. But this reporter imagines that he will not be very happy with the news based on his previous sentiments for the organization.
Julian Assange previously expressed that “Bitcoin is the real Occupy Wall st.”
This comes amid an ongoing illegal blockade against Assange, disconnecting him from the Internet and preventing any visitors to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. It is a clear violation of his human rights, further isolating Assange from the outside world as his health deteriorates according to doctors who saw Assange in January.
@JulianAssange was facing the health consequences of nearly 6 years in arbitrary detention. Since then, he has suffered increasingly punitive and politically-motivated measures to increase his isolation,” Sean Love, MD tweeted.
WikiLeaks has been accepting cryptocurrencies since 2011 when a banking blockade attempted to cut the non-profit publisher off from its revenue streams. This caused a widespread backlash as the international hacking collective Anonymous took down websites of Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal under Operation Payback.
Zcash uses a cryptographic methodology called zk-Snark, a form of zero-knowledge cryptography, which allows the data of a transmission to be concealed. This means that people who donate to WikiLeaks can send a transaction without anyone or government ever being able to see who sent it or how much was transacted.
WikiLeaks supporters may find this advantageous to still be able to provide support for Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy but not end up on an intelligence agency watch list in the process.
WikiLeaks is notorious for publishing classified government documents that bring transparency to governments all over the world.
Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: $9,212.72] according to Coin Market Cap at the time of this report.