WikiLeaks has accepted more than 4,043 bitcoin donations at its old address, worth up to $ 39 million.
Assange's arrest in 2019 accelerates Bitcoin inflow to WikiLeaks
Bitcoin (BTC) has been flowing into the organization's donated address since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in 2019. However, the massive amount of funds in the wallet of more than 4,043 BTC did not help release Assange.
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Assange is now facing extradition to the United States, and generous donations have not helped his safe release. However, Assange's arrest has accelerated donations of WikiLeaks Bitcoin wallet addresses that have been public since 2011. Outside donations to WikiLeaks' old address accelerated around April 2019, when Assange was taken away from his hiding place in the Ecuadorian embassy and handed over to British authorities.
About a week ago, WikiLeaks changed its main Bitcoin donation address and has received a large number of donations. WikiLeaks now holds about 6.12 BTC in its new wallet. The message signed with the old private key points to the new donation address.
Someone previously thought that if WikiLeaks accepted Bitcoin donations, it might trigger government authorities to suppress Bitcoin.
Even more encouraging is that WikiLeaks did no harm to the Bitcoin community. On the contrary, although WikiLeaks was an early adopter of Bitcoin, BTC owners were not persecuted at the time, and the Bitcoin project did not receive attention until a few years later.
Satoshi Nakamoto mentioned WikiLeaks in 2010
Initially, WikiLeaks' involvement with Bitcoin even worried Satoshi Nakamoto. One of his recent posts on the Bitcointalk forum mentions WikiLeaks.
Nakamoto wrote on December 11, 2010,
"It would be great to get people's attention in any other case. But WikiLeaks is breaking the hornet's nest, and the swarm is moving towards us."
Satoshi Nakamoto called on WikiLeaks not to accept Bitcoin, which is still a small test community in its infancy. At this stage, if not handled properly, Bitcoin will only be destroyed.
On the Bitcointalk forum, other early Bitcoin board members, including Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik, were skeptical of the actual use of Bitcoin to support WikiLeaks.
At such an early stage of this project, it is very unwise to make Bitcoin such a prominent target. The Bitcoin community can have a lot of "collateral damage" when it sticks to the principled stance
Still, Bitcoin has survived and thrived, and in 2010, BTC was too small to really attract the attention of regulators. But now, as WikiLeaks keeps getting donations, the threat may repeat itself. First, Bitcoin donations may not be completely anonymous and may try to track certain assets. The total Bitcoin donation obtained by WikiLeaks is currently about 4,050 BTC, which is worth about $ 39.4 million at current prices.