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Wikileaks’ Bitcoin donations spike following Julian Assange’s arrest

But even the blockchain can't save Assange from extradition

wikileaks, julian, assange, bitcoin, donations, cryptocurrency

Wikileaks has received a boost in donations on its official Bitcoin BTC address shortly after Ecuador withdrew the asylum of its leader Julian Assange, resulting in his immediate arrest.

Wikileaks tweeted a link to its donation page moments after news of Assange‘s arrest broke. This is likely what caused the sudden spike in transaction volume on its Bitcoin address.

It’s worth noting that despite the uptick in donations, the total amount donated to its current address remains relatively small – only $15,000 worth of BTC, more than third of which Wikileaks received prior to Assange‘s detainment.

At the time of writing, data sourced from Blockchain.com shows Wikileaks has received a total of 161 donations on its Bitcoin address; more than 40 of those rolled in today. It’s worth noting that new donations are still coming in.

In addition to Bitcoin, Wikileaks also accepts donations in fiat (via Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, bank transfer, cheque, and hard cash) and privacy-oriented cryptocurrency Zcash. While there is no data available on fiat donations, Wikileaks‘ public Zcash address remains mostly inactive at pixel time.

In 2011, Wikileaks became one of the first big names to start accepting Bitcoin donations, after Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Bank of America abruptly blocked transfers to its accounts.

Indeed, data shows one of its first donation addresses has received a total of over 4,000 BTC (over $20,352,844 at the current rate) since then.

Assange had been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August 2012, when he was granted asylum by the Latin American country.

The Wikileaks founder is expected to be taken to Westminster Magistrates court this afternoon, where he will face extradition to the US in relation to conspiring with notorious whistleblower Chelsea Manning to leak classified war crime files in 2010.

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Published April 11, 2019 — 12:40 UTC