Pak NFT Sells for $53M in Bid to Free Julian Assange

Key Takeaways

  • AssangeDAO has won the Assange-Pak NFT with a winning bid of roughly $53 million.
  • Proceeds from the sale will go toward helping Julian Assange in his ongoing legal battle to fight extradition to the U.S.
  • Decentralized autonomous organizations supporting various social causes are increasingly gaining traction in the crypto sphere.

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AssangeDAO has won the auction for Pak’s one-of-a-kind Clock NFT with a 16,593 ETH bid. The NFT is part of a collaboration between Pak and Julian Assange, with proceeds from the sale going toward efforts to free Assange.

AssangeDAO Prevails

Another DAO has successfully coalesced around a cause.

Today, AssangeDAO placed a winning bid of 16,593 ETH on Clock, an NFT collaboration between Pak and Julian Assange. The funds will go toward Assange’s legal defense fund as well as campaigning and raising awareness for his case. AssangeDAO has been in touch with Assange’s family in relation to the case.

AssangeDAO was able to bid 16,593 ETH, worth around $53 million at today’s prices, after a successful crowdfunding campaign that launched last week. Contributors to the DAO will receive 1 million JUSTICE tokens for every ETH contributed, and those tokens will be used to govern the DAO. Holders will be able to vote on what happens to Pak’s NFT.

According to the crowdfunding platform Juicebox, AssangeDAO also has 17,422 ETH remaining.

The $53 million price tag makes Clock one of the world’s most valuable NFTs, behind Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5,000 Days, and Merge, another NFT by Pak that was sold fractionally for $91.8 million in December 2021.

Assange famously founded WikiLeaks, the non-profit website that’s been publishing leaked or classified news items since it launched in 2006. The U.S. government charged Assange for breaking the Espionage Act of 1917 after WikiLeaks leaked data provided by U.S. Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower Chelsea Manning. After almost a decade on the run, Asssange is now attempting to take his case to the U.K. Supreme Court to avoid extradition to the U.S. He could face 175 years in prison.

WikiLeaks was among the first websites to accept Bitcoin, bringing mainstream exposure to the asset class in its early stages. It played a similar pivotal role in Bitcoin’s early history to Silk Road, the dark net marketplace that was popularly used to trade illegal drugs in exchange for Bitcoin. Silk Road’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, is currently serving a double-life plus 40 years sentence for his role at the helm of the website. In December, he also received major support from a decentralized autonomous organization after creating his own NFT collection. FreeRossDAO paid $6.2 million for the NFT collection in a bid to support his campaign set him free.

Other notable endeavors from DAOs include PleasrDAO’s acquisition of a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, and ConstitutionDAO’s failed mission to buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution. As DAOs continue to grow in size and scope, it seems likely that more efforts like AssangeDAO will gain traction for other social causes in the future.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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$280K in Bitcoin Donated to WikiLeaks as Assange is Denied Extradition to US

The WikiLeaks Bitcoin donation wallet has received BTC from multiple people even as a London court has denied Julian Assange’s extradition to the U.S. based on health concerns. WikiLeaks has a history of attracting BTC donations, with Assange’s plight resonating with early adopters who share libertarian ideals.

WikiLeaks Bitcoin Donation Wallet Holds over $600K in BTC

Tweeting on Dec. 4, crypto transaction tracker Whale Alert revealed that the WikiLeaks wallet received inflows of about 8.48 BTC worth about $281,000 at the current market price. In total, the wallet now holds close to 20 BTC in its current balance (~$615,000).

The donations are coming on a day when Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has been denied extradition to the U.S. Delivering the judgment, the London court declared that it would be oppressive to ship Assange to the U.S. where he stands accused of multiple espionage charges, facing up to 175 years in prison for his alleged crimes.

Back in Dec. 2020, Assange was among the list of the names in the clamor among crypto stakeholders for a presidential pardon by outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump. Indeed, false reports of clemency for the WikiLeaks founder caused quite a stir on social media before a retraction from the source responsible for the news.

Assange and WikiLeaks continue to receive support from the crypto community. The platform began accepting cryptocurrency donations back in 2017 following the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s decision to cut off funding access for WikiLeaks.

However, not every crypto player remained in the WikiLeaks corner. As previously reported by CryptoPotato, Coinbase blocked the WikiLeaks shop without prior notice back in Apr. 2018.

A Little Bit of BTC History

According to a Reddit post from 2014, WikiLeaks was an early Bitcoin adopter. The platform reportedly created its first BTC wallet back in June 2011.

Perhaps, if not for the plea issued by Bitcoin’s unknown creator Satoshi Nakamoto, WikiLeaks may have begun using BTC as early as 2010. According to a Bitcointalk forum posting by Satoshi back in 2010, the Bitcoin creator urged WikiLeaks not to bring “heat” on BTC while still in its infancy.

Perhaps even more profound is the fact that the abovementioned post is one of Satoshi’s last pieces of correspondence anywhere on the internet before disappearing to this day.

Featured image courtesy of Wired


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