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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AssangeDAO concludes raise with $53M to help Julian fight for freedom

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) supporting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal plight has concluded its raise, generating a whooping 17,422 Ether (ETH) worth roughly $53.7 million.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the AssangeDAO intends to use the fund to bid on a one-of-one NFT from a drop called “Censored” by digital artist Pak in collaboration with Assange. The proceeds of the sale will go towards Assange’s defense fund and additional awareness campaigns as he fights extradition to the U.S. this month.

Assange has been languishing in a U.K. jail for the past three years, with U.S. prosecutors seeking to try him on espionage charges. Supporters say that Assange is a whistleblower, journalist and publisher.

At the time of writing, Pak and Assange’s “One Thousand Thirty Four” one-of-one NFT has a current top bid of 4,242.42 Ether ($13 million) with the auction set to close later today. The NFT collection was launched on Feb. 7, which was also the deadline for Assange’s lawyers to plead their case against his extradition.

The Assange DAO’s $53.7 million figure marks the largest ever raise from a DAO using the community funding hosting platform Juicebox, ousting the widely popular ConstitutionDAO which raised $49 million from the community in late 2021 to bid on a copy of the 1st edition print copy of the United States Constitution.

More than 10,000 people backed the fundraiser, showing strong support for Assange and the values around transparency that he and Wikileaks stands for.

Pak spoke to Artnet earlier this week, and outlined that Assange’s cause was precisely what they were looking for as the message behind their latest drop:

“I am in love with creating different mechanisms to communicate my messages. For ‘Censored,’ the drop needed a good reason to exist and Julian was just the perfect fit.”

“The biggest message is censored as usual,” they added.

Related: Wonderland’s treasury saga exposes the fragility of DAO projects today

The Censored drop also includes an open edition with unlimited mints within a specific time frame, and Pak stated that the proceeds will be donated to “information freedom, digital privacy, education, health, and human and animal rights” organizations.

“In other words, everything that is censored eventually returns to the people,” they said.