News - The connection between Assange, Bitcoin and Satoshi

By Ted Maas

The connection between Assange, Bitcoin and Satoshi

De band tussen Assange, Bitcoin en Satoshi

Satoshi was gone, Wikileaks stood its ground. Julian Assange is free. His mission was tied to Bitcoin from the beginning. Let's take a closer look at the story.

Five years in Belmarsh, the "Guantanamo of Britain," isolated in a two-by-three-meter cell, 23 hours a day: that was the life of Julian Assange. Before this incarceration: political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Twelve years of political persecution are now coming to an end. The Wikileaks platform proudly announced: Australian whistleblower is free.

A prison sentence still hangs over his head in the U.S., but most of the charges against Assange have been dropped. It is the result of years of legal battle. And also: a major victory for Bitcoin.

Julian Assange was a Bitcoiner from the beginning

Like Satoshi Nakamoto, the secret inventor of Bitcoin, Julian Assange is considered one of the main cypherpunks, the rebels of cryptocurrency. In the 1990s, they declared war on Big Brother and the U.S. state using code and especially cryptography, the encryption of data. Also part of this vision: digital money. Over the years, various designs for this were tried, ideas were shared and further developed until Satoshi Nakamoto brought a number of them together in his white paper in 2009 - the concept: Bitcoin.

Without the invention of Bitcoin, Wikileaks probably would never have survived. And without Wikileaks, Satoshi Nakamoto might never have disappeared so quickly. The investigative platform published about 250,000 war documents in 2010. These leaks described the U.S. military's war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. A huge scandal. The platform was attacked by hackers, and for the first time Bitcoin was publicly mentioned in this context. Much to the chagrin of Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor. He published his penultimate post in the Bitcoin Talk forum on Dec. 11, 2010. Four months later, he disappeared without a trace:

"It would have been nice to get this attention in a different context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest and the wasps are coming our way."

Satoshi Nakamoto

In 2013, Wikileaks turned directly to Bitcoin. U.S. government blocks Assange's personal bank accounts, his access to Visa, Mastercard and even PayPal. "Bitcoin was the only way Wikileaks could survive," Gabriel Shipton, his brother, told me in an interview. The organization is calling for donations in Bitcoin and, as of this writing, funds itself through the uncensored digital currency.

"Bitcoin is a revolution", Assange realized as early as 2011. For him, the cryptocurrency was the "real Occupy Wall Street" and the "most interesting thing on the internet".

Gabriel Shipton and Assange's wife, human rights lawyer Stella Assange, have visited Bitcoin exchanges around the world in recent years, seeking support for his release. And they got it.

For Stella Assange, one thing is clear

Both realize the same vision, but in different ways: "Bitcoin was supposed to democratize the financial system, Wikileaks was supposed to democratize access to and distribution of information. It is clear to me that Julian's fate is closely intertwined with Bitcoin's success. "

His brother Gabriel Shipton explains it this way:

"Bitcoin itself is a big bet against the establishment. By protecting it and getting it out of jail, Bitcoiners are showing the world: don't mess with us."

Julian Assange is now on a plane to the U.S. overseas territory of Saipan. He will be brought before a judge there. Assange faces five years in prison, which he has already served in London. After that, the whistleblower may finally be released and return to his home country of Australia.

Julian and Stella became a couple when he was detained in Ecuador's embassy. They married two years ago in Belmarsh prison. And have two sons. One of them is now eight years old. The son has never seen his father in freedom.

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