Julian Assange has confirmed that WikiLeaks made a substantial amount of money via what he called a “strategic investment” in Bitcoin. The information came from his AMA that he did at Reddit to promote his book ‘When Google Met WikiLeaks.’ He talked about a range of topics and answered the questions from fellow Redditors.
He recalled that Bitcoin had risen above the US dollar and reached parity with the euro on the day of his conversation with Eric Schmidt. He told one Redditor how he failed to convince or persuade Schmidt to embrace Bitcoin despite all his efforts. However, he admitted that his belief in the concept helped WikiLeaks in its darkest hour.
Julian Assange made it clear that Bitcoin is an extremely important innovation; however, according to him it is not in the way most people think. He says that Bitcoin’s real innovation is a globally verifiable proof publishing at a certain time and the whole system is built on that concept and many other systems can also be built on it.
During his AMA he said that the Blockchain nails down history, breaking Orwell’s dictum of ‘He who controls the present controls the past and he who controls the past controls the future’. He says that WikiLeaks’ strategic investments in the currency saw more than 8,000 percent return in three years, seeing the company through the extralegal US banking blockade.
Bitcoin Helped WikiLeaks Survive the Government Clampdown
Answering to a question whether he uses Bitcoin, Julian Assange said that there’s a lot on Bitcoin in his book and on his thoughts on it, and on WikiLeaks’ history with it. He informed that Eric Schmidt and he conversed for a while about it, and he also included a lot of notes to expand on his views.
He said that it’s a fascinating and complex subject, so he can’t possibly go through all of it. But here’s footnote 23 as a teaser that he cited wherein it says that on 5 December 2010, just after VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Amazon, and other financial companies started denying service to WikiLeaks, a debate broke out on the official web forum for Bitcoin.
The debate was about the risk that donations to WikiLeaks using Bitcoin could provoke unwanted government interest in the then nascent crypto-currency. However, everything turned out well and now he gives Bitcoin credit for helping WikiLeaks survive the government clampdown.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at email@example.com