Wikileaks, which began accepting bitcoin all they way back in 2011 following a banking blockade, has received a total of 4,025 bitcoins, currently worth $26.6 million.
The very first donation was made on June 14th 2011 for 0.05 BTC. Back then worth pretty much nothing. Now worth a respectable sum of $330.
That was followed by more substantial donations, including 90 bitcoins on June 28th 2011, currently worth a cool $594,933.
Since then, they received thousands more, with 0.018 btc, worth around $110, received just yesterday. Much of it has moved elsewhere, presumably to pay for expenses or perhaps to another address, but the project has at least 7.6 btc, worth around $50,000, remaining on the donation account.
Beyond BTC, they also accept litecoin, which by comparison has received a fairly small amount of just 704 ltc, currently worth around $38,000. While the Zcash clear address received only $228 worth of Zec.
However, they also accept Zec through a private address, so we’re not sure of the exact number. While the official monero block explorer got a bit angry when we asked it to send us to Wikileaks’ address:
They do not currently accept any other currency, including the second most popular, eth, or the third most popular, BCH. We asked them if there is any reason why they are not accepting ethereum, but have received no response at the time of writing.
However, the Wikileaks Shop, which supports the main project, does accept both currencies, adding bitcoin cash just today as we reported earlier.
But, the vast majority of donations, by far, have been in bitcoin. It is unclear how much was kept. If we are to guess, it would be quite a bit if Assange acted on what he told the then Google CEO Eric Schmidt in 2011:
“To enforce scarcity, and scarcity will go up as time goes by, and what does that mean for incentives in going into the Bitcoin system. That means that you should get into the Bitcoin system now. Early. You should be an early adopter. Because your Bitcoins are going to be worth a lot of money one day.
So once you have a… and the Bitcoins are just… a Bitcoin address is just a big hash. It’s a hash of a public key that you generate. So once you have this hash you can just advertise it to everyone, and people can send you Bitcoins, and there is people who have set up exchanges to convert from Bitcoin to US dollars and so on. And it solves a very interesting technical problem, which is how do you stop double spending?”
Wikileaks was one of the first, and the longest, adopter of bitcoin at the height of what can be called public resistance against the Iraq War.
The then darling of the internet had considerable support, but, one can say, the project rose too fast, too high, with the US government at the time appearing to be on the chase.
Nakamoto, perhaps now with hindsight far too pessimistically (although maybe quite justifiably), seemingly thought that intermingling at such high latitude, when bitcoin could barely walk, might bring it down crashing to naught.
But the movement had taken a life of its own. The priesthood no longer heard. For the people took charge of the people’s money, and saw it through iron and fire, burning lava and mountain snow.
Now, bitcoin roars.
“The past instability of the market economy is the consequence of the exclusion of the most important regulator of the market mechanism, money, from itself being regulated by the market process…
Only competition in a free market can take account of all the circumstances which ought to be taken account of.” Hayek in the Denationalization of Money.