The merchandising arm of Wikileaks, Wikileaks Shop, has reported that Coinbase, an international crypto wallet, and exchange has blocked their account. The announcement comes from a series of tweets by their official Twitter account also calling for an international boycott against the tyranny of Coinbase.
The Wikileaks Shop is the whistleblower site’s merchandise outlet, selling shirts, phone cases, coffee mugs, posters, and other branded paraphernalia. Users can pay for their items with a credit card, or via a variety of cryptocurrencies. The exchange appears to have closed an account owned by the organization for the store, which could mean that it won’t be able to collect payment through Coinbase and convert the money into dollars through the service.
Coinbase hasn’t commented on the issue saying that they do not comment on individual accounts, however, anyone following Wikileaks knows that this is not an isolated incident. Wikileaks has been facing the wrath of American and Western establishment since Wikileaks started to raise the curtain on their wrongdoing.
This is not the first time that financial institutions have waged war on WikiLeaks. In 2011, an unlawful blockade had been imposed by Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union, effectively cutting 95% of their revenue. This, in turn, had pushed Wikileaks to be one of the earliest adopters of cryptocurrency to raise funds for their operations.
Public reaction to this ban from Coinbase has been mixed. Some people are with the Coinbase’s decision saying that it is the US government that is to be blamed. Coinbase would have been attacked for not taking actions against Wikileaks, which is under federal investigation for meddling with 2016 Presidential elections. People against Coinbase’s resolution have highlighted the fact that Coinbase is just another centralized financial institution, no different from the establishment organizations, with no moral backbone.