Bitcoin Whale Funds Julian Assange’s Costly Flight to Freedom

June 26, 2024
Bitcoin Whale Funds Julian Assange's Costly Flight to Freedom

While the announcement of Julian Assange’s freedom following a plea deal created an atmosphere of celebration for many, his journey to obtaining it came at a hefty price. However, an anonymous Bitcoin whale, funded this with a single donation, allowing the controversial whistleblower to land in Australia debt-free.

Stella Assange, the wife of the founder of WikiLeaks, revealed a frustrating reality following Assange’s release from prison. In an X Post, Stella shared that her husband was under massive debt, about $520,000 for the jet that took him out of Europe, into Saipan and finally to Australia. She appealed on the social media platform for donations to cover this debt.

It turned out, Assange’s journey to freedom “comes at a massive cost” since he is “obligated to pay back to the Australian government for charter Flight VJ199.” According to Stella, Julian ‘was not permitted to fly commercial airlines or routes to Saipan and onward to Australia.” So, she was asking for “Any contribution big or small” for it.

The cryptocurrency community responded quickly. Alistair Milne, CIO of Altana Digital Currency Fund, discovered that a single anonymous donor contributed a substantial Bitcoin sum, covering most of the needed funds. This donation was sent to the address ‘bc1qsq’, matching the one on Assange’s donation page. Arkham Intelligence data traced the funds back to a CashApp deposit from February 2023.

In addition to this generous Bitcoin donation, Assange’s cause also received over £300,000 (roughly $380,000) in fiat currency donations. The combined efforts of cryptocurrency and traditional currency donors have significantly eased the financial burden incurred on Assange’s path to freedom.

Assange has been a controversial figure due to his platform’s publication of classified documents. His recent release and subsequent travel to freedom have garnered significant attention, particularly due to the high cost and the unique way it was funded. This incident underscores the growing influence of cryptocurrencies in supporting causes and individuals, often bypassing traditional financial systems.

During Assange’s court appearance on Wednesday, Judge Ramona Manglona handed down a sentence of five years and two months for his admission to espionage charges. Yet, Assange had already spent this entire period detained in the U.K. during his legal battle against extradition. Consequently, he left the courtroom without further incarceration, emerging as a free man.

Following nearly 14 years of arbitrary detention in the U.K., including five  years in a maximum security prison for his work with WikiLeaks, Assange has finally returned to his home soil in Australia. He will be reunited with his wife and his kids. After more than a decade, Assange is taking his life back.

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Yona has no crypto positions and does not hold any crypto assets. This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. The Shib Daily is an official media and publication of the Shiba Inu cryptocurrency project. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and consult with a qualified financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

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