AssangeDAO seeks $37m transparency as WikiLeaks founder exits Belmarsh

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As the Julian Assange’s time in prison comes to an end, members of an on-chain movement demand transparency around funds raised for his defense. 

After the WikiLeaks founder was released from Belmarsh prison on Tuesday, the token for AssangeDAO (JUSTICE) spiked over 60% in 24 hours. The Australian publisher and activist was previously incarcerated in a British high-security facility for more than 1,900 days due to an alleged violation of the U.S. Espionage Act.

Assange supporters call for expenditure report

The decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) banded together in December 2021 in a collaborative effort to marshall financial support for Assange‘s defense. According to one of the DAO’s core contributors, Silke Noa, donors raised some 16,593 Ether (ETH) worth over $56 million at current market prices. 

Wau Holland Foundation managed and disbursed about $37 million of the raise via a Safe (formerly Gnosis) multi-sig address, but a full accounting of expenses remained undisclosed. 

“Arguably, there were security reasons that prevented full transparency on the fund allocation not to prejudice Julian’s case in the past,” Noa said on X following his release. Noa and several others have called on the Wau Holland Foundation to explain how funds were allocated to the defense effort.

Assange was supposedly an early Bitcoin (BTC) investor, believing the crypto offered an alternative investment and payment vehicle. In the early 2010s, the WikiLeaks founder invested in BTC and mulled accepting payments in crypto after censorship from giants like MasterCard.  His release, partly supported by a DAO’s initiative, further underscores crypto’s role as a catalyst for real-world change. 

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