A newly formed DAO is raising money to free Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from extradition to the United States. Going by the name “AssangeDAO,” the pot has already raised over $38 million in ETH since it launched on Thursday.
Seeking Justice for Assange
According to assangedao.org, the DAO’s stated goal is to “inspire a powerful solidarity network and fight for the freedom of Julian Assange.” Driven by a community of cypherpunks, the funds will go towards financing Assange’s legal fees while campaigning to increase public awareness of his struggle. They will also raise awareness about the “free speech implications of his case.”
As shown by Juicebox – a site for creating project funding using DAOs – AssangeDAO has raised 12,575 ETH at the time of writing. Given the surging crypto market in the last few days, that alone is worth approximately $39,000,000.
This officially makes it the largest Juicebox Ethereum fundraiser in history, surpassing the “ConstitutionDAO” it was partly inspired by. The latter was created to purchase an original copy of the United States constitution, raising 11,613 ETH since inception.
Those who contribute to the AssangeDAO are awarded the JUSTICE governance token, which gives them power over the future direction of the DAO. The plan is to use the money raised to bid on an NFT collection made by artist “Pak” in collaboration with Assange, titled “Censored.” It is set to be auctioned later today.
On December 10th, the United States won an appeal of a British court ruling that prevented Assange’s extradition to America. The AssangeDAO began to assemble on Telegram the same day.
“If extradited to the United States, Assange faces 175 years in prison for publishing truthful information,” reads the site.
Assange became a figure of international attention after publishing leaked information through Wikileaks from US Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning. He then began hiding from the US under asylum status at London’s Ecuadorian Embassy but was ejected from it after seven years. He has now been held in London’s Belmarsh prison for three years and has become an icon of free speech across the globe.
Naturally, the censorship-resistant nature of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has resonated well with the Assange family. Julian’s half-brother Gabriel Shipton joined the AssangeDAO’s Telegram group and even spoke at last year’s Bitcoin Conference in Miami.
Featured Image Courtesy of NPR.