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Julian Assange Is Now Free: Here’s What He Believes About Bitcoin

Free speech champions across the world celebrated earlier this week as Julian Assange – founder of WikiLeaks – was finally released from a UK prison after five years behind bars.

During his more than decade-long legal battle to escape persecution from multiple national governments, Assange often leaned on crypto to drive global fundraising campaigns to secure his freedom. A newly resurfaced video from years before Assange’s arrest shows him praising cryptocurrencies as a powerful tool for freedom.

What Julian Assange Thinks of Bitcoin

In the September 2014 clip shared by MicroStrategy executive chairman Michael Saylor, Assange calls Bitcoin the “most interesting intellectual development on the internet” since the network’s inception in 2009.

“A lot of people who have heard about Bitcoin don’t really understand it,” he said at the time. “It is a currency that’s cryptographically backed and multi-jurisdictional, which means it’s very hard for any one power group…to start turning it into a rent-seeking apparatus.”

Years after this speech, countries like El Salvador and companies like Strike have begun leveraging Bitcoin as a tool for sending and receiving cheap, instant global remittances.

Moreover, Bitcoin and crypto have become leading tools for easily funding global humanitarian movements, including Ukraine’s military defense against Russia or Israel’s support for victims of Hamas.

Yet this isn’t even one of Bitcoin’s primary benefits, according to Assange. One of the network’s best qualities, he said, is its ability to “defend itself or the people who use it against even the full might of a superpower.”

Bitcoin Breaking Orwell’s Dictum

“The other underlying basic technology is proof of publication at a particular time,” he continued. With Bitcoin’s blockchain operating a ledger of true events that cannot be altered, he argued that the network can “break Orwell’s dictum” arguing that “he who controls the present controls the past.”

Indeed, Bitcoin has been used repeatedly as a tool for bypassing sanctions placed by national governments – for better or for worse. In 2022, the Canadian Trucker convoy protesting nationwide vaccine mandates turned to Bitcoin to raise funds when traditional payment platforms like GoFundMe blocked donations.

Assange himself turned to crypto for funding after being jailed in the United Kingdom, including over $54 million in ETH through AssangeDAO.

“That’s the big expansion we’re about to see in Bitcoin – it all derives form this basic premise,” concluded Assange. “You can prove a particular contract happened at a particular time, globally.”

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