WikiLeaks had to find alternative solutions for its online store. On April 20, 2018, the depositary of whistle-blowing documents revealed in a tweet that Coinbase has closed the WikiLeaks online store account.
Even with Coinbase as a payment processor, the WikiLeaks online store is still able to use CoinPayments.net for cryptocurrency payments, accepting both bitcoins and a variety of altcoins. The organization also accepts donations in bitcoin, litecoin, ether, monero and zcash.
Coinbase Bails on Wikileaks
The organization states that Coinbase sent them a reminder "without warning or explanation" indicating that it would no longer have access to the platform.
"After careful review," reads the message, "we believe your account is engaged in a prohibited use in violation of our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service. respectfully follow the instructions on the screen when you log in to your Coinbase account to send any off-site balance to an external address. "
In the message, Coinbase emphasizes that "it is a regulated monetary services business under FinCEN (FinCen.gov)," which makes it "legally obliged to implement regulatory compliance mechanisms." However, the exchange does not offer further details on which regulations or terms of service violated Wikileaks to invite a ban.
Responding to developments, Wikileaks tweeted who will call for an international boycott boycott next week, calling the exchange "as an unsuitable member of the crypto community".
Ironically, WikiLeaks began to fund its organization with cryptocurrencies after banks and payment services stopped processing donations to it in November 2010. As Visa, Mastercard, Bank of America, PayPal and Western Union have closed their support, the renegade group has converted into virtual currencies that have better conformed to its cryptic, anarchic roots.
In December 2016, WikiLeaks had collected 4,000 bitcoins worth about $ 3,000,000 at the time. The flood of funding was enough to keep WikiLeaks afloat during the blockade and, as Andreas Antonopoulos points out, "Coinbase has repeated the story", implementing the same ban that has triggered "the interest of many people in bitcoin ".
We have closed the circle. The interest of many people in bitcoins began when Wikileaks was under an extra judicial embargo by VISA, MC, PayPal and banks. Now Coinbase has repeated the story. Ops. https://t.co/b8HQkoOwyQ
– Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) 21 April 2018