Coinbase Shuts Down WikiLeaks’ Bitcoin Account; Retaliation Follows
Coinbase, the largest US Bitcoin exchange, has effectively shut off the account of WikiLeaks Shop as the latter has supposedly been ‘engaged in a prohibited use in violation’ of the platform’s Terms of Service.
WikiLeaks Shop’s Coinbase account has been effectively suspended for being in violation of the platform’s terms of agreements. The original announcement was made by the official Twitter page of the shop itself:
ANNOUNCE: Coinbase has blocked the official @WikiLeaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation. You can continue to donate #Bitcoin to WikiLeaks at https://t.co/lvhoyhlqUa. #Coinbase #DefendWL #Cryptocurrency #Ethereum #BitcoinCash #ReconnectJulian pic.twitter.com/4BSS023OOk
— WikiLeaks Shop (@WikiLeaksShop) April 21, 2018
As a result, WikiLeaks has lost its means of converting cryptocurrency payments into fiat. However, it’s worth noting that donations are still open but the site would have to find another way to get them converted into conventional cash.
Interestingly enough, Coinbase has refrained from providing any specific reason for its decision. The only pointer given refers to the honoring of “regulatory compliance mechanisms” set forth by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, under which the platform is regulated.
The happening followed the news of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) filing a lawsuit against WikiLeaks, as well as against the Trump campaign and the Russian government alleging a conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 election campaign.
As a response to the block of the account of the WikiLeaks Shop, the site has tweeted that it will call for a ‘global blockade’ of Coinbase sometime next week.
WikiLeaks will call for a global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community. Coinbase, a large Californian Bitcoin processor, responding to a concealed influence, has blocked the entirely harmless @WikiLeaksShop in a decision approved by management. https://t.co/PAldF8b12P
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 21, 2018
Unlike the trading platform, though, WikiLeaks lays out its motives – it deems Coinbase to be an ‘unfit member of the crypto community’ and to have acted under a ‘concealed influence’.
While it’s true that WikiLeaks has had a rather tough week, alleging a hidden influence behind the acts of the largest Bitcoin exchange in the US might be stretching it a bit. Of course, the lack of any reasonable explanation on behalf of the trading platform does raise a few eyebrows.
One thing is clear, though – the way these events unfold is definitely going to be worth following.
Do you think Coinbase’s actions are provoked by a hidden influence? Or is WikiLeaks stretching its own authority? Please let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of GlassDoor