WikiLeaks’ public donation address recently received its 4000th bitcoin. The nonprofit whistle blower site, which to a large extent relies on donations, reached this milestone on November 12, with well over 25,000 incoming transactions over five years time. The total amount of bitcoins WikiLeaks received is even higher, as the media organization also lets users generate custom Bitcoin addresses if they prefer not to donate to the public address.
Digital currency has proven vital for WikiLeaks’ survival over the past years. Shortly after the release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables in November 2010, all donations to WikiLeaks were blocked by major payment providers, including Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union. This embargo is said to have initially destroyed 95 percent of the organization’s revenue — almost killing WikiLeaks in the process. By opening up to bitcoin and litecoin donations, over the years the media organization received a majority of all funds in cryptocurrency.
The 4000 bitcoins sent to WikiLeaks’ public donation address add up to almost $3 million at today’s price, though the media organization received most donations