WikiLeaks calls for Coinbase boycott after ban from cryptocurrency exchange

WikiLeaks is calling for a global blockade of one of the worlds largest exchanges for crypto-trading, Coinbase, after the company banned the WikiLeaks Shop from its platform “without explanation.”

The whistleblowing organization claims the cryptocurrency payments processor is responding to a “concealed influence,” and is urging members of the digital currency community to boycott it.

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.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 21, 2018

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WikiLeaks Shop said on Twitter that the action was taken without notice or explanation. A statement from Coinbase posted by the Wikileaks Shop cites violation of terms of service as the reason for the decision.

“Upon careful review we believe your account has engaged in prohibited use in violation with our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service,” the message shared by WikiLeaks Shop reads.

RT has reached out to Coinbase for comment. Some social media users have already vowed to abandon the platform, accusing it of censorship.

Just withdrew the remaining balance, from @coinbase, and contacted support to cancel the account. They were actually a decent service, but I will not support any organization that censors opposing views.

— I'm with Rudy! (@theTrumpSpring) April 21, 2018

Wikileaks Shop sells merchandise such as t-shirts, hoodies, posters and accessories to help fund its operations. It accepts payment by several cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Bitcoin advocate Andreas M. Antonopoulos noted the move shows “we have come full circle,” pointing out that for many people, interest in cryptocurrency was ignited when major financial providers boycotted WikiLeaks in 2010.

Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, and Bank of America all prohibited donations to the whistleblowing organization after it released thousands of classified US diplomatic cables online.

We have come full circle. Many people's interest in bitcoin started when Wikileaks was out under an extra judicial embargo by VISA, MC, PayPal and banks. Now Coinbase has repeated history. Oops.

— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) April 21, 2018

It's purely symbolic, unlike the first embargo. Now they have many options. But the symbolism is a pretty poignant reminder of what centralization and banking regulations mean.

— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) April 21, 2018

READ MORE: DNC lawsuit against Russia & Trump promises tantalizingly fascinating blowback

The announcement comes as the Democratic National Committee launches a lawsuit against WikiLeaks, the Russian government and the Trump presidential election campaign for allegedly conspiring to influence the 2016 US presidential race in a way that damaged the Democratic Party.

WikiLeaks responded to the legal action by seeking donations from its supporters with the aim of launching a counter-suit.

Coinbase is no stranger to controversy itself – the cryptocurrency exchange platform is currently facing a lawsuit for alleged insider trading.

READ MORE: Major cryptocurrency exchange accused of insider trading

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