Coinbase has blocked Wikileaks. The controversy broke out over the weekend, so what happened? Let’s dig in.
According to WikiLeaks, Coinbase suspended it from using Coinbase’s payments services. WikiLeaks tweeted out the message it received from Coinbase, which stated that some of WikiLeaks’ activities were “in violation of [Coinbase’s] Terms of Service.”
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
First, what is WikiLeaks? WikiLeaks is a publisher of confidential documents, such as news leaks and classified media that has been provided by anonymous sources. The company also operates an e-commerce shop that sells things like clothing, posters, and other knickknacks. The store allows users to pay via Bitcoin (BTC), and up until Friday, this was done through Coinbase’s services.
Now, WikiLeaks is asking for outright war against Coinbase.
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
Coinbase has been pretty silent on the matter, but some Twitter users believe Coinbase could be referring to FinCEN, or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This could mean that Coinbase has blocked Wikileaks over money laundering concerns and/or other suspicious activity. However, there is no proof of this, and again, Coinbase has confirmed nothing.
Many in the crypto community have reacted to Coinbase’s decision with outrage, tweeting that “they’re out” if Coinbase doesn’t fix this. Others are taking Coinbase’ side, proclaiming that WikiLeaks isn’t the most ethical of businesses in its nature, given that the company reveals secrets and possibly chooses what to disclose and what not to.
Coinbase isn’t the first company to blacklist WikiLeaks. Mastercard blocked its products from being used to pay WikiLeaks, way back in 2010, and Paypal has also said that WikiLeaks violated its policy, forcing them to restrict its account.
So, in the Coinbase WikiLeaks controversy, whose side are you on?
Featured image: WikiLeaks