Coinbase just blocked Wikileaks from using the cryptocurrency firm’s payment service, in a statement shared by Wikileaks. According to the company, Coinbase hasn’t shared exactly what Wikileaks did, or why it can suddenly no longer have access to the firm’s service.
Apparently, Coinbase believes that WikiLeaks has violated the terms of service agreement they had, although the details of what exactly WikiLeaks did have not yet been shared.
WikiLeaks does not appear too happy about the situation that resulted in suspension of the ability to use the payment service, leaving tweets that say it will, “call for a global blockade of Coinbase” because it is “an unfit member of the crypto community.”
Coinbase provides a service that allows online shops to accept digital currencies as payments. Aside from publishing confidential documents, WikiLeaks operates a side business where it sells products like T-shirts and posters that people can pay for with Bitcoin.
The suspension dealt by Coinbase will obviously have a negative effect on that part of WikiLeaks’ business, if no one can pay with Bitcoin anymore via this service.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has been an avid supporter of Bitcoin for many years. In fact, back in October, Assange shared that WikiLeaks earned a 50,000 percent return by investing in Bitcoin in 2010. However, when looking at WikiLeaks’ history, the company appears to have had some problems with payment processors such as Visa and Mastercard in the past.
Mastercard suspended its products from being used to pay WikiLeaks in 2010, and Paypal restricted the account used by WikiLeaks, following policy violations as well. Being able to accept Bitcoin as payment was a way to avoid these other payment firms. So this is a difficult situation for WikiLeaks, now that Coinbase has also suspended its payment service.