Last week, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase shut down WikiLeaks’ account purportedly without any explanation.
In a dramatic Twitter announcement, the vigilante group said, “Coinbase has blocked the official @WikiLeaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation. You can continue to donate #Bitcoin to WikiLeaks at https://WikiLeaks.org/donate . #Coinbase #DefendWL #Cryptocurrency #Ethereum #BitcoinCash #ReconnectJulian.”
The group shared a part of the message sent by Coinbase on its official handle. The message said that Coinbase is a regulated money services business under FinCen nd they are legally obligated to implement regulatory compliant mechanism.
Elaborating it said, that Wikileaks’ account had engaged in prohibited use in violation of their Terms of Service and they regretted to inform that Wikileaks would no longer be granted access to their platform.
This vague statement threw up a lot of questions. Since Coinbase referenced Fincen, the next logical step was to browse through the website and see what could be found.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or Fincen is a government website and the mission as described on the home page is “to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.” In simpler terms: to prevent money-laundering.
As a counter-move, WikiLeaks announced that it will be calling 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.”
Although Wikileaks is free to denounce a cryptocurrency exchange that allegedly shuts down its account, however, the strong language used in tweet may lead many to wonder if the company is as “harmless” as it says it is.
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