Wikileaks made a 50,000 per cent return on bitcoin thanks to the US government, Julian Assange claims

Julian Assange thanked the U.S. government after it pushed companies like MasterCard to block payments to Wikileaks in 2010, forcing it to accept bitcoin

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 4:56pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 4:57pm

By Arjun Kharpal

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims his organisation has made a 50,000 per cent return on bitcoin after investing in the cryptocurrency in 2010 — and it’s all thanks to the U.S. government.

In a tweet over the weekend, Assange posted a screenshot of bitcoin prices on July 18, 2010 and October 14, 2017 on industry website CoinDesk. In this period, the price of bitcoin went from US$0.06 to around US$5,814. This represents a 9,689,900 per cent increase.

Assange, however, said that he has made a 50,000 per cent return, presumably investing in bitcoin over the six-year period.

And the Wikileaks founder said this was because the U.S. government forced payment companies like Visa and MasterCard to carry out “an illegal banking blockade” against his organisation.

In 2010, MasterCard blocked its products being used to pay WikiLeaks. Paypal also restricted the account used by WikiLeaks after it said the group has violated its policy.

Assange said that this is the reason WikiLeaks invested in bitcoin. The cryptocurrency allows anonymous payments and can be moved around the world easily. It is, however, very volatile.

Wikileaks is notorious for publishing classified government documents. Assange was fighting a legal battle with Swedish prosecutors who accused him of rape, a claim he denied. Earlier this year, Sweden dropped its investigation into Assange.

In 2012, Assange was granted asylum in the Ecuador embassy in London and has holed up there ever since.

Read the original article at CNBC