Coinbase vs. WikiLeaks: That’s what the argument is about

The Coinbase crypto trading platform has completely blocked WikiLeaks’ access to its platform, blocking transactions to the whistleblower site. In response, WikiLeaks is now demanding a global blockade of Coinbase by the crypto community.

How could this dispute escalate like the news spy?

On Friday WikiLeaks announced that Coinbase had banned the official WikiLeaks shop from its platform. On Twitter, the news spy posted a review and the announcement, stating that Coinbase had provided no further notice or explanation as to why the crypto trading platform had done so.

The Twitter post also included the news spy official message that Wikileaks is said to have received from Coinbase. This reinforces the authority of the Crypto Exchange as one of the largest trading outlets for Bitcoin. Coinbase is a regulated Money Service Business (MSB) and acts according to the rules of FinCEN. Accordingly, for legal reasons it must also carry out the compliance mechanisms internally. In this context, according to Coinbase, the WikiLeaks shop was also scrutinised.

“After a thorough review, we believe that your account (WikiLeaks Shop) has violated our guidelines in a prohibited manner. We regret to inform you that we will no longer be able to provide you with our services in the future”, it continues in the statement.

The WikiLeaks shop deals among other things with clothes, accessories and books, but also with crypto-assets like the Crypto Kitties running on the Ethereum-Blockchain. This first statement does not conclusively and satisfactorily clarify what exactly the violation of the guidelines is supposed to be.

WikiLeaks doesn’t let down the Bitcoin secret

WikiLeaks responded by urging the Bitcoin secret community to avoid Coinbase in the future. Through the action against WikiLeaks Shop, Coinbase has revealed itself as an “unsuitable member of the Bitcoin secret” that is using its power against the “totally harmless” WikiLeaks Shop.

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.

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://WikiLeaks.org/donate . #Coinbase #DefendWL #Cryptocurrency #Ethereum #BitcoinCash #ReconnectJulian

Bitcoiner Andreas Antonopoulos, well-known and respected in the crypto scene, feels reminded of the general embargo against WikiLeaks in 2010. At the time, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and the major banks forged a global payment blockade against WikiLeaks to punish the news service for its publications. As a result, the whistleblower platform became one of Bitcoin’s earliest and most public supporters.

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.

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://WikiLeaks.org/donate . #Coinbase #DefendWL #Cryptocurrency #Ethereum #BitcoinCash #ReconnectJulian

What interest Coinbase might have in a blockade of WikiLeaks is still unclear. Whether the crypto-broker makes many friends in the community with this decision may be doubted.