Supporters of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have raised $40 million ahead of an auction for an NFT art collection created in a collaboration by Assange and renowned digital artist Pak. The money, raised via crowdfunding in less than three days, is expected to be used to place a bid. The auction has already kicked off and is set to last for 48-hours.
The war chest was raised by AssangeDAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), which initially drew inspiration from FreeRossDAO, which raised funds last year for the release from prison of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. According to AssangeDAO’s website, the group is a collective of cypherpunks who are fighting for the release of the whistleblower, using NFTs to fund the battle.
The group’s objective is to bid on the NFT collection, called ‘Censored.’ AssangeDAO has reportedly raised over 13,000 ETH ($40 million) through the JuiceBox crypto-funding platform and intends to channel the money towards Assange’s legal fees through the auction, and to fund a campaign to raise “public awareness on the systemic failure of our justice systems.”
Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and a social activist, is facing a 175-year sentence if extradited to the US, where he is wanted for revealing a series of war crimes and human-rights violations. He is currently being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison.