The WikiLeaks Shop has been banned from Coinbase’s payment platform, the organization revealed on Friday.
“Coinbase has blocked the official @WikiLeaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation,” the organization wrote on its Twitter account. “You can continue to donate #Bitcoin to WikiLeaks at WikiLeaks.org/donate.”
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. https://t.co/PAldF8b12P
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 21, 2018
WikiLeaks posted a screenshot of the email that Coinbase allegedly sent the non-profit organization, which publishes classified government documents provided by anonymous sources. In the email, Coinbase referenced the exchange operator and payment processor’s regulatory obligations as a money services business (MSB) that must remain compliant with FinCEN policies.
From the email:
“Upon careful review, we believe your account has engaged in prohibited use in violation of our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service. We respectfully request that you follow the on-screen instructions presented when you log into your Coinbase account to send any remaining balance offsite to an external address.”
WikiLeaks first began accepting bitcoin in 2010, after MasterCard, PayPal, and other payment processors began barring their customers from donating to the controversial organization.
The organization’s embrace of bitcoin provided the fledgling cryptocurrency with one of its first significant waves of mainstream media attention, and WikiLeaks now accepts a variety of cryptocurrencies, including zcash, monero, litecoin, and ethereum.
Despite the Coinbase ban, customers can continue to purchase items at the WikiLeaks Shop using CoinPayments.net’s payment processing tool, through which the store continues to accept bitcoin, as well as a number of altcoins.
WikiLeaks responded to the ban by calling for a “global blockade” of the company next week, arguing that its actions make it an “unfit member of the crypto community.”
Widely-respected bitcoin advocate and public speaker Andreas M. Antonopoulos tweeted that he was “disappointed with Coinbase” for shutting off access to the organization but said that he doesn’t hate them and won’t support a boycott.
“Coinbase is the most bitcoin-friendly bank there is,” he said. “Once you accept that they are a bank, it becomes easier to understand. If you need to use a bank, they’re it.”
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