Julian Assange Seeks Bitcoin Donations to Pay $520K Jet Debt 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s “travel to freedom comes at a massive cost.”

Julian Assagne surrounded by floating Bitcoins.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Julian Assange’s family is seeking donations to fund his “travel to freedom.”
  • The WikiLeaks founder was set free after over a decade of isolation.
  • He turns 53 years old next week.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s march to freedom comes at a hefty price and his immediate family is appealing for Bitcoin and cash donations to offset the travel expenses and support his recovery after the enervating ordeal.

The 52-year-old self-proclaimed whistleblower was isolated for over a decade, spending five years in a British high-security jail and nearly seven years in asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London amid a legal battle over the publication of a trove of classified documents.

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Assange’s drawn-out legal saga ended after he pleaded guilty to obtaining and publishing classified national defense documents Wednesday in a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

While the plea deal secured his liberty, Assange is trapped in massive debt incurred during his “travel to freedom” in a private jet.

Assange’s Family Seeks Donation

According to Assange’s spouse, Stella Assange, the WikiLeaks founder was forbidden from flying commercial airlines or routes to the U.S. court in the Northern Mariana Islands and onward to Australia, where he was reportedly headed at the time of writing.

His remaining option was to use a private jet, leaving him with an unplanned financial burden.

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“URGENT: Emergency appeal for donations to cover massive USD 520,000 debt for jet,” Stella wrote on X. “Julian’s travel to freedom comes at a massive cost: Julian will owe USD 520,000 which he is obligated to pay back to the Australian government for charter Flight VJ199.”

Following Stella’s appeal, Forbes reported that well-wishers inquired about a Bitcoin address to channel their donations as the previously shared donation platform could only accept credit/debit cards and bank payments.

According to the report, Assange’s brother has set up a BTCPay POS, which allows donors to generate on-chain and Lightning Network invoices for the Assange campaign.

The move to accept Bitcoin donations underscores the crypto asset’s power outside the custody of financial institutions and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Assange will also likely continue his family’s legacy of engagement with Bitcoin, which started by inscribing Wikileaks war logs into the Bitcoin blockchain while he was in prison.

Read about Strike’s move to bring crypto payments to the UK:
Strike Brings Bitcoin Payments to UK in Global Expansion Quest

Stay updated on Zodia Custody’s partnership with 21Shares:
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Author
Brian Danga

Brian Danga, a Kenyan crypto reporter, is dedicated to delivering breaking news and updates from the cryptocurrency world. With a background as a Web3 writer and project manager, he recognizes the importance of unbiased reporting. Holding an LLB degree from the University of Nairobi, Brian's analytical skills contribute to his accurate news reporting. His personal interests include cooking, watching documentaries, reading, and engaging in intellectual discussions.