The largest cryptocurrency exchange of the United States – Coinbase has recently shut down the Bitcoin account of WikiLeaks Shop for violating the platform’s terms of the user agreement. The suspension came without any sort of prior warning from Coinbase and was reported by WikiLeaks on its Twitter account.
The Twitter handle of WikiLeaks Shop published a screenshot of the message from Coinable which states “Upon careful review, we believe your account has engaged in a 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.”
It further adds: “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 is a non-profit organization which has become popular in the past few years for publishing sensitive information obtained from different anonymous sources. The U.S in 2012 wanted to extradite WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange and try him for publishing classified documents.
Assange has been an early supporter of Bitcoin and to support their work WikiLeaks has been asking for payments in the form of cryptocurrency in exchange for merchandise items on the WikiLeaks Shop.
This latest pull-back of support by Coinbase means that WikiLeaks will no more be able to convert their crypto payments into fiat cash. However, it has to be noted that WikiLeaks is still accepting donations but would just have to find another means of converting crypto donations to conventional cash.
Although Coinable has refused to comment anything on this matter, WikiLeaks has retaliated back calling for a ‘global outage’ of Coinbase. WikiLeaks tweeted: “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.”
This is not for the first time that WikiLeaks has faced such an issue. Rather, it started accepting crypto donations in 2010 after MasterCard, Visa and PayPal had effectively cut financial support to the platform.
The latest boycott came after last week the New York Attorney General Schneiderman announced an investigation into 12 crypto exchanges. The investigation is done to check whether the crypto exchanges have been implementing necessary regulatory measures while simultaneously maintaining transparency with its users.
Schneiderman said: “With cryptocurrency on the rise, consumers in New York and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money.”
He further added: “Yet too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity, and security of these trading platforms. Our Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative sets out to change that, promoting the accountability and transparency in the virtual currency marketplace that investors and consumers deserve.”
There is some general concern that should CoinBase continue to police who can receive or send funds, that this could impact investments in ICOs.