AssangeDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization formed to help raise funds and provide legal support to whistleblower, WikiLeaks founder, and press freedom activist Julian Assange, has announced that it has successfully raised 17,422 in ETH, or roughly $56 million in current prices.
The funding was pooled from 10,000 individuals who have pledged to support the decentralized autonomous organization, which in turn has planned to use the funds to bid for NFT artist Pak's 'Censored' NFT collection. According to a tweet by manifold.xyz co-founder richerd.eth, the DAO has won the bid for 16,593 ETH, hypothesizing that the sale of the Clock piece has broken a new record for the largest on-chain NFT sale. The funds were gathered through Juicebox, a community funding and hosting platform.
With the 16,593 ETH ($53M) sale of CLOCK by @muratpak x Julian Assange to @AssangeDAO, did we just break the record for the largest on-chain NFT sale to date?https://t.co/xan342rFZ5 pic.twitter.com/10XPRZyMYz— richerd.eth ᵍᵐ (@richerd) February 9, 2022
The auction win comes at a contentious period, as Assange battles extradition to the United States, following a court ruling gaveled down late last year, which overruled a previous British court ruling which barred Assange's extradition. To date, Assange is still held in prison in London, where he has stayed at since 2019.
Previous statements from AssangeDAO has highlighted how the decentralized autonomous organization is forming a legal defense fund for Assange that would cover “legal fees and campaigning to raise awareness about Julian’s extradition case.”
The DAO describes itself as a “collective of cypherpunks” banding together to raise funds in the Ethereum cryptocurrency, which could then be swapped with $JUSTICE, its governance token. Proceeds from the fundraising have been used to bid and later win the non-fungible token (NFT) collection, which is a collaboration between Pak and Julian Assange.
U.S. prosecutors have been seeking to extradite Assange for trial on espionage charges. The case gained attention worldwide and has since forced the prosecutors to accelerate its proceedings due to the statute of limitations, or the prescriptive period in which it could be pursued, nearing its end.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Justice stepped back from indicting Assange on the espionage charges, saying that it was unable to find sufficient evidence that the whistleblower's actions differed from any statement that would have been published by a journalist. It was only during the administration of former U.S. president Donald Trump that the case was refocused, under the command of of CIA director Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The NFT collection's launch coincided with the deadline for Assange's lawyers to plead their consult's case against extradition. NFT artist Pak gave an interview to Artnet earlier this week, in which they provided reasons as to the the NFT drop was important and relevant today.
“I am in love with creating different mechanisms to communicate my messages. For ‘Censored,’ the drop needed a good reason to exist and Julian was just the perfect fit.” Pak shared. “The biggest message is censored as usual,” Pak adds.
The Censored NFT collection includes an open edition with unlimited minting based on a specific time frame, and the creator states that proceeds from the NFT sale will be donated to support organizations fighting for causes such as “information freedom, digital privacy, education, health, and human and animal rights.”
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