The arrest of Julian Assange in London has reminded some cryptocurrency investors of an early statement made by bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto on the bitcointalk forums, where he commented on a PC World article that spoke about Bitcoin as a payments system for WikiLeaks,
Satoshi says in the post,
It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.
Satoshi, who seems like someone that approaches matters with a level head, was commenting on the fact that, at the time, the spotlight on WikiLeaks was growing and would attract unfavourable attention to Bitcoin itself.
Satoshi was hoping for Bitcoin to grow naturally and not attract unwanted attention through associations with an entity like WikiLeaks, which has irked governments and authorities. WikiLeaks had begun accepting donations in Bitcoins, which circumvented the need for payments platforms like PayPal. As Reddit user, mindless_snail said,
…Wikileaks announced that they were accepting Bitcoin donations because they were kicked off of every other major payment platform. Wikileaks was all over the news for publishing confidential military documents and the first time many people ever heard of Bitcoin was when it was mentioned in association with Wikileaks.
Assange himself has spoken positively on Bitcoin on Reddit, saying,
There’s lots on bitcoin in my book – on my thoughts on it, and on WikiLeaks’ history with it. [Google’s] Eric Schmidt and I conversed for a while about it, and I also included a lot of notes to expand on my views. It’s a fascinating and complex subject, so I can’t possibly go through all of it.
Famous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, also took to Twitter to condemn the arrest and called it a “dark moment”,
Images of Ecuador's ambassador inviting the UK's secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of–like it or not–award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books. Assange's critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom. https://t.co/ys1AIdh2FP
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 11, 2019
Any activity, such as Bitcoin’s use on dark web markets like Silk Road, would have attached some suspicion to Bitcoin because of its use. The whole world has come to see that Bitcoin was never created with the intention to flout authority or partake in illegal activities, but rather act as a viable digital payments mechanism that could genuinely improve matters for end users and avoid the need for expensive and unsecure centralized authorities.