Late Friday, WikiLeaks, the organization known for divulging government secrets, posted via Twitter that San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase had “blocked the official @WikiLeaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation.”
The WikiLeaks tweet was accompanied by a clip from what appears to be Coinbase’s official deactivation notification.
ANNOUNCE: Coinbase has blocked the official @WikiLeaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation. You can continue to donate #Bitcoin to WikiLeaks at https://WikiLeaks.org/donate . #Coinbase #DefendWL #Cryptocurrency #Ethereum #BitcoinCash #ReconnectJulian
WikiLeaks responded to the deactivation by calling for a “global blockade of Coinbase,” accusing the exchange – which has become one of the main fiat on-ramps to the cryptospace inside the US – of being “an unfit member of the crypto community.”
WikiLeaks went even further, alleging a “concealed influence” behind Coinbase’s actions.
Historically, financial service and payment entities Visa and Mastercard have also kept clear of attaching their brands to WikiLeaks, which has been investigated by the US Justice Department for leaking diplomatic cables, something potentially enforceable as a federal crime under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Coinbase has previously come under scrutiny by the IRS, which obtained a court order instructing the exchange to produce records related to customers who engaged in transactions worth at least the equivalent of $20,000 in any one transaction type (buy, sell, send, or receive) in any one year during the 2013 to 2015 period. The deadline for that production was last month.
ETHNews will provide updates as they become available.