A group supporting the legendary WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange raised more than $50 million in ether cryptocurrency by selling a non-fungible token (NFT) to a blockchain-based activist collective called AssangeDAO set up to pay for his legal fees. The NFT, titled “Clock,” is a joint creation by Assange and digital artist Pak.
The Clock NFT displays a digital counter of the days Assange has spent behind bars at London’s Belmarsh Prison, where he’s being held awaiting extradition to the US.
Assange plans to appeal a UK court decision to extradite him to the US to face multiple espionage charges stemming from WikiLeaks’ publication of confidential files on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. If found guilty, he could face up to 175 years in prison. The proceeds from the NFT clock sale will go to the Hamburg-based Wau Holland foundation, a nonprofit that accepts donations for Assange’s legal defense.
Julian Assange is only the latest controversial figure to benefit from a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) set up to support his cause, bypassing traditional fundraising sites, as well as the scrutiny that goes with them.