A DAO Wants to Free Julian Assange With a Pak NFT


Key Takeaways

  • AssangeDAO is planning to bid on an NFT collaboration between Julian Assange and Pak.
  • Proceeds from the auction sale will go toward helping Assange fight extradition to the U.S.
  • AssangeDAO contributors will receive governance tokens allowing them to vote on what the DAO will do with the NFT if it wins the auction.

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The funds raised from the NFT sale will go toward Assange’s legal fees. 

AssangeDAO to Bid on Pak NFT

Another DAO is raising funds to bid on NFTs. 

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AssangeDAO has announced its plans to bid on a one-off NFT collaboration between Julian Assange and Pak in an effort to help the Wikileaks founder fight extradition to the United States. 

The pseudonymous crypto artist Pak, whose previous NFT project Merge sold for a combined $91.8 million in December, announced their new project via Twitter last week. Titled Censored, the work consists of two parts: a dynamic one-of-a-kind NFT that will be put up for auction, and an open edition that Pak said would be “for you all to participate.” The auction goes live on Feb. 7, with more details due to be released closer to the start date. The funds raised from Censored’s sales will go toward Assange’s legal fees. 

Assange has been accused on 18 counts relating to WikiLeaks’ release of sensitive documents that revealed wrongdoing and double-dealing by U.S. federal agencies. The Wikileaks founder could face a 175-year sentence if extradited to the United States. 

AssangeDAO formed the day after the United States won its appeal of a British court ruling that barred Assange’s extradition. The DAO states that it’s run by “cypherpunks seeking to free Assange from the legacy justice system” and intends to raise capital to cover Assange’s legal fees. To achieve this goal, the DAO is raising money to bid on Censored.

The DAO will accept contributions in Ethereum through JuiceBox. Those who donate will receive a proportional amount of the DAO’s governance token, JUSTICE, which will allow them to vote on what the DAO does with the Censored NFT if it wins the auction. If the DAO does not win the auction, all funds will be returned to the users via JuiceBox minus gas fees.

The DAO’s structure is similar to that of ConstitutionDAO, which raised funds to bid on a copy of the U.S Constitution but was ultimately unsuccessful. ConstitutionDAO was criticized for using Ethereum mainnet to solicit donations, as the high gas fees on the network made refunds for smaller contributions infeasible. As AssangeDAO plans to use the same method to solicit and refund donations, it could face similar issues if it fails to win the Pak NFT. 

AssangeDAO is not the first DAO to raise money to fight against perceived injustice in the court system. At the beginning of December, FreeRossDAO was formed to bid on NFT artwork created by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Like the Assange-Pak collaboration, proceeds from Ulbricht’s NFT sale are going toward overturning his current conviction, which would see him serve a minimum of 70 years behind bars. 

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Disclosure: At the time of writing this feature, the author owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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