Nine years ago today, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange made his most substantial public remarks on the nature of Bitcoin, a then five-year-old project that had just broken into the financial mainstream by passing $1,000 the year prior.
At that time, Assange was not new to Bitcoin. In fact, Wikileaks had discussed accepting Bitcoin since as far back as 2010, when early efforts were made by users to introduce the journalistic agency to the payment method.
Ultimately, Wikileaks began accepting Bitcoin in 2011, a move the organization has since credited for helping break its banking blockade in the wake of its publishing of classified U.S. government information.
That said, a 2014 interview, unearthed by Bitcoin Historian Pete Rizzo, shows Assange was every bit as convinced about the technology years later.
In the video, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a bold statement about Bitcoin that has since proved to be remarkably accurate. In the interview, Assange labeled Bitcoin as “the most interesting thing on the internet,” and his words have aged well as the cryptocurrency has seen a staggering surge in value over the years.
At the time of the interview, Bitcoin was trading at a fraction of its current value, yet Wikileaks was using the technology as a publishing platform, in part, to prove the existence of information it published.
Elsewhere in the interview, Assange discussed the nature of Bitcoin, and cryptography in general, as a tool for civilians to resist government overreach.
“The ability of cryptography to create situations where it can defend the people who use it against the full might of a superpower. The full might of a superpower doesn’t help you solve a math problem,” he said. “It’s not something you can get at through overwhelming coercive power.”
Assange’s foresight regarding Bitcoin’s significance is evident when we consider the cryptocurrency’s remarkable price trajectory since the interview. In 2014, Bitcoin was trading at approximately $380 per coin across exchanges.
Fast forward to 2023, and Bitcoin is trading at $28,000, marking an increase of over 7,000% in the nine years since.
As Bitcoin continues to mature and gain acceptance, it remains closely tied to the principles of decentralization and censorship resistance that Assange and WikiLeaks championed. Assange is still in prison for publishing key information in the public interest, and his fight for freedom remains a core Bitcoin cause.