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WikiLeaks raises $12,000 in Bitcoin for Edward Snowden's defense

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Edward Snowden’s defense fund has raised over $12,000 in Bitcoins in two weeks

Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, left behind a six figure salary and a “very comfortable life” in Hawaii to become the world’s most famous whistleblower. Now that he’s found asylum in Russia and faces espionage charges at home, a legal defense fund launched by WikiLeaks has raised over $16,000 to pay Snowden’s legal fees. 75 percent ($12,740 by current exchange rates) of that money came in the form of Bitcoins raised in just the past two weeks.

A Bitcoin is currently selling for about $130 on Mt. Gox, the currency’s largest exchange.

Over 105 Bitcoins from 144 donors have made their way to a Bitcoin wallet set up by WikiLeaks specifically for Snowden donations. Since they began accepting Bitcoin donations on August 12, the single largest deposit to the account has been an impressive 25 Bitcoins ($2,908). 

One of Bitcoin’s biggest selling points is that it allows users to remain anonymous, so we’ll likely never know who the donors are unless they come forward.

A few self-identified donors have been discussing the case on BitCoinTalk.org, the largest Bitcoin forum online. User Herbet donated 5 Bitcoins ($586) on August 13, and called Snowden a “hero.”

Wikileaks’ own Bitcoin wallet has received 3,791 Bitcoins ($450,800) in donations this year, including a notable 1,894 percent rise in donations after Julian Assange pledged to support Snowden in June.

Photo by btckeychain/Flickr