Controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has announced on Twitter that he has made a staggering profit from investing in bitcoins.
His tweeted message send out an ironic message of “deepest thanks” to the US government, Senator McCain, and Senator Lieberman for helping him to make this incredible investment. This is because they led what he called an “illegal banking blockade” against him that stopped WikiLeaks from using conventional banking methods.
WikiLeaks hit the headlines when they published classified and highly damaging information about US government tactics that made Assange a target for legal action.
Being unable to use banks, credit cards or even PayPal from 2010 onwards, WikiLeaks’ revenue fell drastically. The founder put the damage of lost donations in the range of tens of millions of pounds, forcing him to look for alternative methods of sending and receiving money back then.
It isn’t clear exactly when Assange made the initial investment in bitcoins. However, the staggering profit that he claims to have made suggests that the deal was probably done early in 2011, when bitcoins were worth about $1 and just before the price sky rocketed.
This would have made him one of the very early investors, before bitcoin exchanges made it easy for anyone to get involved with the cryptocurrency. He attached as screenshot to his tweet showing the bitcoin price in the summer of 2010 ($0.06) and at the current date ($5,814), which is an incredible increase of almost 10,000,000% for anyone who invested before he did.
A Dramatic Rise with No Signs of Stopping
It is thought that the WikiLeaks head might have invested €800,000 in bitcoins, which would now have grown to a value of around €472 million in the current market conditions. Of course, the currency has grown strongly again in the last few months and is showing little sign of stopping its dramatic rise any time soon.
It is worth bearing in mind that this currency is highly volatile and that the price can vary widely in the space of a single day. Yet, there is no doubt that the WikiLeaks investment has turned out to be a fantastic piece of business.
Of course, when Assange was denied normal banking facilities he was clearly drawn to the anonymity of bitcoins as well as to the investment potential that they offered. People from anywhere in the world can buy and sell bitcoins anonymously and without any sort of middleman.
Following his run-in with the American government and a legal battle in Sweden over rape charges, the Australian computer programmer was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012. He has remained in that country’s London embassy ever since then.
It remains to be seen whether any other famous people have also made a fortune by being early investors in bitcoins. Certainly, stars such as Jamie Foxx, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paris Hilton, Floyd Mayweather and Ashton Kutcher are among the stars who have spoken about the cryptocurrency.
On the negative side, singer Lily Allen pointed out that she once turned down the chance to potentially earn a fortune by getting paid in bitcoin for performing an online gig.