Fundraising with Art: Julian Assange & Ross Ulbricht

The beginning of a new trend? More and more personalities around the world are using NFT Art to raise funds in order to help their cause, here are three examples!

Florent D ·  · 02/25/22 ·  2 min

Julian Assange and Pak: the Censored collection

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and anonymous artist Pak have raised more than $54 million with their NFT collection “Censored”. Profits from the sale will be used to cover Assange’s legal costs who is fighting against imminent extradition to the US from London.

More than 10,000 supporters of the WikiLeaks founder joined the AssangeDAO project to bid 16,593 Ether (ETH) in the “Clock” auction, a unique edition of an NFT that counts the number of days since Assange was arrested in April 2019. It is now the second most expensive NFT artwork ever, just behind Everydays – The First 5000 Days by Beeple.

Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton told Hill.TV that he had raised tens of millions of dollars to free his brother, who has been “buoyed by the amount of support that has been shown around the world.” 

AssangeDAO contributors get DAO governance tokens in proportion to their participation. 

The clock – Censored collection from Pak

The team that came together to form AssangeDAO includes developer Amir Taaki, Irish journalist Rachel-Rose O’Leary, Berlin mathematician Silke Noa and two activist hackers known as McKenna and Fiskantes.

Julian Assange is fighting extradition from Britain to the United States, where the authorities want him to be judged on 18 charges. The WikiLeaks founder wants to appeal his extradition to the US, where he faces up to 175 years in prison. Assange has been held in London’s Belmarsh prison for three years. He previously spent nearly seven years hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, protected by refugee status.

Gabriel Shipton also said:

“We’ve seen people really taking a stand on this issue now. The snowball is building and it will just keep building. People will have to take a stand on this issue and they will have to pressure Biden and the Biden administration to drop this prosecution.”

Pascal Boyart x Assange

Other initiatives have been created around AssangeDAO. We can mention, for example, the initiative of the artist Pascal Boyart called “Assange Dollars”. This collection is based on the original work that was made with hundreds of dollars torn and glued on a canvas by the French artist in March 2021.

assange pascal boyart
Dollars Assange NFT – Source : OpenSea

Dollars Assange is a series of NFT that will be distributed every day that Julian Assange spends in prison. It will be distributed randomly to holders of all Pascal Boyart’s collections including the famous collection: The Underground Sixtine Chapel.

At the actual time of writing, it has been 1048 days (since 11 April 2019) since the WikiLeaks founder was detained.

“That way we show NFTs aren’t just PFPs & speculation without adding real value… But they can also serve a good cause in this tyranic era!”

Pascal Boyart on Twitter

The royalties from this series will be donated to Julian Assange’s defence. In addition, on the day Julian is released from prison, the NFTs will cease to be issued and the total number will be permanently fixed.


AssangeDAO is not the first initiative of its kind. In December, 4,000 people participated in the FreeRossDAO, which had relatively similar motivations. Participants raised ETH 2,836 ($12.2 million) to buy the NFT Ross Ulbricht Genesis for $5.93 million on SuperRare.

The auction was held to raise money for the legal fees of Ross Ulbricht, founder of the popular Dark Web site Silk Road. Amir Taaki, a member of the AssangeDAO team, had told Wired:

“FreeRoss happened, and it was a great success, it gave us ideas”

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