Julian Assange speaks to the media from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador on May 19, 2017 in London, England.
Julian Assange speaks to the media from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador on May 19, 2017 in London, England.Jack Taylor/Getty Images

A decentralized autonomous organization has raised millions of dollars in cryptocurrency to help free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. 

AssangeDAO, formed in December 2021, is raising funds to bid on a non-fungible token artwork made by Pak in collaboration with Assange himself. Pak is a prominent digital artist who has sold artwork valued at $269 million in total. 

The collection, dubbed Censored, is set to be auctioned on February 7, 2022. Proceeds will go to Assange's legal defense fund. So far, the DAO has raised over $6 million dollars. Contributors include the brother of the WikiLeaks founder, Gabriel Shipton.

If the DAO wins the bid, its contributors will be given the DAO's governance token called JUSTICE based on the proportion of their contributions. If the DAO loses, the ether people contributed will be redeemable. 

The DAO is using JuiceBox, a platform for pooling funds. The token holders will be able to vote on governance proposals that will dictate the activities of the DAO. 

The group however made it clear that regardless of the bid's outcome, it will continue to "live on." 

AssangeDAO said it was inspired by FreeRossDAO, a group that aimed to liberate Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road, the world's largest online narcotics emporium that generated $1.2 billion in revenue since its creation in 2011. FreeRossDAO raised $12 million, which was also used to bid on an NFT, the website said.

AssangeDAO was formed on December 10, the day when a London court ruled that the Wikileaks founder can be extradited to the US where he faces 18 charges. In another verdict in late January, Assange will be allowed to challenge the extradition in the UK's highest court. 

The WikiLeaks founder has been in prison since 2019 after the Ecuadorian embassy of London terminated his asylum status. The US then requested to extradite him, a process that has lasted more than two years. 

Other recent high-profile DAOs include ConstitutionDAO, which raised over $40 million in a span of a few days to buy a rare copy of the US Constitution. It disbanded after losing its bid to Citadel CEO Ken Griffin.

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