This past Monday, “Censored,” a collaborative collection between Pak and Julian Assange, was released and raised over $54 million for Assange’s defense fund. The title “Censored” refers to Assange’s work of reporting on classified material that many countries tried to censor. The project was set up to bring more awareness to Assange and work as a fundraiser for his legal defense.
Assange has been in a London prison since 2019, after his asylum status in the Ecuadorian embassy was terminated. He has been fighting extradition to the United States after being indicted on 17 counts of espionage relating to classified documents he published on Wikileaks.
The project was set up into two parts:
An open collection and an exclusive 1/1 NFT. The open edition featured a pay-what-you-wish system, where people could mint the NFTs for as much money as they wanted to contribute, even for free. In total, there were 29,766 buyers who paid a collective 671 ETH. All the proceeds raised will go to freedom of information, digital privacy, education, health, human and animal rights organizations.
The NFTs display a custom tokenized message that the buyer has decided to write. The messages have a strikethrough that runs across them to symbolize censorship. The catch of these NFTs is they are locked to the buyer’s wallet and cannot be traded between wallets.
The 1/1 NFT piece is entitled “Clock,” it is a muted timer that counts and displays the number of days Assange has been in prison. One interesting aspect of this piece is once Assange is free from jail, the ‘Clock’ goes zero and frees all the tokens. This will result in all open edition NFTs being uncensored and free to trade between wallets.
The winning bid eventually went to AssangeDAO for a whopping 16,593 ETH, making this piece the second most valuable 1/1 NFTs. All of the money raised from this auction will go to the Wau Holland foundation to support Julian Assange’s defense.
AssangeDAO was formed specifically for this project, and with over 10,000 contributors, it was able to raise 17,422 ETH. Since winning the piece, the DAO governance token (Justice) has since become liquid and is trading for around $0.0013 at the time of writing.
The support by the NFT community is another example of them coming together to help a hero of the internet. Using NFTs, Pak and Assange have shown that this is an effective and creative way to fundraise. Although they aren’t the first to try such a thing, they arguably did it the best.
As of February 7, the day the “Censored” was released, Assange’s legal team put in an appeal application to the U.K. Supreme Court and is now waiting to hear back from the court.