‘Censored’: Digital Artist Teases NFT Collection in Support of Julian Assange
17:10 GMT 02.02.2022 (Updated: 18:54 GMT 02.02.2022)
© AFP 2023 / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASA supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holds a placard calling for his freedom outside Woolwich Crown Court and HMP Belmarsh prison in southeast London on February 24, 2020, ahead of the opening of the trial to hear a US request for Assange's extradition
© AFP 2023 / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – blockchain-based sellable and tradable photos, videos, audio files or even games – have racked up tens of billions of dollars in revenues for creators, but have also taken flak over a myriad of issues including their environmental impact, security concerns and even claims that the NFT market is just a big Ponzi scheme.
Pak, the mysterious digital artist or artist collective known for the creation of non-fungible token artwork which has sold for tens of millions of dollars, is collaborating with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to launch a new NFT collection entitled "Censored."
Julian Assange and world renowned digital artist Pak to launch NFT collection on February 7 (next Monday) #NFT #FreeAssangeNOW @muratpak https://t.co/OIuTyG6HM9— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 31, 2022
The collection is set to drop on 7 February, the day Assange’s lawyers are expected to continue their battle to stop the activist’s extradition to the US, and will consist of two parts – a dynamic limited edition token and a dynamic open edition token which changes over time using smart contract data.
Few other details have been made available about the NFTs, apart from WikiLeaks’ teasing publication of the words “one thousand” in white letters on a black background accompanied by the phrase “J x O,” which Pak retweeted in his/her/their announcement.
Censored is a collaboration with Julian Assange.— Pak (@muratpak) January 30, 2022
It's about you.
It consists of two parts, a dynamic 1/1 and a dynamic open edition, for you all to participate.
It will be here on February 7th. https://t.co/QvKlk3oIs8
Pak attracted major attention on the NFT scene late last year after the "Merge" NFT collection generated a whopping $91.8 million in sales in 48 hours as nearly 29,000 collectors quickly snapped up 312,686 assemblable mass tokens, making ‘Merge’ the most expensive-ever NFT ever minted. Before that, Pak’s "The Fungible Collection" sold for $16.8 million.
According to Decrypt.co, Pak’s Assange-themed NFTs are expected to support the Wau Holland Foundation – the Germany-based non-profit that has raised millions of dollars-worth in donations for WikiLeaks and to support Assange’s legal defence.
Assange won the right to ask the UK’s Supreme Court to block his extradition to the US in late January in a bid to challenge a December ruling by London’s High Court in support of an appeal by the United States government to have him delivered to the US for prosecution on criminal charges including espionage. If extradited and convicted, Assange could face a sentence of up to 175 years behind bars.
24 January 2022, 10:52 GMT
Journalists, human rights activists and civil rights defenders the world over have condemned US and UK authorities over their persecution of Assange, arguing that efforts to prosecute him for WikiLeaks’ publication of leaked information, including evidence of US war crimes in Iraq, are an attack on press freedom that could serve as a dangerous precedent, after which any journalist or media organization that the US happens to disagree with could be subjected to similar treatment.
Assange has been jailed at Britain’s Belmarsh Prison since 2019. The activist was confined there after being dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on breach of bail charges. Assange took shelter in the Embassy in 2012 amid fears of politically motivated persecution and extradition to the US via Sweden, where two women accused him of sex crimes. The latter charges were dropped, with Assange maintaining his innocence throughout the affair.