Illustration of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Illustration of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. WhenIRockStudio/Shutterstock

On July 8, WikiLeaks Shop, the platform supporting the intelligence disclosing non-profit organization, announced on Twitter that coin payments through Bitcoin Lightning are now available on their website.

WikiLeaks has drastically changed the online space through a series of uncovering posts about government secrets and international affairs. The online platform WikiLeaks Shop financially supports their activities by selling merch that could be purchase not only with fiat currencies, but also with crypto.

The organization is an avid protector of personal freedom and decentralized political systems and promotes the usage of blockchain technology worldwide. Since the introduction of Lightning on their website, Bitcoin payments can now be processed in a matter of seconds.


The Lightning Network uses smart contract functionality in the blockchain to enable seamless transactions between participants in the system. The layer-2 scaling protocol provides scalability and security while lowering costs and allowing cross-chain atomic swaps. Its integration into WikiLeaks will provide ground for further technological implementations onto the platform.

WikiLeaks is known to be an early Bitcoin adopter since, in 2011, it became one of the first organizations to accept donations in the leading cryptocurrency. This occurred after the U.S. government had imposed a sanction on donations to the platform via Visa and MasterCard. Because people were technically forbidden to donate to the platform through American banks, the controversial media decided to make a huge technological jump and become a supporter of the new decentralized payment system emerging at that time – Bitcoin.

For the last 9 years, WikiLeaks has established itself as one of the few companies to openly exhibit delicate information to the world and support decentralized online systems that provide the public with freedom over their actions and material assets. Its partners vary from encrypted anonymizing networks and operating systems such as Tor and Tails to impactful community organizations such as Courage and Bitcoin.

From now on, WikiLeaks Shop will look to expand its orders with the introduction of new cryptocurrency payment options and blockchain networks. Currently, most crypto orders are in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but with the introduction of Lightning, the team expects more users to be paying with digital assets in the future.