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This post is included in Bitcoin Magazine’s “The Inscription Issue”. Click here to get your Annual Bitcoin Magazine Subscription.

Bitcoin has for the majority of of its life time been viewed as a financial network, where users can send out and get the native token BTC. Given the incredible cost gratitude given that its creation in 2009, the financial great also ended up being a shop of worth — a method through which somebody might keep their important work hours so regarding not have them debased and rather experience a boost of acquiring power instead of a loss.

Not all users are alike, nevertheless. Despite the appeal of these financial stories, some castaways have actually utilized Bitcoin for all kinds of functions throughout time. Most especially, Julian Assange, a now-famous reporter and political detainee, developer of WikiLeaks, utilized Bitcoin for various factors, consisting of as an evidence-of-life system and a proven evidence-of-publishing. To Assange, Bitcoin was and still is a lot more than a dispersed financial system that fixes the double-spending issue fundamental in digital money. For the reporter, Bitcoin can act as a lot more, and while he fights for his life, others have actually joined him because objective.

Now, before diving into the complexities of what Bitcoin is and can be to Assange and his fans, let’s take an action back and see what the reporter has actually made with this digital coin given that the very first time his NGO welcomed bitcoin.

In 2010, quickly after the publishing of U.S. diplomatic cable televisions by WikiLeaks in the notorious Chelsea Manning leakages, Assange’s company was cut from the international banking system as Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal stopped serving the online platform. That truth led Assange to embrace bitcoin, and in June 2011 WikiLeak’s Twitter account revealed they would begin accepting bitcoin contributions.

Interestingly, WikiLeaks voiced interest in embracing bitcoin much earlier than June 2011, and according to posts in then-popular online forum BitcoinTalk, Satoshi prevented Assange from pursuing that path in December 2010. Their factor? “Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.” WikiLeaks patiently waited another 6 months before accepting bitcoin.

Ironically, Assange would later on applaud the U.S. federal government for presumably releasing this collaborated attack, which of course caused WikiLeak’s accept of bitcoin and consequently led to a capital gratitude in dollar terms of over a thousand percent. It is both fascinating and humorous that the truth WikiLeaks got locked out of the mainstream monetary system for merely releasing dripped files would lead them to a better monetary circumstance — one in which they didn’t require to ask approval and might delight in fantastic financial gains in dollar terms. Poetic.

In September 2014, Assange would begin meaning the other possible usage cases he saw for Bitcoin, which, offered his tone and shipment, leads one to think he was a lot more enthusiastic about that than monetary speculation — nevertheless big the gains might be with the financial usage case:

“Bitcoin is an extremely important innovation, but not in the way most people think. Bitcoin’s real innovation is a globally verifiable proof of publishing at a certain time. The whole system is built on that concept and many other systems can also be built on it. The blockchain nails down history, breaking Orwell’s dictum of ‘He who controls the present controls the past and he who controls the past controls the future’.”

A couple of years later on, the usage of Bitcoin as a timestamping server for WikiLeaks files started to emerge, albeit it wasn’t clear if it was WikiLeaks itself doing the timestamps or grassroots activists. A Reddit user published on r/WikiLeaks that somebody had actually timestamped the hashes of some WikiLeaks gush files, most likely utilizing OpenTimestamps — an open source tool produced by Bitcoin designer Peter Todd for this function.

Gabriel Shipton, movie manufacturer and Assange’s sibling, talked with Bitcoin Magazine about the early days of his sibling’s interactions with bitcoin:

“Julian recognized in 2011 the power of bitcoin to build ‘an intellectual scaffold’ for civilization, a protocol that would allow any reference to human intellectual contributions to be independently verified, without relying on any organization. Bitcoin so greatly excited him not only due to it being the most censorship-resistant manner of publishing possible, but also of what it offered: The ability to construct a great wonder of knowledge, a crucial tool in humanity’s struggle against ignorance.”

Assange’s believed procedure on Bitcoin utilize cases is significant not just since they clarified an absolutely unique usage for the decentralized network, however also since of how early they were said. Assange saw this capacity over a years back, however it wouldn’t be till the release of Ordinals that this usage case would be promoted in a significant method.

Ordinals, released on Bitcoin mainnet at the start of 2023, permits anybody to easily include approximate information to a Bitcoin block at any given minute. Once that information is included, it acquires Bitcoin’s immutability and security, and can attain Assange’s vision of a proven evidence-of-releasing at that minute. Inscriptions go even further. In addition to simply real estate a timestamp allowing evidence-of-publishing, which users tried with gush tracker files as early as 2016, Ordinals makes it possible for the direct publishing of the information itself on Bitcoin. Not just exists an immutable record of the time and date in block height terms, there is now also the possibility to release the real contents of the post or gush link itself. A brand-new period of blockspace use for Bitcoin.

Naturally, we’ve seen the launch of this brand-new procedure cause a lot of JPEGs being released in blocks. In the early days, some were simply random memes, however not long after its release, inscribers began getting advanced, establishing recursion strategies, and even teleburning Ethereum-based NFT collections. Now, almost a complete year later on, Ordinals have actually spun a completely brand-new community in Bitcoin, allowing all various kinds of creative and software application advancements to take place on the “mother chain”.

However, some jobs started to emerge that attempt to accommodate Assange’s vision from method back in 2014. These jobs differ fit, size, and type, however all appear to look for Bitcoin and the possibilities produced by Ordinals to really do something more than hypothesize on the images and videos released on Bitcoin.

Most especially, a project emerged in October 2023 that looked for to allow anybody worldwide to contribute to Bitcoin the cable televisions released in the leakages that initially locked WikiLeaks out of the international monetary system back in 2010. Thanks to Ordinals, this project had the ability to enable not just the timestamping of the cable televisions, however the real inscribing and keeping of the untainted material itself. Project Spartacus turned Bitcoin into a sort of Library of Alexandria — one that cannot be changed or ruined, no matter how effective the enemy.

In this case, the leakages expose war criminal offenses by the United States military and federal government, and expose truths that stand in plain contrast to the primary stories pressed by the media and the federal government itself about what was occurring on the ground in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Thirteen years after those cable televisions turned a reporter into a political detainee, this grassroots project emerged to stand in solidarity with Assange and claim, “I am Assange”. Alluding to the well-known “I am Spartacus” scene in the 1960 motion picture Spartacus, Project Spartacus welcomes Bitcoin users from all over the world to state “I am Assange” and engrave into Bitcoin those cable televisions that started whatever.

Project Spartacus intends to decide towards flexibility of details and understanding, making it difficult for anybody to tinker the information that Assange risked his life to reveal. The reporter presently deals with possible extradition to the U.S., in spite of being an Australian person and not having actually dedicated the supposed offenses on U.S. soil. The result of the extradition procedure stays unpredictable, and issues continue to grow concerning his future and whether he will ever restore his flexibility.

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Project Spartacus’ site offers a public user interface through which anybody can “inscribe” –– Ordinals lingo for including information to Bitcoin –– a war log. There appear to be no costs connected with this action apart from network costs, an essential element to any deal sent to the Bitcoin network. The page also includes a “donate” button, which opens a panel through which users can additionally send out bitcoin to Assange’s cause. Donations are stated to approach supporting the following companies: Freedom of the Press Foundation, The Information Rights Project, and Reporters Without Borders.

Bitcoin Magazine spoke with the confidential developers of the innovation behind Project Spartacus, who shed some light on the procedure and objective:

“Each war log a user inscribes through Project Spartacus is a file containing the original content from one of the 76,911 Afghan War Diary logs. We chose the Ordinals protocol for its widespread adoption, even in its infancy, as a standard for immutable data storage, and simply because we believe Bitcoin is the most immutable and uncensorable technology for this use case. As each log is inscribed, its data is embedded into Bitcoin to be propagated and easily found by any of the many Bitcoin and Ordinals clients. We see this use case for Bitcoin to be critical for human rights and freedom, and we hope that you will stand with Julian Assange by storing this sensitive data on Bitcoin with us.”

Upon browsing to the site, the user discovers a big rectangle-shaped button on the primary page, reading “Publish War Log”. Upon clicking, the procedure of engraving a war log is set off. The user is offered the alternative to select the number of logs to engrave, with an optimum of 300 war logs per deal. The user can then pick the deal cost, based upon which an overall quantity for payment is determined. Upon striking “continue”, the user is then most likely rerouted for payment.

The developers of Project Spartacus provided the files a visual treatment by picking SVG files, which still include the raw log information as a remark field, while offering the user a method to quickly see the details. The project takes a spin on Ordinals’ popular usage case of digital artifacts to concentrate on total information finality on a decentralized chain of details, run by 10s of thousands of nodes in hundreds of various jurisdictions all over the world.

In this sense, as Assange as soon as imagined, Bitcoin has actually undoubtedly ended up being more than simply a monetary property — it is now a beacon of wish for those combating versus the suppression of reality and the distortion of history.

This post is included in Bitcoin Magazine’s “The Inscription Issue”. Click here to get your Annual Bitcoin Magazine Subscription.

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