Apparently Julian Assange’s Wikileaks merchant account on Coinbase was shutdown. This is not at all surprising since PayPal, VISA, Mastercard and the banks did the same thing to him/them in the past. In all fairness I don’t think Coinbase is to blame, aside from the fact they are a US based company and under the jurisdiction of the US of course.
PayPal came out and admitted they were forced to close down Wikileaks account, and I am certain the same thing has happened with Coinbase.
They have no say in the matter when the US government comes knocking. Coinbase even recently had to give out information to the US tax department (IRS).
Of course users can still directly pay and donate to any wallets that Wikileaks controls. As of now he lists addresses for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, ZCash and Monero. This is where things will heat up if he were to have a centralized currency like Ripple or Stellar Lumens. The US government could possibly have those accounts in XRP/XLM frozen since they are a US based company.
This comes down to the wider issue of privacy, rights and freedom online and how cryptocurrency can prevent persecution for political reasons. It also stands to reason that entities based in the US have very little say when the government comes knocking. Coinbase and PayPal couldn’t have said no to the US government or by doing so they would be in seriously hot water.
I always advocate having some IT resources out of the reach of PRISM countries for reasons of privacy and freedom. One of my current favorites are Singapore and Hong Kong in Asia. Hong Kong I place particularly high value on because it has the British based system, yet it is under the protection of China. Hong Kong is less likely to be influenced by a foreign entity than a smaller country like Singapore. A good example of this is how Edward Snowden miraculously made it out of Hong Kong as a wanted fugitive. Surely, Hong Kong was pressured and asked to hand him over, but somehow it never happened.
There are positives here, it looks like some brave entities in Europe have stood up for Wikileaks and at least for now, in France, Germany and Iceland there are some banks, foundations and even a University who are providing him access to the fiat system.
Since one of our product offerings is offering hosting I’m often asked by friends and family which company they should use and where they should host, and which host is the best for their shared hosting, VPS or Dedicated Server.
Surprising to some the answer is not always, host with compevo but based on their actual needs and goals. If someone needs to host their site in Australia or another location we do not offer, I’m not going to suggest they host elsewhere unless there is a good reason or actual business case for it, or if they have a niche we don’t cover, I always recommend they find a niche provider for their industry and usually the company I recommend will not be the typical one most have heard of.
The biggest issue I find trying to help people is getting friends and family to understand what they need and to get the actual requirements from them. In the case that they can’t describe what they want then I’ll try to guide them.
For example I have a friend from Australia who has clients that are mainly from North America and Europe but said he wanted to host in Australia. I told him not to host in Australia as things tend to load a bit slower to most areas from Australia as its not on a main fiber route (eg. multiple routes with lots of traffic transiting since Australia is isolated by the ocean and has no other country physically connected to it). It would only make sense to host in Australia if most of your clientel were from Australia. I suggested he host in North America because it was a middle ground compared to Europe, specifically the mid or east which can provide low ping to most of Europe (in many cases around 100ms), and yet Asia and the rest of the world has excellent connectivity here too.
What surprises me about the questions I get is that a lot of people incorrectly assume they need a powerhouse of a server with loads of RAM to host their website. Unless you have a large amount of traffic that’s not going to be an issue for most sites so I try to save them money. In a case like the above I would normally recommend a VPS in Canada or the US as long as privacy is not a primary concern. If data security and privacy is of the utmost concern I usually recommend Hong Kong, China or Russia depending on the type of the business and if it has fierce competitors in the region it will be hosting.
Depending on what they are after and what they need,when I recommend compevo here’s where I’ve usually sent them:
compevo.cn for VPS in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Dedicated Servers in China
compevo.com for VPS in Hong Kong near Mainland China
compevo.com Dedicated Servers on Linux and Windows in the USA with premium bandwidth