In light of a sudden “executive order” issued by Barack Obama in America, many Bitcoin redditors surmised that it's now illegal to donate money to people like Edward Snowden.
But netizens that they are, political boundaries and proclamations mean very little to them. Within just a few hours of the legalese going up at WhiteHouse.gov, a whole swarm of Bitcoin users and miners alike decided to send some extra thanks to Snowden.
The monetary gratitude turned out to be even larger than the one elicited by the release of the Snowden documentary Citizenfour:
In less than 24 hours, nearly 200 unique Bitcoin donations – ranging from 25 cents to US$2,141 – poured into 1snowqQP5VmZgU47i5AWwz9fsgHQg94Fa, the “Official Snowden Defense Fund.”
Some went on to dub it the “Obama Effect,” or the result when a political figure attempts to ban something that is generally very popular. Snowden's considerable sacrifice in bringing the truth of state-sponsored spying to light has been nothing if not widely appreciated. More amazing still is that the leaks haven't stopped – a document detailing the infection of millions of phone SIM cards was leaked to The Intercept less than two months ago.
Snowden may live an isolated and potentially lonely life in Russia, but the blockchain proves that he has no shortage of appreciative supporters in America. So appreciative, in fact, that some would even risk jail to maintain their freedom to donate to him. Redditor KayRice, whose comment was upvoted nearly 800 times, wrote:
“I donated to Snowden today. [linked blockchain transaction] It's not much but it's the principle of the matter. Please come arrest me. I live in Oregon and my name is Kristopher Ives and you can reach me at 503-383-1047.
[. . .] I also tweeted @BarackObama with #BitcoinIsSpeech.”
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