With an expected 400 right extremists, the second edition of Unite the Right rally is being held in Washington D.C. on 11th August 2018. Weeks before the rally, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency donations to new-Nazis have been soaring, as reported by Forbes.
The anonymity and ease of use rendered by Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have resulted in the association of these digital assets with far-right activists and other extremists around the globe. Richard Spencer, the U.S. supremacist, is known for referring to Bitcoin as “currency of the alt-right.”
The Bitcoin and cryptocurrency donations to new-Nazis last year were skewed towards the Charlottesville, Virginia, Unite the Right rally, which was held responsible for the death of an opposition-protester. Such association has often resulted in people questioning the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, along with their contribution to money laundering and terrorism financing.
During the Charlottesville Unite The Right rally last year, the Daily Stormer– website of the far-right, neo-Nazi activist Weev had garnered donations worth $60,000 in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. This year, data curated by the cyber-security expert John Bambenek with the use of his Neo-Nazi BTC Tracker Twitter bot, reveals that cryptocurrency donations to Daily Stormer are witnessing an upsurge.
Further, as per the BTC tracker Twitter bot, Weev has already received around $1.8 million donations in cryptocurrency in his crypto-wallet. The prediction is that he has attracted higher contributions than other anonymous wallets.
“Many of these known neo-Nazis had hundreds of thousands of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies before the massive price rises we’ve seen over the last couple of years,” shared Bambenek. “They still have a great deal, and many choose to store their crypto in Monero — which is more anonymous than bitcoin,” he further added.
The cybersecurity expert is currently looking out for a particular donor, who donated 14.88 Bitcoin to Daily Stormer soon after the Charlottesville rally. “While cryptocurrency is often anonymous, if you’ve made your public address available at it’s known to be linked to you, then people are able to see the wallets incoming and outgoing funds via the blockchain,” said Bambenek.