An unnamed French blogger sent Bitcoin donation worth over $500,000 to protesters one month before the Capitol siege, according to Chainalysis.
January 15, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – Before protesters stormed the US Capitol on December 8, someone made payments of 28.15 bitcoins, worth $522,000 to 22 different virtual wallets. This revelation was made in a blog post published by Chainalysis.
Chainalysis is a New York-based startup that specializes in countering money laundering and fraud in the digital currency space. From the research made by Chainalysis, most of these wallets belong to far-right activists and internet personalities.
France Bitcoin donations powered protesters who stormed the Capitol
According to one source familiar with the matter, the suspicious December 8 transaction has prompted law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate the sources of funding for the individuals who participated in the Capitol insurrection, as well as their networks.
According to research conducted by Chainanalysis, the source of the funding appears to be a computer programmer based in France who created an account in 2013 — and who maintained a personal blog, which was not updated between 2014 and Dec. 9, 2020, the day after the “donations.”
Chainalysis said it now has evidence that many alt-right groups and personalities received large Bitcoin donations as part of the single transaction.
“We have also gathered evidence that strongly suggests the donor was a now-deceased computer programmer based in France,” Chainalysis said in the report.
Nick Fuentes, who was permanently suspended from YouTube last year for hate speech, received 13.5 bitcoins, worth about $250,000 at the time of the transfer, making him by far the biggest beneficiary of the donation, according to the blog post.
Extremist groups bolstered by cryptocurrency donations
One of the ways extremist groups have made money in recent years is online through cryptocurrency and crowdfunding. Bitcoin, which was anonymously released online in 2009 as open-source software, exists only virtually.
It does not utilize a central bank or administrator to disburse funds, nor does any government control or distribute it. While Bitcoin price has fluctuated in value in recent years, and continues to do so, it gained mainstream popularity around 2017, the same year prominent alt-right figure Richard Spencer tweeted, “Bitcoin is the currency of the alt right.”
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