The Financial Services Committee of the U.S. Congress presented the results on the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for domestic terrorist financing. The hearing on 15 January showed that extremist groups, especially those on the right wing of the spectrum, are increasingly financing themselves through crypto-currencies.
Right-wing activism sponsored by Bitcoin
Several experts presented their reports, which agree that right-wing groups use crypto-currencies to evade state control mechanisms. The financial expert of the “Congressional Research Service” (CRS), Rena Miller, and George Selim, Senior Vice President of the “Anti-Defamation League” judged that Bitcoin is highly valued by white racists.
In his report, George Selim stated
“In recent years, Bitcoin, an electronic cryptographic currency that can be used for digital payments, has become an attractive alternative for some white racists, including Stormfront, the oldest and largest white racist website on the Internet.”
Neo-Nazi publications such as “The Daily Stormer”, the aforementioned “Stormfront” or the right-wing radical hacker Andrew Auernheimer were therefore financed mainly by crypto revenue.
Rena Miller also describes in her report that “crowd-funding and the use of Bitcoin have become necessary alternatives to credit cards or electronic transfer sites”.
Also popular: PayPal and iTunes
The reports also show that at least 69 groups classified as right-wing extremist use the payment service provider PayPal for their financial transactions. In addition, 54 bands of the “White Power” genre can be found on iTunes. YouTube also attracts obscure subjects such as David Duke from the union of white hat wearers (No, not the Smurfs, but the Ku Klux Klan).
The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) has already persuaded PayPal and Google to stop funding so-called “Hate Groups”. However, this in turn is causing the groups to resort to crypto-currencies, which are increasingly beyond the control of the authorities. According to the SPLC, the holdings of the wallets belonging to the “Daily Stormer Show” comprise 215 Bitcoin. At current conversion rates, this corresponds to about 1.9 million US dollars.