New report reveals how neo-Nazis and other violent extremists have ‘taken refuge in digital currencies’

New report reveals how neo-Nazis and other violent extremists have ‘taken refuge in digital currencies’

Historically, one of the ways in which opponents of White supremacists, neo-Nazis and other domestic terrorists have attacked them was by going after them monetarily. But extremists, according to the Associated Press and PBS' "Frontline," are finding a way around that: cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero.

In an article that is part of an AP/"Frontline" collaboration, reporters Erika Kinetz and Lori Hinnant explain, "Radical right provocateurs are raising significant amounts of money from around the world through cryptocurrencies. Banned by traditional financial institutions, they have taken refuge in digital currencies — which they are using in ever-more-secretive ways to avoid the oversight of banks, regulators and courts, finds an AP analysis of legal documents, Telegram channels and blockchain data from Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency analytics firm."

Kinetz and Hinnant point to the Daily Stormer, founded by White supremacist/neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin in 2013, as an example of an extremist website that has profited from cryptocurrencies in a major way.

"The Daily Stormer website advocates for the purity of the White race, posts hate-filled, conspiratorial screeds against Blacks, Jews and women and has helped inspire at least three racially motivated murders," Kinetz and Hinnant note. "It has also made its founder, Andrew Anglin, a millionaire. Anglin has tapped a worldwide network of supporters to take in at least 112 Bitcoin since January 2017 — worth $4.8 million at today's exchange rate — according to data shared with The Associated Press. He's likely raised even more."

The reporters add that when Anglin was "cut off by credit card processors and banned by PayPal," Bitcoin became "his main source of funding." When Anglin's "Retard's Guide to Using Bitcoin" was published in April 2020, he said that he had been funding the Daily Stormer through Bitcoin exclusively for four years. But Anglin, according to Kinetz and Hinnant, abandoned Bitcoin in favor of another cryptocurrency, Monero, because "the transactions are all hidden."

According to Beth Littrell, an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, cryptocurrencies are making it harder to sue violent extremists than it was in the past.

Littrell told "Frontline" and the AP, "We were able to sue the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization, in essence out of existence…. The law is evolving but lagging behind the harm."

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