Chainalysis today published a blog post addressing how some of the most controversial and well-known figures of the alt-right are getting financial support outside of mainstream methods. Blockchain intelligence platform said a computer programmer based in France sent 28.15 Bitcoins to far-right activists who gathered outside the US Capitol before rioters broke into the building.
The large cryptocurrency donation was sent to 22 separate addresses in a single transaction that occurred a month before protesters stormed the iconic building on December 8. Worth roughly $550,000 at the transaction date, nearly half of this amount was sent Nicholas Fuentes, the leader of a radicalized movement whose views embrace white nationalism.
Fuentes joined pro-Trump protesters on the steps of the Capitol to oppose the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes and temporarily disrupted Congress, affirming Joe Biden’s victory.
“The donation, as well as reports of the planning that went into the Capitol raid on alt-right communication channels, also suggests that domestic extremist groups may be better organized and funded than previously thought,” said Chainalysis.
The cryptocurrency crimefighter revealed that Fuentes was the biggest beneficiary of the donation, having received 13.5 BTC — worth $250,000 at the time of the transfer. Before that, the biggest donation he had ever received in a single month was $2,707 worth of bitcoin.
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Fuentes, who since the incident took Twitter to say he had not entered the building, called for his supporters to kill state legislators who do not support Trump efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crypto money went to support other groups with violent ideologies including the anti-immigration organization VDARE, alt-right streamer Ethan Ralph and several other bitcoin addresses whose owners are as yet unidentified.
However, Chainalysis has abstained from directly linking these donations to the mob that overwhelmed the Capitol and sent lawmakers into hiding, leaving a police officer and four others dead.
“Still, this donation isn’t a one-off. The data shows that domestic extremists have been receiving a steady stream of cryptocurrency donations since 2016,” the firm concluded.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies has become especially prevalent among extremists as they looked for ways to operate beyond the reach of government control. The alt-right leaders have openly praised Bitcoin after many companies stopped providing services to these groups by shutting down their social media accounts and refusing to allow them to raise funds.