Neo-Nazis in Ukraine as well as other parts of the world are using cryptocurrency and using the cash towards terrorist acts. Writes Steven Stalinsky
Cryptocurrency has become increasingly mainstream in recent years, and all aspects of it are now covered daily in detail by the vast majority of media outlets. However, one group of users that has come to rely heavily on cryptocurrency technology – not only as an investment opportunity but also because of narrowing options for conducting financial activity – are neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, many of which are involved in criminal activities in the US and worldwide. However, their reliance on and widespread use of cryptocurrency have attracted little or no attention from authorities or the banking industry.
Recent examples of neo-Nazi and white supremacist use of cryptocurrency
Highlighting how these groups and their followers have been focusing on cryptocurrency, Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron’s 180-page manifesto, which he posted on a number of forums such as 4Chan and 8Chan prior to his May 14 attack, included a section titled “About Money: Fiat, Crypto, and Metal.” He recommended cryptocurrency as a way to “escape fiat,” stating that fiat currency “gives central banks greater control over the economy” and indicating that the central banks are controlled by the Jews. Adding that it “is quite valuable in the way that one can trade online with it easily,” he went on to say that it should, however, not be held indefinitely, and should be converted to precious metals, because “Jews hate it when you convert fake money [i.e. cryptocurrency] to real money, therefore you should do it.”
Following the attack, the veteran neo-Nazi US-based website Daily Stormer – mentioned by Gendron in his manifesto as contributing to his radicalization – was removed from its server and went offline. Within days, it had returned with a Rwandan URL and continues to fundraise in Bitcoin and Monero, with a graphic at the top of the page stating “Wanted – Fighting Dollars” and “Donate to the Daily Stormer.”
Hardly a day goes by that the MEMRI Domestic Terrorism Threat
Monitor (DTTM) research team’s monitoring does not see a new neo-Nazi or white supremacist group or individual begin to use crypto. They do so for a range of purposes, as discussed later in this article.
In Austria, notable recent examples of how domestic terrorist groups, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists are using cryptocurrency include raising funds for the legal defense of Austrian neo-Nazi rapper Mr. Bond, who was sentenced to prison for 10 years for posting neo-Nazi songs online – one of which was used as a soundtrack for a livestream of an antisemitic attack, in which two people were killed. His supporters are accepting 75 different cryptocurrencies to pay his legal expenses.
In the UK, the white supremacist “Patriotic Alternative” organization, a part of the growing far-right fringe in the country, is soliciting donations in cryptocurrency to fund its production and nationwide distribution of stickers and flyers promoting its “DRAMA” campaign for “Demographic Replacement Awareness.” Among the cryptocurrency it accepts are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Monero.
In the US, supporters of a popular US-based neo-Nazi group that creates extremist videos and posts on the extremist Gab platform, have begun fundraising in Bitcoin to support the group’s activity. Each video they post includes a QR code that goes directly to its Bitcoin address for donations.
In Australia, many influential neo-Nazis now in prison continue to solicit donations in cryptocurrency for their bail, lawyers’ fees, and so on. As one prominent neo-Nazi recently posted on Telegram, “Thanks to everyone’s generous support, we manage to get together enough funds to cover the extensive ‘Hearings, Mentions, Contests, and Bail Applications.'”
Additionally, on the leading neo-Nazi forum Stormfront, which appears to be hosted in the US, there has been continuing discussion of and requests for investment in a cryptocurrency for whites, to “serve as a coffer to support pro-White organizations.” A forum member wrote, on May 8: “The idea is to create a cryptocurrency that runs on DeFi (decentralized finance) and is sold on DEXes (decentralized exchanges). This will involve an initial offering… to raise money for the project. After that, the goal is to get the coin listed on as many DEXes as possible to increase volume. This coin would have one utility only: [to] serve as a coffer to support pro-White organizations.”
Cryptocurrency is proving indispensable to neo-Nazis in the war for conducting their financial affairs. Earlier this month, the neo-Nazi “Intolerant Ukrainian” channel on Telegram promoted a fundraising campaign accepting “all sorts of cryptocurrencies” to support its members fighting in Ukraine.
Highlighting this type of fundraising, on its Telegram channel, the neo-Nazi accelerationist “American Futurist,” which is affiliated with veteran American neo-Nazi James Mason and the violent neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division, expressed its support for “Ukrainian National Socialist groups such as the Azov Regiment.” On February 25, the channel asserted that a soon-to-emerge “anti-Russian insurgency” in Ukraine would “100%” be National Socialist. On February 27, it posted its crypto wallet addresses for people to donate and a guide to donating to Azov in Bitcoin Ethereum, Monero and others.
European Neo-Nazis Are Supporting Fellow Neo-Nazis With Cryptocurrency In The War – The Example of Defend Finland and Karpatska Sich
European neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups and their supporters are using cryptocurrency extensively, and are fundraising primarily via the encrypted messaging app Telegram, which is used by almost every major neo-Nazi and white supremacist group worldwide. These groups, from all over the West, are using the platform to promote fundraising campaigns by like-minded groups in both Russia and Ukraine, soliciting donations in Bitcoin, Monero, Ethereum, and others.
Since the start of the war, a Finnish neo-Nazi channel on Telegram, Defend Finland, has been sharing posts promoting the fundraising campaign of the Ukrainian ultranationalist neo-Nazi Karpatska Sich militia. Karpatska Sich, which has been actively recruiting foreign volunteers, promotes acts of mass violence in support of its neo-Nazi ideology, and maintains close ties with groups in Serbia, Hungary, Poland, and the rest of Europe. Its fundraising posts list Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tron wallet addresses for donating.