Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental  

Nazis Cash in With Bitcoin

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by the fall of of 2017. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.

You can sub­scribe to e‑mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can sub­scribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can sub­scribe to the com­ments made on pro­grams and posts–an excel­lent source of infor­ma­tion in, and of, itself HERE.

COMMENT: After encoun­ter­ing prob­lems advanc­ing more con­ven­tion­al fund-rais­ing meth­ods, Nazi groups are pros­per­ing due to suc­cess­ful min­ing of Bit­coin.

The most suc­cess­ful Nazi min­er of Bit­coin is Andrew “Weev” Aueren­heimer: ” . . . . One neo-Nazi stands above the rest in his bit­coin usage: Andrew ‘weev’ Auern­heimer, who’s received over $1 mil­lion in bit­coin, accord­ing to one report. Even though Auern­heimer has with­drawn rough­ly $118,620 from his bit­coin wal­let between late August and Wednes­day, his remain­ing bit­coin store has been replen­ish­ing his wealth through­out the recent bit­coin boom. . . .”

This is not alto­geth­er sur­pris­ing, in that Bit­coin’s foun­da­tions track as far to the right as can be.

We have explored Bit­coin in a num­ber of pro­grams–FTR #‘s 760, 764, 770 and 785.

An impor­tant recent book by David Golum­bia sets forth the tech­no­crat­ic fas­cist pol­i­tics under­ly­ing Bit­coin. Known to vet­er­an listeners/readers as the author of an oft-quot­ed arti­cle deal­ing with tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism, Golum­bia has pub­lished a short, impor­tant book about the right-wing extrem­ism under­ly­ing Bit­coin. (Pro­grams on tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism include: FTR #‘s 851, 859, 866, 867.)

In the excerpt below, we see dis­turb­ing ele­ments of res­o­nance with the views of Stephen Ban­non and some of the philo­soph­i­cal influ­ences on him. Julius Evola, “Men­cius Mold­bug” and Ban­non him­self see our civ­i­liza­tion as in decline, at a crit­i­cal “turn­ing point,” and in need of being “blown up” (as Evola put it) or need­ing a “shock to the sys­tem.”

1.  “Neo-Nazi wealth is rapid­ly grow­ing. Why? Bit­coin.” by Jack Smith IV; Mic; 12/01/2017

In many ways, white nation­al­ists were the big losers after the Unite the Right ral­ly in Char­lottesville in August. First, they lost web host­ing for neo-Nazi hives like Storm­front. Some far-right atten­dees lost access to Uber or their social media accounts. Oth­ers lost meet­ing venues and were dri­ven out of sub­se­quent pub­lic spaces dur­ing fol­low-up ral­lies. And of course, some atten­dees, such as those who were exposed in pho­tos tak­en at the infa­mous torch-lit march the night before the ral­ly, lost their jobs.

In that time, they were also essen­tial­ly forced to invest in bit­coin, and after the cryptocurrency’s mete­oric rise through­out 2017, that finan­cial move has broad­ened their wealth sig­nif­i­cant­ly.

After the Char­lottesville protests, many white nation­al­ists lost access to mon­ey-trans­fer ser­vices like Apple Pay and Pay­Pal, and there­fore turned to bit­coin, dou­bling down on their invest­ment or cre­at­ing wal­lets to exper­i­ment with the apo­lit­i­cal cryp­tocur­ren­cy.

In the past few months, the price of bit­coin soared to record heights, reach­ing a trad­ing price over $11,000 per coin on Wednes­day. Through­out this boom, white nation­al­ist wealth has grown, with some of the country’s most vir­u­lent celebri­ty racists often rak­ing in thou­sands of dol­lars in a sin­gle day.

Bit­coin can be used anony­mous­ly, but in order to accept dona­tions, white nation­al­ists had to de-anonymize them­selves. So John Bam­benek, a cyber­se­cu­ri­ty researcher and threat ana­lyst, cre­at­ed a Twit­ter bot to fol­low and col­lect this infor­ma­tion. It’s from that bot, @NeoNaziWallets, that Mic has col­lat­ed and graphed this behav­ior. Even so, while any­one can watch the mon­ey move in and out of accounts, it’s uncer­tain where the mon­ey trav­els to, who is con­tribut­ing and how many oth­er dig­i­tal wal­lets are involved in the net­work of white suprema­cist bit­coin users.

The cryp­tocur­ren­cy is also pret­ty attrac­tive to those who believe in anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cies about greedy, often assumed Jew­ish, over­lords who engi­neer our soci­ety through con­trol of cen­tral banks. In March, Richard Spencer declared bit­coin “the cur­ren­cy of the alt-right” — though that should be tak­en with a grain of salt. The alt-right will lay claim to any­thing from New Bal­ance shoes to Papa John’s piz­za if it suits them.

Bit­coin is the cur­ren­cy of the alt right.— Richard ???? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) March 18, 2017

Still, since Char­lottesville, white nation­al­ists who ramped up their invest­ment in bit­coin have seen their vir­tu­al wealth grow.

The clear­est case of such growth is with Counter-Cur­rents, a pub­lish­ing house for books like Trevor Lynch’s White Nation­al­ist Guide to the Movies and Toward the White Repub­lic. From late August until Wednes­day — our obser­va­tion peri­od for the data — the wal­let for the far-right pub­lish­er held at about 7.7 bit­coin, includ­ing some tiny con­tri­bu­tions (pos­si­bly dona­tions) along the way. Its wealth more than dou­bled, net­ting them about $41,000 between Sept. 2 and Tues­day. And then by Wednes­day it made $5,859 more.

Bitcoin’s been par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful for Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi leader who’s been in and out of the pub­lic eye since the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter filed a poten­tial­ly debil­i­tat­ing law­suit against him. Bam­benek has esti­mat­ed that Anglin has tak­en in about $250,000 in bit­coin since 2014.

On Oct. 1, the Dai­ly Stormer with­drew $64,353, reap­ing the ear­ly rewards of the bit­coin boom, short­ly after mak­ing about $2,202 in just one day. Since then, the bal­ance for the Dai­ly Stormer has been fair­ly lev­el, as who­ev­er man­ages the wal­let skims the occa­sion­al few hun­dred dol­lars off the account, with some with­drawals as high as $1,602.

Oth­er white nation­al­ist exper­i­men­ta­tions in bit­coin are fair­ly mea­ger. Spencer — pres­i­dent of the Nation­al Pol­i­cy Insti­tute, a white nation­al­ist think tank — had about $3 in bit­coin sit­ting in an account until Nov. 22, when rough­ly $1,000 in bit­coin was trans­ferred to the wal­let. As of Wednes­day, he had about $1,317. Van­guard Amer­i­ca, a mil­i­tant white nation­al­ist group with a large con­tin­gent in Char­lottesville, grew a small bal­ance from rough­ly $218 on Aug. 27 to about $533 on Wednes­day with no new deposits.

Andrew Aueren­heimer: Guest at Glenn Green­wald’s par­ty; appar­ent res­i­dent of Ukraine.

One neo-Nazi stands above the rest in his bit­coin usage: Andrew “weev” Auern­heimer, who’s received over $1 mil­lion in bit­coin, accord­ing to one report. Even though Auern­heimer has with­drawn rough­ly $118,620 from his bit­coin wal­let between late August and Wednes­day, his remain­ing bit­coin store has been replen­ish­ing his wealth through­out the recent bit­coin boom.

While bit­coin is an effec­tive, apo­lit­i­cal escape pod for mov­ing mon­ey away from ser­vices that become inhos­pitable to hate groups, many main­stream wal­let providers can still de-plat­form white suprema­cists. After the Char­lottesville ral­ly, Coin­base alleged­ly kicked users off of its wal­let-pro­vid­ing ser­vice for donat­ing to the Dai­ly Stormer.

In the mean­time, all of the trans­ac­tions mov­ing in and out of the iden­ti­fied wal­lets are still in pub­lic.

“The dis­ad­van­tage [for neo-Nazis] is that I can see their trans­ac­tions, I can see when they’re spend­ing mon­ey, and giv­en effort and invest­ment of time, I could fig­ure out who is donat­ing to them also,” Bam­benek told Mic.

Bam­benek said his next project is to chart the web of trans­ac­tions around the neo-Nazi bit­coin wal­lets to try to deter­mine where the mon­ey is going and, poten­tial­ly, the iden­ti­ty of the donors using cryp­tocur­ren­cy to lend thou­sands of dol­lars to the white nation­al­ist cause

2.  The Pol­i­tics of Bit­coin: Soft­ware as Right-Wing Extrem­ism by David Golum­bia; Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Press [SC]; pp. 73–75.

. . . . As objects of dis­course, Bit­coin and the blockchain do a remark­able job of rein­forc­ing the view that the entire glob­al his­to­ry of polit­i­cal thought and action needs to be jet­ti­soned, or, even worse, that it has already been jet­ti­soned through the intro­duc­tion of any num­ber of tech­nolo­gies. Thus, in the intro­duc­tion to a bizarrely earnest and destruc­tive vol­ume called From Bit­coin to Burn­ing Man and Beyond (Clip­pinger and Bol­lier 2014), the edi­tors, one of whom is a research sci­en­tist at MIT, write, “Enlight­en­ment ideals of demo­c­ra­t­ic rule seem to have run their course. A con­tin­u­ous flow of sci­en­tif­ic find­ings are under­min­ing many foun­da­tion­al claims about human ratio­nal­i­ty and per­fectibil­i­ty while expo­nen­tial tech­no­log­i­cal changes and explod­ing glob­al demo­graph­ics over­whelm the capac­i­ty of demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions to rule effec­tive­ly, and ulti­mate­ly, their very legit­i­ma­cy.” Such abrupt dis­missals of hun­dreds of years of thought, work, and lives fol­lows direct­ly from cyber­lib­er­tar­i­an thought and extrem­ist rein­ter­pre­ta­tions of polit­i­cal insti­tu­tions:” What once required the author­i­ty of a cen­tral bank or a sov­er­eign author­i­ty can now be achieved through open, dis­trib­uted cryp­to-algo­rithms. Nation­al bor­ders, tra­di­tion­al legal regimes, and human inter­ven­tion are increas­ing­ly moot.” Like most ide­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tions, these sen­ti­ments are high­ly resis­tant to being proven false by facts. . . .

. . . . Few atti­tudes typ­i­fy the para­dox­i­cal cyber­lib­er­tar­i­an mind-set of Bit­coin pro­mot­ers (and many oth­ers) more than do those of “San­juro,” the alias of the per­son who cre­at­ed a Bit­coin “assas­si­na­tion mar­ket” (Green­berg 2013). San­juro believes that by incen­tiviz­ing peo­ple to kill politi­cians, he will destroy “all gov­ern­ments, every­where.” This anar­chic apoc­a­lypse “will change the world for the bet­ter,” pro­duc­ing “a world with­out wars, drag­net Panop­ti­con-style sur­veil­lance, nuclear weapons, armies, repres­sion, mon­ey manip­u­la­tion, and lim­its to trade.” Only some­one so blink­ered by their ide­o­log­i­cal tun­nel vision could look at world his­to­ry and imag­ine that mur­der­ing the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed gov­ern­ments and thus putting the gov­ern­ments them­selves out of exis­tence would do any­thing but make every one of these prob­lems immea­sur­ably worse than they already are. Yet this, in the end, is the extreme rightist–anarcho-capitalist, win­ner-take-all, even neo-feudalist–political vision too many of those in the Bit­coin (along with oth­er cryp­tocur­ren­cy) and blockchain com­mu­ni­ties, what­ev­er they believe their polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion to be, are work­ing active­ly to bring about. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

5 comments for “Nazis Cash in With Bitcoin”

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/02/goldman-sachs-exploring-bitcoin-trading-operation-report-says.html

    Gold­man Sachs explor­ing bit­coin trad­ing oper­a­tion
    Gold­man Sachs is look­ing into a new oper­a­tion for trad­ing bit­coin and oth­er dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies.

    “In response to client inter­est in dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, we are explor­ing how best to serve them in this space,” a Gold­man spokes­woman said.

    Unlike JPMor­gan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who called bit­coin a “fraud,” Gold­man’s tech­ni­cal strate­gist has pub­lished analy­ses on bit­coin’s price.

    Eve­lyn Cheng | @chengevelyn
    Pub­lished 12:59 PM ET Mon, 2 Oct 2017 Updat­ed 3:55 PM ET Mon, 2 Oct 2017
    CNBC.com

    Gold­man Sachs explor­ing bit­coin trad­ing oper­a­tion, report says Gold­man Sachs explor­ing bit­coin trad­ing oper­a­tion, report says
    4:08 PM ET Mon, 2 Oct 2017 | 00:53

    Gold­man Sachs is con­sid­er­ing the launch of a new trad­ing oper­a­tion focused on bit­coin and oth­er dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, a com­pa­ny offi­cial said.

    The invest­ment bank’s explo­ration of a dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy trad­ing busi­ness is still in ear­ly stages and may not amount to any­thing sub­stan­tial.

    “In response to client inter­est in dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, we are explor­ing how best to serve them in this space,” a Gold­man spokes­woman said in a state­ment.

    Gold­man Sachs has tak­en a more seri­ous look at bit­coin than its peers on Wall Street.

    She­ba Jafari, vice pres­i­dent on the bank’s FICC Mar­ket Strats team, was the only rep­re­sen­ta­tive from a major Wall Street firm to issue reports on bit­coin’s price as the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy soared ear­li­er this year.

    Reports from Mor­gan Stan­ley and a few oth­er major banks have tend­ed to focus more on the poten­tial appli­ca­tions of blockchain, the tech­nol­o­gy behind bit­coin that elim­i­nates the need for third-par­ty inter­me­di­aries to trans­act mon­ey. Gold­man also has a lav­ish web page explain­ing blockchain.

    Top names on Wall Street are divid­ed on whether bit­coin’s devel­op­ment is a good thing.

    JPMor­gan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon direct­ly spoke out against bit­coin last month and called the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy a “fraud” that “won’t end well.” Oth­er well-respect­ed investors such as Howard Marks have com­pared bit­coin to a pyra­mid scheme.

    On the oth­er hand, Mor­gan Stan­ley CEO James Gor­man said last week that dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies like bit­coin are “more than just a fad.”

    Bit­coin briefly mul­ti­plied five times in price this year from below $1,000 to above $5,000. Although the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy plunged by about $2,000 after a Chi­nese crack­down in Sep­tem­ber, bit­coin recov­ered to its high­est in near­ly a month Mon­day at around $4,410, accord­ing to Coin­Desk.

    Much of the gains come as insti­tu­tion­al investors increase their bets on the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy. New “cryp­to-funds” are also launch­ing. The lat­est tal­ly from finan­cial research firm Autonomous Next last week esti­mates about 75 such funds now exist.

    In the mean­time, Gold­man Sachs could ben­e­fit from a new trad­ing oper­a­tion in a high­ly volatile asset like dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies. The bank report­ed a 40 per­cent drop in bond trad­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

    “The smartest Wall Street firms have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to lead the mar­ket in offer­ing finan­cial ser­vices to the bur­geon­ing cryp­tocur­ren­cy indus­try,” Matthew Goetz, man­ag­ing part­ner and CEO at cryp­tocur­ren­cy invest­ment firm Block­Tow­er Cap­i­tal and a for­mer vice pres­i­dent at Gold­man Sachs.

    “I think it behooves the smart and more for­ward-think­ing firms to be involved in cryp­tocur­ren­cy,” he said, “giv­en the num­ber of new ser­vices and busi­ness lines that will stem from it as this impor­tant new indus­try con­tin­ues to build and insti­tu­tion­al­ize.”

    Posted by Mary Benton | December 13, 2017, 9:20 pm
  2. This arti­cle shows how a co-leader of the far right par­ty in Ger­many, Alter­na­tive for Deutch­land (AFD), — read it as mod­ern Nation­al Social­ist Par­ty, is fea­tured at a Blockchain tech­nol­o­gy con­fer­ence. This arti­cle sug­gests that the NAZIs are ahead of the game at under­stand­ing how blockchain, the bit­coin tech­nol­o­gy can be used to their advan­tage, and this can have a pro­found effect on how economies and soci­eties are struc­tured.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/23/blockchain-reshape-world-far-right-ahead-crypto-technology?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Blockchain could reshape our world – and the far right is one step ahead​ ​Josh Hall​ ​​@JoshAJHall​ ​Fri 23 Feb 2018 06.04 EST

    Cryp­to tech­nol­o­gy is com­ing to a cross­roads. Those who want to use it to rad­i­cal­ly redis­trib­ute wealth must take urgent action

    Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain reads the title of a 2017 book. From cur­ren­cy spec­u­la­tion through to ver­i­fy­ing the prove­nance of food, blockchain tech­nol­o­gyis eking out space in a vast range of fields.

    For most peo­ple, blockchain tech­nolo­gies are insep­a­ra­ble from bit­coin, the cryp­tocur­ren­cy that has been par­tic­u­lar­ly vis­i­ble in the news recent­ly thanks to its hyper-volatil­i­ty. Cryp­to-entre­pre­neurs have made and lost mil­lions, and many peo­ple have par­layed their trad­ing into a full-time job. But blockchain tech­nol­o­gy, which allows for immutable records of activ­i­ties, stored on a ledger that is held not just in one place but mas­sive­ly dis­trib­uted, has appli­ca­tions in every con­ceiv­able area in com­merce and beyond. Soon, there will be blockchains every­where that trans­ac­tions hap­pen.

    While the focus has so far been on cur­ren­cies such as bit­coin, what’s less well known is the large and grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty of blockchain devel­op­ers and evan­ge­lists, many of whom believe that the tech­nol­o­gy could her­ald rad­i­cal changes in the ways our economies and soci­eties are struc­tured. But there’s a big ques­tion at the heart of that com­mu­ni­ty: what might a world built with the help of blockchain tech­nol­o­gy look like?

    Unchain, a large bit­coin and blockchain con­ven­tion based in Ham­burg, seems to have a poten­tial answer. Along with speak­ers from blockchain star­tups, cryp­tocur­ren­cy exchanges and a com­pa­ny that pur­ports to offer “pri­vate­ly man­aged cities as a busi­ness”, the con­fer­ence pro­gramme also fea­tures Alice Wei­del, list­ed on the site as an “econ­o­mist and bit­coin entre­pre­neur”.

    In fact, Wei­del is the co-leader of Alter­na­tive für Deutsch­land, which recent­ly became the third largest par­ty in Germany’s Bun­destag. Weidel’s elec­tion cam­paign in 2017 was the party’s break­through moment, and what many have seen as a water­shed in Ger­man pol­i­tics – the return of far-right, pop­ulist eth­no-nation­al­ism to the fed­er­al par­lia­ment.

    Since 2015 the AfD lead­er­ship has adopt­ed increas­ing­ly hard lines on bor­ders, migra­tion, Islam and Europe. The par­ty has also attempt­ed to recu­per­ate lan­guage asso­ci­at­ed with his­toric Nazism; in 2016, the AfD’s then chair, Frauke Petry, called for the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the word “völkisch”, which is seen to be inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Nation­al Social­ism.

    Wei­del is thought to rep­re­sent the more “mod­er­ate” wing of the AfD, in com­par­i­son with her col­league in the Bun­destag Alexan­der Gauland, who has pushed for Angela Merkel to close Germany’s bor­ders and to deliv­er ways by which immi­grants can be repa­tri­at­ed. But the ten­sion between the “mod­er­ate” and extreme wings of the AfD has been seen as a con­scious tac­tic, in which Gauland push­es taboo sub­jects which Wei­del then makes more palat­able. Wei­del her­self, though, has also pre­vi­ous­ly appeared to describe Ger­man Arabs as “cul­tur­al­ly for­eign” and to encour­age a return to the para­noiac xeno­pho­bia of the Third Reich by describ­ing Merkel’s gov­ern­ment as “pigs” who are “pup­pets of the vic­to­ri­ous pow­ers” from the sec­ond world war.

    The rise of the AfD has caused deep soul-search­ing in Ger­many. But out­side of the country’s bor­ders, Weidel’s invi­ta­tion to the Unchain sum­mit also pos­es ques­tions

    Posted by Mary Benton | February 23, 2018, 3:41 pm
  3. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bitcoin-heist-computers-stolen-in-iceland/

    AP March 3, 2018, 9:49 AM

    “Big Bit­coin Heist”: 600 pow­er­ful com­put­ers stolen in Ice­land

    REYKJAVIK, Ice­land — Some 600 com­put­ers used to “mine” bit­coin and oth­er vir­tu­al cur­ren­cies have been stolen from data cen­ters in Ice­land in what police say is the biggest series of thefts ever in the North Atlantic island nation. Some 11 peo­ple were arrest­ed, includ­ing a secu­ri­ty guard, in what Ice­landic media have dubbed the “Big Bit­coin Heist.” A judge at the Reyk­janes Dis­trict Court on Fri­day ordered two peo­ple to remain in cus­tody.

    The pow­er­ful com­put­ers, which have not yet been found, are worth almost $2 mil­lion. But if the stolen equip­ment is used for its orig­i­nal pur­pose — to cre­ate new bit­coins — the thieves could turn a mas­sive prof­it in an untrace­able cur­ren­cy with­out ever sell­ing the items.

    “This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before,” said Ola­fur Hel­gi Kjar­tans­son, the police com­mis­sion­er on the south­west­ern Reyk­janes penin­su­la, where two of the bur­glar­ies took place. “Every­thing points to this being a high­ly orga­nized crime.”

    Three of four bur­glar­ies took place in Decem­ber and a fourth took place in Jan­u­ary, but author­i­ties did not make the news pub­lic ear­li­er in hopes of track­ing down the thieves.

    Bit­coin is a kind of dig­i­tal mon­ey that isn’t tied to a bank or a gov­ern­ment. It has been huge­ly volatile, post­ing some dizzy­ing intra-day ris­es and falls over the past year or so. The price of a sin­gle bit­coin rock­et­ed to near­ly $20,000 late last year and then plunged ear­ly this year. On Fri­day, it was trad­ing just below the $11,000 mark.

    Bit­coin and oth­er cryp­tocur­ren­cies rely on the blockchain, the name giv­en to the pub­lic, dis­trib­uted ledgers which track the coins’ own­er­ship. The Bit­coin ledger is pow­ered by “min­ers,” so-called because they throw com­pu­ta­tion­al pow­er into the sys­tem, occa­sion­al­ly receiv­ing — or “min­ing” — new bit­coins in return. Drum­ming up that com­pu­ta­tion­al pow­er usu­al­ly means lots of com­put­ers — and thus lots of elec­tric­i­ty.

    That desire for ener­gy has cre­at­ed a gold rush for bit­coin in Ice­land. Traders search­ing for cheap, renew­able ener­gy have been flood­ing into the island in recent months to take advan­tage of its geot­her­mal and hydro­elec­tric pow­er plants. ​{MB THOUGHT: ONE SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER IF THEY BELIEVE ICELAND IS THE SOURCE OF POWER FOR BITCOIN COMPUTERS OR THE OTHER SUSPECTED ​DISINFORMATION ARTICLE THAT IT IS A PROVINCE IN CHINA}. THE ENERGY TO MAKE A TRADE IS NOT A REPORTED CONCERN FOR LARGE BROKERAGE FIRMS OR MUTUAL FUND PROVIDERS LIKE FIDELITY}

    Police track­ing the stolen com­put­ers are mon­i­tor­ing elec­tric con­sump­tion across the coun­try in hopes the thieves will show their hand, accord­ing to an indus­try source who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because he is not allowed to speak to the media.

    Unusu­al­ly high ener­gy usage might reveal the where­abouts of the ille­gal bit­coin mine.

    Author­i­ties this week called on local inter­net providers, elec­tri­cians and stor­age space units to report any unusu­al requests for pow­er.

    In Edin­burgh on Fri­day, Bank of Eng­land Gov­er­nor Mark Car­ney launched a with­er­ing attack on cryp­tocur­ren­cies such as bit­coin and urged reg­u­la­tors around the world to mon­i­tor them in the same way as oth­er finan­cial assets.

    In a speech to the Scot­tish Eco­nom­ics con­fer­ence, Car­ney said a “glob­al spec­u­la­tive mania” has “encour­aged a pro­lif­er­a­tion of new cryp­tocur­ren­cies” and said they should be held to the “same stan­dards” as the rest of the finan­cial sys­tem.

    “Being part of the finan­cial sys­tem brings enor­mous priv­i­leges, but with them great respon­si­bil­i­ties,” Car­ney said.

    Posted by Mary Benton | March 5, 2018, 7:16 pm
  4. This should come as a sur­prise to no one, but Steve Ban­non is going all in on cryp­tocur­ren­cies. Or, more gen­er­al­ly, he’s going all in on the ‘cen­tral bank­ing is theft and an elit­ist tool to steal your wealth by debas­ing the cur­ren­cy’ clas­si­cal far right meme. A clas­si­cal far right meme that, these days, includes a fetishiza­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies. As Ban­non puts it while recent­ly giv­ing a lec­ture in Zurich dur­ing a stop on his Euro­pean ‘let them call you racists’ tour, cryp­tocur­ren­cies will set you free. And that’s not snarky hyper­bole. That’s lit­er­al­ly what he says: With cryp­tocur­ren­cy “We take con­trol of the cen­tral banks away. That will give us the pow­er again.”:

    Coin Tele­graph

    Steve Ban­non Lauds Cryp­tocur­ren­cy As A Tool To Resist the ‘Euro­pean Estab­lish­ment’

    By Aaron Wood
    MAR 07, 2018

    Steve Ban­non, for­mer Chief Strate­gist to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, said that cryp­tocur­ren­cies could be an asset to the Euro­pean anti-estab­lish­ment move­ment at an event spon­sored by the Swiss news­pa­per Die Welt­woche on March 6.

    At his lec­ture in Zurich, Ban­non stat­ed that cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain will “empow­er [the pop­ulist] move­ment, empow­er com­pa­nies, [and] empow­er gov­ern­ments to get away from the cen­tral banks that debase your cur­ren­cy and makes slave wages.”

    With cryp­tocur­ren­cy “We take con­trol of the cen­tral banks away. That will give us the pow­er again.” Ban­non sees broad use and inte­gra­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain as means of eman­ci­pa­tion from estab­lish­ment forces that have cre­at­ed “a new serf­dom.”

    “Once you take con­trol of your cur­ren­cy, once you take con­trol of your data, once you take con­trol of your cit­i­zen­ship, that’s when you’re going to have true free­dom,” said Ban­non.

    Ban­non accused gov­ern­ments, cen­tral banks, and tech com­pa­nies of tak­ing away the rights and iden­ti­ties of ordi­nary peo­ple and using them for their own pur­pos­es.

    Ban­non is trav­el­ling in Europe on a speak­ing tour fol­low­ing right-wing vic­to­ries in the recent Ital­ian elec­tions. In the lec­ture, Ban­non speaks at length about how cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain can be instru­ments of the move­ment of right nation­al­ism.

    ...

    As pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed by Coin­tele­graph, the can­ton of Zug in Switzer­land is estab­lish­ing a glob­al hub for cryp­to and Blockchain that’s come to be known as “Cryp­to Val­ley”. The Swiss Finan­cial Mar­ket Super­vi­so­ry Author­i­ty (FINMA) has imple­ment­ed for­ward-think­ing poli­cies towards cryp­tocur­ren­cies, mak­ing Switzer­land a com­pet­i­tive envi­ron­ment for devel­op­ing cryp­to, Blockchain, and dis­trib­uted ledger tech­nolo­gies.

    ———-

    “Steve Ban­non Lauds Cryp­tocur­ren­cy As A Tool To Resist the ‘Euro­pean Estab­lish­ment’” by Aaron Wood; Coin Tele­graph; 03/07/2018

    “At his lec­ture in Zurich, Ban­non stat­ed that cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain will “empow­er [the pop­ulist] move­ment, empow­er com­pa­nies, [and] empow­er gov­ern­ments to get away from the cen­tral banks that debase your cur­ren­cy and makes slave wages.””

    It’s the cen­tral banks that are cre­at­ing “slave wages” and cryp­tocur­ren­cies are the key to revers­ing that. Bit­coin will get you a raise! That’s the meme Ban­non has latched onto. Bit­coin = Free­dom:

    ...
    With cryp­tocur­ren­cy “We take con­trol of the cen­tral banks away. That will give us the pow­er again.” Ban­non sees broad use and inte­gra­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain as means of eman­ci­pa­tion from estab­lish­ment forces that have cre­at­ed “a new serf­dom.”

    “Once you take con­trol of your cur­ren­cy, once you take con­trol of your data, once you take con­trol of your cit­i­zen­ship, that’s when you’re going to have true free­dom,” said Ban­non.

    Ban­non accused gov­ern­ments, cen­tral banks, and tech com­pa­nies of tak­ing away the rights and iden­ti­ties of ordi­nary peo­ple and using them for their own pur­pos­es.
    ...

    “Once you take con­trol of your cur­ren­cy, once you take con­trol of your data, once you take con­trol of your cit­i­zen­ship, that’s when you’re going to have true free­dom”

    Coun­tries with a cen­tral bank don’t “con­trol their cur­ren­cy,” imply­ing that a cabal of bankers are secret­ly run­ning all the gov­ern­ments of the world and inten­tion­al­ly debas­es every­one’s cur­ren­cy to impose slave wages. And yes, the exist­ing pow­er of the pri­vate­ly owned banks over the gov­ern­ments of the world is an obscene dan­ger thanks to that cor­rupt­ing con­cen­tra­tion of wealth. But pri­vate­ly con­cen­trat­ed wealth and influ­ence, like that of Ban­non’s old firm Gold­man Sachs, isn’t what Ban­non is talk­ing about. He talk­ing about the Fed­er­al Reserve and oth­er cen­tral banks and por­tray­ing those insti­tu­tions as the big boogey­man and the rea­son for stag­nant wages. That’s the meme Ban­non is pro­mot­ing. The same clas­sic ‘inter­na­tion­al (Jew­ish) bankers run the cen­tral banks and there­fore if we just get rid of cen­tral banks that will fix every­thing’ meme the far right has been push­ing for decades. Updat­ed for the age of the blockchain.

    So just a heads up, it looks like Steve Ban­non’s quest to “decon­struct the admin­is­tra­tion state” includes replac­ing cen­tral banks with Bit­coin, in effect mak­ing the hand­ful of peo­ple who secret­ly own almost all the bit­coins the new cen­tral bankers. Which is, of course, the kind of ‘free­dom’ Steve Ban­non is real­ly talk­ing about.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 26, 2018, 11:18 am
  5. Here’s an inter­est­ing piece about $500k in bit­coin pay­ments sus­pi­cious­ly made in Decem­ber to a num­ber of far right orga­ni­za­tions. The dona­tions were made on Decem­ber 8, which, per­haps coin­ci­den­tal­ly, was the day of the “Safe Har­bor” dead­line for states to sub­mit their elec­toral col­lege votes. So on the last day that states could legal­ly change their elec­toral col­lege votes, there’s $500k in bit­coin dona­tions to a bunch of far right orga­ni­za­tions.

    But part of what makes these dona­tions so intrigu­ing is that half of the dona­tions went to Nick Fuentes, one of the key fig­ures in orga­niz­ing a num­ber of the “Stop the Steal” ral­lies. Recall how Fuentes has been pop­u­lar­iz­ing the idea that if the GOP does­n’t do every­thing pos­si­ble to keep Trump in office, the pro-Trump sup­port­ers are going to “destroy the GOP”. It was at the Decem­ber 12 ral­ly, where Fuentes declared, “In the first Mil­lion MAGA march we promised that if the GOP did not do every­thing in their pow­er to keep Trump in office, then we would destroy the GOP...As we gath­er here in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. for a sec­ond Mil­lion MAGA March, we’re done mak­ing promis­es. It has to hap­pen now. We are going to destroy the GOP.” The crowd fol­lowed Fuentes’s lead and start­ed chant­i­ng: “Destroy the GOP! Destroy the GOP!” This was the same ral­ly that include mul­ti­ple fly­overs by Trump in Marine One. Ear­li­er this year, Fuentes was open­ly rumi­nat­ing about killing state leg­is­la­tors who don’t sup­port efforts to over­turn the elec­tion for Trump. So Fuentes isn’t just some ran­dom ‘Alt Right’ fig­ure. He’s a key orga­ni­za­tion­al fig­ure in the pro-Trump move­ment that cul­mi­nat­ed in the Jan­u­ary 6 storm­ing of the Capi­tol. And he received a very large dona­tion in bit­coins just four days before that Decem­ber 12 “Destroy the GOP” ral­ly that fea­tured Marine One fly­overs by Trump.

    So what is known about the per­son or group that made these mys­tery bit­coin dona­tions? Well, based on the analy­sis by the com­pa­ny Chainal­y­sis, the bit­coin account that sent the bit­coins was owned by a French com­put­er pro­gram­mer. The iden­ti­ty of the pro­gram­mer isn’t being released, in part because it’s unclear if the bit­coin dona­tions were part of some sort of last act before the pro­gram­mer com­mit­ted sui­cide. That sce­nario is based on the fact that pro­gram­mer has a blog that had no updates between 2014 and Dec 9, 2020, one day after the dona­tions. And that new blog account report­ed­ly had the sound of a sui­cide note describ­ing how he was bequeath­ing his mon­ey to “cer­tain caus­es and peo­ple” in light of what he describes as “the decline of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion.” Chainal­y­sis has yet to con­firm if this pro­gram­mer is indeed dead, but we’re told he did­n’t take any of the avail­able steps to obscure his dona­tions (like using bit­coin “mix­er” ser­vices).

    It’s worth not­ing two oth­er recip­i­ents of this French pro­gram­mer’s bit­coins: The Dai­ly Stormer and VDARE, which each received 1 bit­coin from the account. Recall that VDARE was able to buy an actu­al his­toric cas­tle in West Vir­ginia in Feb­ru­ary of 2020 thanks to an anony­mous 2019 dona­tion $1.5 mil­lion dona­tion from Donors Trust, the Koch net­work’s mega-donor ‘non-prof­it’ orga­ni­za­tion. So 2020 was a pret­ty good year for VDARE’s char­i­ta­ble activ­i­ties.

    Over­all, it’s unclear whether or not we should inter­pret this sto­ry as just an exam­ple of how Bit­coin makes far right dona­tions eas­i­er than ever, or if there’s some­thing big­ger here in terms of some­one inten­tion­al­ly financ­ing the actors behind the Jan­u­ary 6 storm­ing of the Capi­tol. But it cer­tain­ly is inter­est­ing that one of the fig­ures cham­pi­oning the idea of hav­ing the GOP destroyed and remade in Trump’s image just hap­pened to receive $250k in bit­coins a month before the storm­ing of the Capi­tol:

    Yahoo News

    Exclu­sive: Large bit­coin pay­ments to right-wing activists a month before Capi­tol riot linked to for­eign account

    Jen­na McLaughlin·National Secu­ri­ty and Inves­ti­ga­tions Reporter
    Thu, Jan­u­ary 14, 2021, 12:19 PM

    WASHINGTON — On Dec. 8, some­one made a simul­ta­ne­ous trans­fer of 28.15 bit­coins — worth more than $500,000 at the time — to 22 dif­fer­ent vir­tu­al wal­lets, most of them belong­ing to promi­nent right-wing orga­ni­za­tions and per­son­al­i­ties.

    Now cryp­tocur­ren­cy researchers believe they have iden­ti­fied who made the trans­fer, and sus­pect it was intend­ed to bol­ster those far-right caus­es. U.S. law enforce­ment is inves­ti­gat­ing whether the dona­tions were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capi­tol.

    While the moti­va­tion is dif­fi­cult to prove, the trans­fer came just a month before the vio­lent riot in the Capi­tol, which took place after Pres­i­dent Trump invit­ed sup­port­ers to “walk down Penn­syl­va­nia Avenue” and “take back our coun­try.”

    Right-wing fig­ures and web­sites, includ­ing VDARE, the Dai­ly Stormer and Nick Fuentes, received gen­er­ous dona­tions from a bit­coin account linked to a French cryp­tocur­ren­cy exchange, accord­ing to research done by soft­ware com­pa­ny Chainal­y­sis, which main­tains a repos­i­to­ry of infor­ma­tion about pub­lic cryp­tocur­ren­cy exchanges and whose tools aid in gov­ern­ment, law enforce­ment and pri­vate sec­tor inves­ti­ga­tions. Chainal­y­sis inves­ti­gat­ed the dona­tions after Yahoo News shared the data points about the trans­ac­tion.

    Accord­ing to one source famil­iar with the mat­ter, the sus­pi­cious Dec. 8 trans­ac­tion, along with a num­ber of oth­er pieces of intel­li­gence, has prompt­ed law enforce­ment and intel­li­gence agen­cies in recent days to active­ly inves­ti­gate the sources of fund­ing for the indi­vid­u­als who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Capi­tol insur­rec­tion, as well as their net­works. The gov­ern­ment is hop­ing to pre­vent future attacks but also to uncov­er poten­tial for­eign involve­ment in or sup­port of right-wing activ­i­ties, the source said.

    Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Tues­day on the inves­ti­ga­tion into the Capi­tol riot, act­ing U.S. Attor­ney Michael Sher­win said the “scope and scale of this inves­ti­ga­tion in these cas­es are real­ly unprece­dent­ed.” At this time, Sher­win added, pros­e­cu­tors are treat­ing the mat­ter as a “sig­nif­i­cant coun­tert­er­ror­ism or coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence inves­ti­ga­tion” involv­ing deep­er dives into “mon­ey, trav­el records, dis­po­si­tion, move­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tion records.”

    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 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.”

    A 2017 Wash­ing­ton Post inves­ti­ga­tion explored how far-right groups turned even more aggres­sive­ly toward bit­coin fol­low­ing the dead­ly August 2017 “Unite the Right” ral­ly in Char­lottesville, Va. The sto­ry cit­ed research by the non­prof­it South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter that iden­ti­fied a large bit­coin dona­tion to Andrew Anglin, the edi­tor of the Dai­ly Stormer, a promi­nent neo-Nazi web­site that accepts bit­coin dona­tions. At the time, the dona­tion was worth around $60,000.

    A “new­found exper­tise in online mes­sag­ing and recruit­ment, cou­pled with the fact that mod­ern extrem­ist groups are gen­er­al­ly young and dig­i­tal­ly savvy, means that these orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als have fun­da­men­tal­ly altered the way that extrem­ists raise mon­ey,” wrote Alex New­house, a data ana­lyst at the Mid­dle­bury Insti­tute of Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies at Mon­terey, in a 2019 report that explored the links between white suprema­cists and dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy.

    Some promi­nent right-wing groups or sites dis­play their bit­coin wal­lets promi­nent­ly, the report not­ed. “The lack of reg­u­la­tion over Bit­coin has dri­ven its adop­tion by white suprema­cists,” it said.

    While cryp­tocur­ren­cy has been used by extrem­ist groups and crim­i­nals to raise funds while shield­ing their iden­ti­ties, bit­coin is pseu­do­ny­mous rather than anony­mous. Bit­coin wal­let address­es are per­ma­nent, and the dig­i­tal ledger of trans­ac­tions, called the blockchain, is pub­lic and can’t be changed. That means if peo­ple iden­ti­fy their bit­coin wal­let address­es, as many right-wing groups do to raise funds, trans­ac­tions can be traced, which is what allowed Chainal­y­sis to uncov­er infor­ma­tion about the source of the large Decem­ber dona­tions.

    The source of the fund­ing, accord­ing to research con­duct­ed by Chain­analy­sis, 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 researchers dis­cov­ered a blog post from the bit­coin user that reads like an appar­ent sui­cide note, bequeath­ing his mon­ey to “cer­tain caus­es and peo­ple” in light of what he describes as “the decline of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion,” though the researchers were unable to con­firm that the user was in fact dead. Chainal­y­sis declined to pub­lish the user’s name, cit­ing pri­va­cy con­cerns due to the inabil­i­ty to con­clu­sive­ly con­firm his death and out of con­cerns over ongo­ing law enforce­ment inves­ti­ga­tions.

    An email to the appar­ent French donor did not imme­di­ate­ly receive a reply.

    Chainal­y­sis inves­ti­ga­tors relied on open­ly avail­able infor­ma­tion, or pub­lic bit­coin trans­ac­tions, to inves­ti­gate and map out the large trans­ac­tion. The orig­i­nal donor was reg­is­tered on NameID, an inter­net ser­vice that allows bit­coin users to tie their online pseu­do­nym or email address with their bit­coin pro­file — infor­ma­tion the orig­i­nal donor includ­ed. Inves­ti­ga­tors tracked that email address to the blog, and to sev­er­al cryp­tocur­ren­cy forum posts going back to 2013.

    Accord­ing to their research, Fuentes, a pop­u­lar right-wing com­men­ta­tor who was sus­pend­ed from YouTube last win­ter for vio­lat­ing its poli­cies on hate speech, received the largest chunk of fund­ing on Dec. 8 — about $250,000 in bit­coin. The Dai­ly Stormer and the anti-immi­gra­tion web­site VDARE were among the oth­er recip­i­ents.

    ...

    While there’s no evi­dence that Fuentes direct­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Capi­tol riot, some­thing he has so far denied, the finan­cial resources of promi­nent right-wing actors are of grow­ing inter­est to law enforce­ment.

    “I’d be stunned if both nation-state adver­saries and ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions weren’t fig­ur­ing out how to fun­nel mon­ey to these guys,” one for­mer FBI offi­cial who reviewed the data for Yahoo News said. “Many of them use fundrais­ing sites (often in Bit­coin) that are vir­tu­al­ly unmon­i­tored and unmon­i­torable. If they weren’t doing it, they’d be incom­pe­tent.”

    Addi­tion­al­ly, much like con­ver­sa­tions that took place on social media in the weeks lead­ing up to the Capi­tol riot, the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy trans­ac­tions are hap­pen­ing in plain sight. While cryp­tocur­ren­cy has the rep­u­ta­tion of being anony­mous and shad­owy, that’s actu­al­ly a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion, explained Mad­die Kennedy, Chainalysis’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor. “With the right tools you can fol­low the mon­ey,” she said. “Cryp­tocur­ren­cy was designed to be trans­par­ent.”

    While there are meth­ods that cryp­tocur­ren­cy users can deploy to obfus­cate their iden­ti­ties — includ­ing using “pri­va­cy coins” such as Mon­ero, which are dif­fi­cult to trace, or using a “mix­er” that allows var­i­ous users to com­bine their bit­coins and mix them togeth­er to dis­guise their ori­gin — there’s no indi­ca­tion the French pro­gram­mer uti­lized those tools, Kennedy said.

    Though the dona­tions are not a smok­ing gun or indica­tive of a crime, and it remains unclear to what extent the Capi­tol riot was coor­di­nat­ed in advance, the activ­i­ty is nonethe­less reveal­ing, accord­ing to Kennedy.

    “These extrem­ist groups are prob­a­bly more well orga­nized and well fund­ed than what was pre­vi­ous­ly believed,” she said. Chainal­y­sis main­tains a data­base of “domes­tic extrem­ists” who have cryp­tocur­ren­cy accounts, and while the com­pa­ny has traced dona­tions to right-wing groups over the years, the Decem­ber deposit was “the sin­gle biggest month we’ve ever observed” direct­ed toward these caus­es, the researchers wrote.

    “This is evi­dence to show they’re rais­ing mon­ey,” Kennedy said. Addi­tion­al­ly, the fact that the donor was out­side the Unit­ed States sug­gests “this has inter­na­tion­al scope,” she con­tin­ued, a fact that “law enforce­ment should be pay­ing atten­tion to.”

    ————-

    “Exclu­sive: Large bit­coin pay­ments to right-wing activists a month before Capi­tol riot linked to for­eign account” by Jen­na McLaugh­lin; Yahoo News; 01/14/2021

    “The source of the fund­ing, accord­ing to research con­duct­ed by Chain­analy­sis, 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.””

    The cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence of the bit­coin donor’s iden­ti­ty is pret­ty com­pelling: the French pro­gram­mer they were able to trace the dona­tions back to just hap­pened to revive a dor­mant blog the day after the dona­tions with what sound­ed like a sui­cide note lament­ing the “decline of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion”. Although, at this point, this all remains spec­u­la­tive. They haven’t even con­firmed the pro­gram­mer was in fact dead. And we do know that the dona­tions did­n’t involve the use of “mix­ers” or oth­er tools used to obscure bit­coin trans­ac­tions. In oth­er words, if this French pro­gram­mer real­ly did make these dona­tions he appar­ent­ly did­n’t care if peo­ple found out (espe­cial­ly since he blogged about it):

    ...
    Chainal­y­sis researchers dis­cov­ered a blog post from the bit­coin user that reads like an appar­ent sui­cide note, bequeath­ing his mon­ey to “cer­tain caus­es and peo­ple” in light of what he describes as “the decline of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion,” though the researchers were unable to con­firm that the user was in fact dead. Chainal­y­sis declined to pub­lish the user’s name, cit­ing pri­va­cy con­cerns due to the inabil­i­ty to con­clu­sive­ly con­firm his death and out of con­cerns over ongo­ing law enforce­ment inves­ti­ga­tions.

    An email to the appar­ent French donor did not imme­di­ate­ly receive a reply.

    Chainal­y­sis inves­ti­ga­tors relied on open­ly avail­able infor­ma­tion, or pub­lic bit­coin trans­ac­tions, to inves­ti­gate and map out the large trans­ac­tion. The orig­i­nal donor was reg­is­tered on NameID, an inter­net ser­vice that allows bit­coin users to tie their online pseu­do­nym or email address with their bit­coin pro­file — infor­ma­tion the orig­i­nal donor includ­ed. Inves­ti­ga­tors tracked that email address to the blog, and to sev­er­al cryp­tocur­ren­cy forum posts going back to 2013.

    ...

    While there are meth­ods that cryp­tocur­ren­cy users can deploy to obfus­cate their iden­ti­ties — includ­ing using “pri­va­cy coins” such as Mon­ero, which are dif­fi­cult to trace, or using a “mix­er” that allows var­i­ous users to com­bine their bit­coins and mix them togeth­er to dis­guise their ori­gin — there’s no indi­ca­tion the French pro­gram­mer uti­lized those tools, Kennedy said.

    ...

    “These extrem­ist groups are prob­a­bly more well orga­nized and well fund­ed than what was pre­vi­ous­ly believed,” she said. Chainal­y­sis main­tains a data­base of “domes­tic extrem­ists” who have cryp­tocur­ren­cy accounts, and while the com­pa­ny has traced dona­tions to right-wing groups over the years, the Decem­ber deposit was “the sin­gle biggest month we’ve ever observed” direct­ed toward these caus­es, the researchers wrote.
    ...

    Also keep in mind that a sub­stan­tial num­ber of bit­coins have been hacked and aren’t in the pos­ses­sion of their right­ful own­ers so until we get some sort of con­fir­ma­tion that this pro­gram­mer real­ly made these dona­tions we can’t nec­es­sar­i­ly be sure this pro­gram­mer real­ly did do it. After all, if his bit­coin keys were hacked it’s not incon­ceiv­able that the pass­word to that dor­mant blog was hacked too. But it’s not at all incon­ceiv­able that some ran­dom French pro­gram­mer who was an ear­ly bit­coin investor real­ly did just decide to donate his bit­coin for­tune to a bunch of neo-Nazis. Still, it’s kind of remark­able that the per­son this French pro­gram­mer donat­ed $250k in bit­coin to just hap­pens to be one of the lead­ing fig­ures push­ing the idea that a sec­ond Trump term should be secured through any means nec­es­sary:

    ...
    Accord­ing to their research, Fuentes, a pop­u­lar right-wing com­men­ta­tor who was sus­pend­ed from YouTube last win­ter for vio­lat­ing its poli­cies on hate speech, received the largest chunk of fund­ing on Dec. 8 — about $250,000 in bit­coin. The Dai­ly Stormer and the anti-immi­gra­tion web­site VDARE were among the oth­er recip­i­ents.

    ...

    While there’s no evi­dence that Fuentes direct­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Capi­tol riot, some­thing he has so far denied, the finan­cial resources of promi­nent right-wing actors are of grow­ing inter­est to law enforce­ment.

    “I’d be stunned if both nation-state adver­saries and ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions weren’t fig­ur­ing out how to fun­nel mon­ey to these guys,” one for­mer FBI offi­cial who reviewed the data for Yahoo News said. “Many of them use fundrais­ing sites (often in Bit­coin) that are vir­tu­al­ly unmon­i­tored and unmon­i­torable. If they weren’t doing it, they’d be incom­pe­tent.”
    ...

    And note that while there isn’t yet evi­dence that Fuentes was per­son­al­ly involved in the storm­ing of the Capi­tol, there’s plen­ty of evi­dence he was at the “Stop the Steal” ral­ly right before the storm­ing of the Capi­tol along with evi­dence that Fuentes’s fol­low­ers, who call them­selves the “Groyper Army” were indeed very involved in the storm­ing of the Capi­tol:

    ProP­ub­li­ca

    Mem­bers of Sev­er­al Well-Known Hate Groups Iden­ti­fied at Capi­tol Riot

    A ProP­ub­li­ca-FRONT­LINE review of the insur­rec­tion found sev­er­al not­ed hard­core nativists and white nation­al­ists who also par­tic­i­pat­ed in the 2017 white pow­er ral­ly in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia.

    by A.C. Thomp­son and Ford Fis­ch­er
    Jan. 9, 12:15 p.m. EST

    Mem­bers of the ultra­na­tion­al­ist street gang known as the Proud Boys were easy to spot at the protests that flared across the Unit­ed States through­out 2020, often in the mid­dle of a brawl, typ­i­cal­ly clad in black and yel­low out­fits.

    But in Decem­ber, as the group’s lead­ers planned to flood Wash­ing­ton to oppose the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the Elec­toral Col­lege vote this week for Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden, they decid­ed to do some­thing dif­fer­ent.

    “The Proud­Boys will turn out in record num­bers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist...,” Hen­ry “Enrique” Tar­rio, the group’s pres­i­dent, wrote in a late-Decem­ber post on Par­ler, a social media plat­form that has become pop­u­lar with right-wing activists and con­ser­v­a­tives. “We will not be wear­ing our tra­di­tion­al Black and Yel­low. We will be incog­ni­to and we will spread across down­town DC in small­er teams. And who knows....we might dress in all BLACK for the occa­sion.”

    The pre­cise com­po­si­tion of the mob that forced its way into the Capi­tol on Wednes­day, dis­rupt­ing ses­sions of both hous­es of Con­gress and leav­ing a police offi­cer and four oth­ers dead, remains unknown. But a review by a ProP­ub­li­ca-FRONT­LINE team that has been track­ing far-right move­ments for the past three years shows that the crowd includ­ed mem­bers of the Proud Boys and oth­er groups with vio­lent ide­olo­gies. Videos reveal the pres­ence of sev­er­al not­ed hard­core nativists and white nation­al­ists who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the 2017 white pow­er ral­ly in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia, that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump infa­mous­ly refused to con­demn.

    Tar­rio does not appear to have been present dur­ing the insur­rec­tion. Two days before mem­bers of the House and Sen­ate gath­ered to cer­ti­fy the Elec­toral Col­lege results, Washington’s Met­ro­pol­i­tan Police Depart­ment arrest­ed Tar­rio and charged him with pos­sess­ing high-capac­i­ty firearm mag­a­zines and destruc­tion of prop­er­ty over the burn­ing of a Black Lives Mat­ter ban­ner last month. A judge barred him from enter­ing the city while he awaits tri­al.

    But it appears that Tarrio’s fol­low­ers heed­ed his advice. A jour­nal­ist work­ing with ProP­ub­li­ca and FRONTLINE encoun­tered mem­bers of the Proud Boys in dark clothes walk­ing through Wash­ing­ton on the night before the attack. The four men posed for a pho­to and con­firmed their mem­ber­ship in the group. Few par­tic­i­pants involved in the Capi­tol siege were seen wear­ing Proud Boys col­ors or logos.

    I came across some Proud Boys dressed in black around H Street.They’re basi­cal­ly using Amer­i­can flags on their masks, arms, or shirts to dis­tin­guish them­selves from actu­al antifa activists.I asked to take pic, this is what I got. pic.twitter.com/9ElhSSU3xo— Ford Fis­ch­er (@FordFischer) Jan­u­ary 6, 2021

    But since the inci­dent, Proud Boys social media chan­nels have flaunt­ed their direct role in the attack and loot­ing of the Capi­tol.

    One promi­nent Proud Boys account encour­aged riot­ers as the chaos was unfold­ing: “Hold your ground!!!... DO NOT GO HOME. WE ARE ON THE CUSP OF SAVING THE CONSTITUTION.”

    So far, police have arrest­ed more than 80 peo­ple in con­nec­tion with the attack, includ­ing at least one Proud Boy, Nick Ochs. They have seized pipe bombs and Molo­tov cock­tails and arrest­ed at least six peo­ple on ille­gal firearms charges, includ­ing one Mary­land man who was cap­tured in the vis­i­tors’ cen­ter of the Capi­tol. More arrests are expect­ed.

    As the crowds ring­ing the Capi­tol swelled on Wednes­day, a small group of men clad in body armor shuf­fled toward the doors at the cen­ter of the building’s east-fac­ing facade.

    The eight men, whose move­ments were cap­tured on video, were iden­ti­fied by ProP­ub­li­ca and FRONTLINE as mem­bers of the Oath Keep­ers, a long-stand­ing mili­tia group that has pledged to ignite a civ­il war on behalf of Trump. Mem­bers of the group joined the pro­test­ers and insur­rec­tion­ists flood­ing into the Capi­tol. Footage from lat­er in the day shows Oath Keep­ers drag­ging a wound­ed com­rade out of the build­ing.

    Stew­art Rhodes, a for­mer sol­dier and Yale law school grad­u­ate, who found­ed the Oath Keep­ers in 2009 and built it into a nation­wide net­work, was seen on video stand­ing out­side the Capi­tol build­ing. While he was not seen enter­ing the Capi­tol, he could be seen talk­ing with his mili­tia fol­low­ers through­out the day.

    Sev­er­al oth­er of the par­tic­i­pants ProP­ub­li­ca and FRONTLINE iden­ti­fied from video have direct links to the white nation­al­ist move­ment, which has seen a resur­gence of activ­i­ty dur­ing the Trump era.

    One was Nick Fuentes, an inter­net per­son­al­i­ty who streams a dai­ly talk show on DLive, an alter­na­tive social media plat­form. Fuentes, who marched in Char­lottesville dur­ing the 2017 white pow­er ral­ly there, speaks fre­quent­ly in anti-Semit­ic terms and pon­tif­i­cates on the need to pro­tect America’s white her­itage from the ongo­ing shift in the nation’s demo­graph­ics. He has pub­licly denied believ­ing in white nation­al­ism but has said that he con­sid­ers him­self a “white majori­tar­i­an.”

    Fuentes, who spoke at pro-Trump ral­lies late last year in Michi­gan and Wash­ing­ton, D.C., said he was at the ral­ly on Wednes­day but didn’t fol­low the mob into the Capi­tol. One group of Fuentes’ sup­port­ers, who call them­selves the Groyper Army, was filmed run­ning through the Capi­tol car­ry­ing a large blue flag with the Amer­i­ca First logo.

    Days before the Capi­tol was stormed, Fuentes seemed to encour­age his fol­low­ers to kill state leg­is­la­tors in a bid to over­turn Biden’s elec­toral vic­to­ry, as Megan Squire, a com­put­er sci­ence pro­fes­sor at Elon Uni­ver­si­ty who fol­lows online extrem­ist com­mu­ni­ties, not­ed on Twit­ter.

    “What can you and I do to a state leg­is­la­tor — besides kill him?” he said with a smirk. “We should not do that. I’m not advis­ing that, but I mean, what else can you do, right?”

    Squire fears that Fuentes’ incen­di­ary rhetoric will inspire his fol­low­ers to engage in more dras­tic — even lethal — acts of polit­i­cal vio­lence. “Instead of try­ing to appear demo­c­ra­t­ic he’s mak­ing an argu­ment for fas­cism, for monar­chism,” she said. “He’s crit­i­ciz­ing democ­ra­cy at every turn. He doesn’t believe in democ­ra­cy and it’s scary because his fans find him fas­ci­nat­ing.”

    DLive recent­ly announced that it has boot­ed Fuentes from its plat­form.

    Anoth­er fig­ure inside the Capi­tol with ties to white nation­al­ists was Tim Gionet, a livestream­er who uses the han­dle Baked Alas­ka and who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Char­lottesville ral­ly, which left one woman dead. Gionet was pho­tographed with­in the Capi­tol and appar­ent­ly used DLive to stream from with­in the build­ing as events unfold­ed. Part of his video appeared to show him in Nan­cy Pelosi’s office, accord­ing to the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, which tracks hate groups.

    Oth­er extrem­ist fig­ures present either at the ral­ly or with­in the Capi­tol includ­ed Vin­cent James Foxx, an online pro­pa­gan­dist for the Rise Above Move­ment, a now-defunct South­ern Cal­i­for­nia white suprema­cist group.

    Also on scene: Gabe Brown, a New Eng­lan­der who helped cre­ate Anti­com, a now-defunct orga­ni­za­tion devot­ed to phys­i­cal­ly com­bat­ing left­ists. In 2017, Anti­com mem­bers post­ed a vast trove of bomb-mak­ing man­u­als to a pri­vate online cha­t­room.

    The mil­i­tant group mem­bers joined with scores of oth­ers who ram­paged inside the Capi­tol.

    Rep. André Car­son, a Demo­c­rat from Indi­ana, said the scene remind­ed him of a Ku Klux Klan ral­ly. Pho­tos from with­in the Capi­tol showed one uniden­ti­fied man car­ry­ing a Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag and anoth­er wear­ing a sweat­shirt embla­zoned with a skull and the words “Camp Auschwitz,” a ref­er­ence to the infa­mous Nazi death camp.

    Car­son and oth­er House mem­bers who spoke to ProP­ub­li­ca and FRONTLINE said the body would be launch­ing an exten­sive inves­ti­ga­tion of the Capi­tol Police force and its mis­han­dling of Wednesday’s events.

    ...

    After the siege, a Booga­loo Bois group called the Last Sons of Lib­er­ty, which includes mil­i­tants from Vir­ginia, post­ed a video to Par­ler pur­port­ing to doc­u­ment their role in the inci­dent — a clip that shows mem­bers inside the Capi­tol. A loose-knit con­fed­er­a­tion of anti-gov­ern­ment mil­i­tants, the Booga­loo Bois have been tied to a plot to kid­nap Michi­gan Gov. Gretchen Whit­mer and to the mur­der of two law enforce­ment offi­cers in Cal­i­for­nia. ProP­ub­li­ca and FRONTLINE have been unable to inde­pen­dent­ly con­firm their involve­ment.

    Some far-right activists are already call­ing for ret­ri­bu­tion over the death of Ash­li Bab­bitt, a 35-year-old Air Force vet­er­an from Cal­i­for­nia who was shot and killed by a secu­ri­ty offi­cer. “We’ve got a girl that’s dead. She’s shot, lay­ing on the ground in there,” said Damon Beck­ley, leader of a group called DC Under Siege, in an inter­view just out­side the Capi­tol while the riot was ongo­ing. “We’re not putting up with this tyran­ni­cal rule. ... If we got­ta come back here and start a rev­o­lu­tion and take all these trai­tors out — which is what should hap­pen — then we will.”

    Anoth­er per­son took to Par­ler to say that they were plan­ning to show up, armed, in Wash­ing­ton for Inau­gu­ra­tion Day. “Many of us will return on Jan­u­ary 19, 2021 car­ry­ing Our weapons,” wrote the Par­ler user, who goes by the han­dle Colonel007. “We will come in num­bers that no stand­ing army or police agency can match.”

    The Proud Boys also cel­e­brat­ed on social media. On Par­ler, one Proud Boys leader post­ed a pho­to of mem­bers of Con­gress cow­er­ing in fear and cap­tioned it with a men­ac­ing state­ment: “Today you found out. The pow­er of the peo­ple will not be denied.”

    ————

    “Mem­bers of Sev­er­al Well-Known Hate Groups Iden­ti­fied at Capi­tol Riot” by A.C. Thomp­son and Ford Fis­ch­er; Pro Pub­li­ca; 01/09/2021

    “Fuentes, who spoke at pro-Trump ral­lies late last year in Michi­gan and Wash­ing­ton, D.C., said he was at the ral­ly on Wednes­day but didn’t fol­low the mob into the Capi­tol. One group of Fuentes’ sup­port­ers, who call them­selves the Groyper Army, was filmed run­ning through the Capi­tol car­ry­ing a large blue flag with the Amer­i­ca First logo.

    Yep, whether or not Fuentes was per­son­al­ly involved in the storm­ing of the Capi­tol, his fol­low­ers were filmed run­ning through the Capi­tol with a large blue Amer­i­ca First logo. And days before the storm­ing, Fuentes was talk­ing about “what can be done” about state leg­is­la­tors who refuse to over­turn the elec­tion for Trump. “What can you and I do to a state leg­is­la­tor — besides kill him?” That’s the kind of lead­er­ship Nick Fuentes pro­vides to his fol­low­ers, and this has been one of the lead­ing “Stop the Steal” fig­ures:

    ...
    Days before the Capi­tol was stormed, Fuentes seemed to encour­age his fol­low­ers to kill state leg­is­la­tors in a bid to over­turn Biden’s elec­toral vic­to­ry, as Megan Squire, a com­put­er sci­ence pro­fes­sor at Elon Uni­ver­si­ty who fol­lows online extrem­ist com­mu­ni­ties, not­ed on Twit­ter.

    “What can you and I do to a state leg­is­la­tor — besides kill him?” he said with a smirk. “We should not do that. I’m not advis­ing that, but I mean, what else can you do, right?”

    Squire fears that Fuentes’ incen­di­ary rhetoric will inspire his fol­low­ers to engage in more dras­tic — even lethal — acts of polit­i­cal vio­lence. “Instead of try­ing to appear demo­c­ra­t­ic he’s mak­ing an argu­ment for fas­cism, for monar­chism,” she said. “He’s crit­i­ciz­ing democ­ra­cy at every turn. He doesn’t believe in democ­ra­cy and it’s scary because his fans find him fas­ci­nat­ing.”

    DLive recent­ly announced that it has boot­ed Fuentes from its plat­form.
    ...

    So it will be inter­est­ing to see where this inves­ti­ga­tion into the source of the bit­coin dona­tions ends up. Was the ran­dom French pro­gram­mer real­ly the sole source of these dona­tions and was it just coin­ci­dence that this pro­gram­mer made a very large dona­tion to one of the most extreme lead­ers behind the “Stop the Steal” move­ment a month before the storm­ing of Capi­tol? In oth­er words, is Fuentes being active­ly paid by some­one to foment polit­i­cal vio­lence OR is it just that peo­ple who foment polit­i­cal vio­lence tend to get these kinds of large con­tri­bu­tion? This is clear­ly a new gold­en age for dona­tions to white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tions, as VDARE’s donor-dri­ven pur­chase of a cas­tle last year made abun­dant­ly clear. There’s just a ton of mon­ey head­ing into these types of groups so it’s not at all incon­ceiv­able that Fuentes is sim­ply the ben­e­fi­cia­ry of this new far right gold­en age. But still, since fig­ures like Fuentes are osten­si­bly tak­ing very real legal risks by sug­gest­ing that their fol­low­ers kill politi­cians, we have to ask: is Fuentes specif­i­cal­ly being paid large sums to cross the line of polit­i­cal vio­lence and ter­ror­ism? Or is he doing that just because that’s the kind of guy he is? Both sce­nar­ios seem pret­ty plau­si­ble at this point.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 14, 2021, 5:30 pm

Post a comment