A report recently released by The Guardian brought to light how Australia’s far-right is using cryptocurrencies to monetize hate. Funding networks associated with right-wing content-sharing Australian Telegram channels were traced, and links were found to a minimum of 22 online tools for fundraising.
Along with the tools, there were also various donation requests, which contained wallet addresses for crypto payments using tokens such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Monero. The report also highlighted a recent Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) analysis, which found that white supremacists from North America have profited from investing in cryptocurrencies early.
Stefan Molyneux, a controversial figure in Canada’s ‘alt-right’, has received a minimum of 1,250 Bitcoins from his supporters. Even though Molyneux has distanced himself from being tagged a white supremacist, he was shut off by YouTube for his opinions on scientific racism and commentary on women.
In 2017, Blair Cottrell faced conviction from a Victorian court for inciting hate against Muslims. In a Telegram channel associated with him, a message stated that cryptocurrencies were making the channel’s members rich.
Thomas Sewell of the National Socialist Network is another example. In 2021, Sewell faced multiple charges on account of an alleged armed robbery and an alleged assault. For covering the legal fees of the Australian, a donation drive took place, and many of the donations were in the form of cryptocurrencies.
So far, raising funds in the form of crypto hasn’t raised any eyebrows as it isn’t, strictly speaking, illegal. However, there’s a fine line between collectives using cryptocurrencies for propaganda and collectives using cryptocurrencies for supporting terrorist acts.