Bitcoin donation to US far-right surfaced
Following the storming of the Capitol, reports have emerged revealing a generous Bitcoin donation from France to far-right extremists in the US.
Online medium yahoo!news writes in an exclusive report that right-wing extremists in the US received a generous Bitcoin donation, a month before the storming of the Capitol. According to the report, 28.15 BTC (500,000 US dollars) were transferred to 22 wallets of various personalities and organisations from the country’s right-wing political spectrum on 8 December.
The software company Chainalysis investigated the origin of the donation on the basis of Yahoo data. The traces lead to France. According to the report, the donations came from Bitcoin Profit an account on a French crypto exchange and went to right-wing news sites and influencers such as VDARE, Daily Stormer or Nicholas Fuentes. According to research by Chainalysis, this was a French programmer who ran a blog. The research firm interpreted one of the posts as a suicide note. There, the Frenchman prophesied the „decline of Western civilisation“ and therefore bequeathed his fortune to „certain purposes and people“. Whether the financier is actually dead remains unclear. However, there has been no new entry on the programmer’s blog since 2014.
As an anonymous source reports, law enforcement agencies and intelligence services are now also looking into the suspicious transaction in order to learn more information about the financial background of the turmoil in Washington. In doing so, the government hopes to prevent future attacks and uncover potential foreign involvement or support for right-wing activities at an early stage. At a press conference, US Attorney Michael Sherwin said the FBI considered the investigation „significant counterterrorism or counterintelligence“. To that end, investigators are currently looking at money, travel and communications records, as well as dispositions and general movements.
Misleading presentation slows Bitcoin adoption
Bitcoin still has a grubby image. But although word has spread among criminals that there are more anonymous cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin, the best-known of the digital currencies is still being used for illegal purposes. There are currently dubious offers on the darknet where one can secure a Corona vaccine against Bitcoin.
The Yahoo article gives the impression that Bitcoin is merely a means of payment used by criminals. A study by Chainalysis from 2019 shows that in fact only 1.1 per cent of all crypto activities have a criminal basis. Nevertheless, such representations are slowing down the adoption of the digital store of value and other cryptocurrencies.
Complicating matters further are statements from various political and financial officials, such as Christine Lagarde. The ECB chief recently commented on Bitcoin and co. in a Reuters livestream, saying:
Bitcoin enables dubious transactions and facilitated some reprehensible money laundering activities. There needs to be regulation at a global level that is enforced and agreed upon. If there is a fallback option, it will be taken.
Financial authorities fail in the fight against money laundering
But this statement is misleading. A large part of money laundering still takes place via fiat currencies. This becomes clear, for example, from the FinCEN files that became public in September last year. According to these, banks and financial authorities are finding it difficult to carry out AML measures.
The leak from the US Treasury Department concerns documents that prove that large financial institutions such as JPMorgan, HSBC, Barclays or Deutsche Bank have moved large sums of money from criminals or other controversial persons, although they were actually on sanctions lists. In total, almost two trillion US dollars were transferred. This corresponds to almost three times the market capitalisation of Bitcoin.