Neo-Nazi Use Of Cryptocurrency In The Russia-Ukraine War

Excerpt From The DTTM Study’s Chapter On Extremists’ Use Of Cryptocurrency In The Russia-Ukraine War

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.

These and other activities that are being funded by cryptocurrency include planning attacks, purchasing weapons, and obtaining drones, thermal imaging equipment, bulletproof vests, and mobile phones.

On the ground in real-world battle situations, the extremists are gaining experience in combat, guerilla warfare, explosives, sniper activity – and, of course, how to fund them with cryptocurrency.

These skills and this experience could ultimately be turned against Western governments. Ukraine could be for these extremists what Afghanistan was for the jihadi movement in the 1980s.

Neo-Nazi Use Of Cryptocurrency In The Russia-Ukraine War May Prompt Authorities To Regulate It

To date, neo-Nazis and white supremacists have had no trouble promoting and sharing their Ukraine-connected cryptocurrency fundraising campaigns. There has been no mention of intervention on the part of authorities – or on the part of the crypto industry itself. Most likely, neither is fully aware of the extent of this activity.

Neo-Nazi Use Of Cryptocurrency In The Russia-Ukraine War May Be Catalyst Prompting Government Regulation

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 U.S. 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 U.S.-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.