Since 2016, and especially since the notorious 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, neo-Nazi and extreme-right groups have sought with some success to raise funds in cryptocurrency. These Internet-based forms of money are not backed by national governments, and often come with sophisticated privacy measures, which make them ideal for groups that want to avoid regulation, or that have been banned by credit-card companies and services such as PayPal. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Varsha Koduvayur, and Samuel Hodgson explain the problem:
Some white-supremacist groups accept cryptocurrency donations to support content they produce, such as video streams, podcasts, and radio shows. In these cases, cryptocurrency can help protect the identities of both the content producers and the viewers. . . . In addition to protecting the privacy of donors, cryptocurrency frequently lies beyond the grasp of courts that have imposed financial penalties on extremists. For example, the neo-Nazi publication the Daily Stormer accepts cryptocurrency donations allegedly in part to avoid paying off millions of dollars in civil judgments against its publisher, Andrew Anglin.
Nick Fuentes is the host of America First, an influential podcast that spreads core tenets of the modern white nationalist movement. Fuentes is also a leader of the white-nationalist and anti-Semitic group Groyper Army. . . . He also received a bitcoin donation worth approximately $250,000 in December 2020 from a far-right French donor who was eventually identified as Laurent Bachelier.
Other groups in the white supremacist ecosystem who solicit cryptocurrency donations include The Right Stuff (TRS), a neo-Nazi media network founded and run by Michael “Enoch” Peinovich, who rose to prominence for creating the anti-Semitic “(((echo)))” [symbol], which other far-right figures began to use on social-media platforms to [highlight] Jewish names. TRS hosts the shows Fash the Nation and The Daily Shoah, which promote Holocaust denialism and white supremacy. TRS’s website allows listeners to donate cryptocurrency and accepts Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, and Ethereum.
Gartenstein-Ross, Koduvayur, and Hodgson go on to argue that the U.S. government can and should take various concrete steps to undermine the usefulness of cryptocurrencies for these groups.