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Neo-Nazis dreamed of Bitcoin fortune and failed

2019-03-20 | 日記

The cryptocurrency was traded as an alternative to the "Jewish" banking system, but found little acceptance even within its own ranks.

Where the regular money system does not help, Bitcoin should do it. That's one of the promises of the world's best-known cryptocurrency. Even the alleged perpetrator of Christchurch mentioned the digital money in a manifesto, which is assigned to him. But his information should be fictional. Several years ago he wants to have made a lot of money with an investment program called Bitconnect. However, Bitconnect only started in 2016, turned out to be a pyramid game and collapsed in 2018 - the members are said to have been brought in by $ 2.5 billion.

Nevertheless, the reference shows one thing: the promise of an alternative to the established money market has been exerting a fascination for right-wing extremists for many years. Richard Spencer, a leader in the "White Supremacy" movement, once even called Bitcoin the "currency of the old-right" - without investing much himself. And indeed, several radical groups turned to the cryptocurrency because financial services providers like Paypal increasingly refused to cooperate and they thought they could beat the banks that they thought were ruled by Jews. And they went with it, as "Foreign Policy" reports.

Disproportionately many right-wing extremists
The political side of Bitcoin was researched by author David Golumbia in a book published in 2016. He notes that only a small fraction of the numerous Bitcoin users are proven fascists or neo-Nazis. But he also suspects that they are more represented than the population as a whole. For cryptocurrency communities are prone to conspiracy theories.

Some consider Timothy May, author of the 1988 "Crypto-Anarchic Manifesto", to be Bitcoin's spiritual father. May, who died in 2018, however, also repeatedly expressed extreme right-wing views and recommended, for example, the "African Americans, Hispanics and Jews living in the USA a trip through the chimneys". The neo-Nazi portal "Daily Stormer" published a praising obituary after his death.

Failed financing attempts
As the price of Bitcoin, driven by an often irrational public hype, climbed to unprecedented record levels in 2017, some observers feared that some right-wing extremists would become very wealthy. However, this can be checked as soon as it is known which wallets (digital purses) are assigned to which persons.

As some leading figures in the scene indicated their investments or by strikingly frequent transactions of sums like 0,0001488 bitcoin (1488 is a right-radical numerical code consisting of the "14 words" for the belief of white neo-Nazis and "88" as code for "Heil Hitler"), their crypto assets are also easy to assess. The blockchain shows all transactions, you can always check how many bitcoins are where, who transfers to these wallets and where they send money. The security researcher John Bambenek has set up the "Neonazi BTC Tracker" for this purpose and keeps reporting new results via Twitter.

Especially during the hype Bitcoin investments were repeatedly recommended by right-wing extremist networks. Some organizations, such as a podcast network and the forums portal Gab, tried to finance it. However, unsuccessful.

Too complicated
The fact that the 2017 cryptoboom hardly brought wealth to the scene is also due to the fact that the procedure is too complicated. Hardly anyone has been inclined to invest a wallet and buy bitcoins just to support a platform with small monthly amounts, explains the researcher John Harper, who deals with the right-wing radical online scene in his podcast "I Do not Speak German" , Also, the return of cryptocurrencies in money is possible only on a few platforms.

In some cases, relevant portals have already been sanctioned by crypto exchanges. After the assassination attempt on a synagogue in Pittsburgh Coinbase gab raus, because the alleged perpetrator there should have planned and announced his act.

The lack of success with their own crypto experiments and the Bitcoin crashed from 17,000 to 3,500 euros since December 2017 have drastically reduced interest in the currency. Although the neo-Nazis still have their wallets, the digital currency is barely mentioned anywhere.


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