Extremist Crypto and Finance: Q1 2023 Briefing
Despite volatility in cryptocurrency’s exchange rates, far-right extremists and hate groups continue to turn to digital currencies to raise funds. In the first quarter of this year, several high-profile extremists accepted donations and made business transactions using cryptocurrency.
- Douglass Mackey, convicted of federal election interference for his role in spreading pro-Trump disinformation during the 2016 presidential race, has received just over $3,400 in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin donations to support his legal defense. This sum pales in comparison to the $25,000 Mackey received from more than 450 donors using GiveSendGo, a Christian crowdfunding website, and the $60,000 Bitcoin windfall he received in 2021.
- The so-called “MAGA Cryptocurrency” known as the FJB Coin, officially short for “Freedom. Jobs. Business” (but also a shorthand for “F--- Joe Biden”), has fallen on hard times recently. FJB was created in October 2021 as an alternative to Bitcoin and has already lost more than 95% of its value. Currently trading at an exchange rate that is only a tiny fraction of one penny, the coin attracted the attention of federal regulators who were already investigating FJB principal and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon for money laundering and fraud in an unrelated case. Bannon was also convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress in 2022.
- KiwiFarms, a message board where people gather to target and harass trans people and other marginalized internet users, continues to receive cryptocurrency donations months after it survived a campaign to pressure internet infrastructure companies to stop doing business with the site. KiwiFarms has raised more than $150,000 in Bitcoin donations since 2019, including $21,569 in Bitcoin during the first quarter of 2023 alone.
For more background on how extremists use cryptocurrency, read “How Cryptocurrency Revolutionized the White Supremacist Movement ” and download our updated list of cryptocurrency addresses.
Photo illustration by SPLC