Alt-Right Groups and Personalities Involved In the January 2021 Capitol Riot Received Over 500K In Bitcoin From French Donor One Month Prior – Chainalysis

This blog is an excerpt from the 2021 chainalysis cryptocrime report. click here to download all!

last week americans were shocked when a large group of donald trump supporters invaded the united states. capitol building in protest of his defeat in the 2020 election, following a rally that included a speech by trump himself. five people were killed, including two police officers, and the building sustained significant damage, including many offices of congressional representatives. Several prominent members of the alt-right participated in the raid or were present just outside the capitol, including internet personality Nick Fuentes.

Reading: Bitcoin capitol riot

It is not clear to what extent the attack on the capitol was planned in advance. Propublica reports that in the weeks leading up to it, many Trump supporters have spoken out about turning the event violent on Parler, a right-wing social media app now banned by most major tech platforms. however, we now have evidence that many far-right groups and personalities, including sources, received large bitcoin donations in a single transaction that occurred a month before the December 8 riots. We also gathered evidence that strongly suggests that the donor was now a deceased computer programmer based in France.

While we won’t share the identity of the donor publicly, we will show you how we made the identification and provide details about the donations below. the information we have uncovered shows that domestic extremism is not strictly domestic. international networks also play a role, which we see reflected in the nationality of this extremist donor. The donation, as well as reports of the planning that went into the capitol raid on far-right media outlets, also suggest that domestic extremist groups may be better organized and funded than previously thought.

the donations

On December 8, 2020, a donor sent 28.15 BTC, worth approximately $522,000 at the time of transfer, to 22 different addresses in a single transaction. many of those addresses belong to far-right activists and internet personalities.

Nick Fuentes received 13.5 BTC, worth approximately $250,000 at the time of transfer, making him by far the largest beneficiary of the donation. however, several others also received significant funding, including anti-immigration organization vdare, alt-right broadcaster ethan ralph, and several addresses whose owners have yet to be identified.

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While there is no evidence yet that sources entered the capitol—in fact, he explicitly denies entering the building—he was present at the initial demonstration and was seen outside the capitol when the riots began. sources promoted on social networks the demonstration that preceded the violence of the previous month. PBS notes that in the days before, sources encouraged their audience to engage in extreme behavior to prevent Joe Biden’s election from being certified, even hinting that state legislators should be killed. The sources had previously been banned on YouTube for hate speech, including Holocaust denial and promotion of other conspiracy theories.

The December 8th donation of over $250,000 in bitcoin is by far the largest cryptocurrency donation Fuentes has ever received. previously, the most he had ever received in a single month was $2,707 in bitcoin.

In fact, as we see in the graph above, this multi-recipient donation made December 2020 the largest month we have ever observed in terms of crypto received by addresses associated with domestic extremism. still, this donation is not unique. data shows that domestic extremists have been receiving a steady stream of cryptocurrency donations since 2016.

who is the extremist donor?

The extremist donor funded his donation wallet with cryptocurrencies from a French exchange, which he moved to the donation wallet through an intermediary we have dubbed the “extremist legacy wallet.”

The extremist legacy wallet was first activated in 2013, suggesting that the extremist donor is an early adopter of bitcoin, whose holdings have risen significantly in value. Using open source intelligence, we discovered that a BTC address associated with the Extremist Legacy Wallet is registered with NameID, a service that allows users to associate their online identity, email address, and other information with their Bitcoin address. in this case, the extremist donor associated his bitcoin address with the pseudonym “pankkake”.

In addition to his bitcoin address, the extremist donor also included an openpgp email address and signature.

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Searching for information on the email address led us to a personal blog that we believe belongs to the extremist donor and which identifies him as a French computer programmer. the blog had been inactive since 2014 until a new post was published on December 9, 2020, the day after the donations were made. surprisingly, the post appears to be a suicide note. you can read it on the screenshot below.

Most of the note details the author’s health problems, which it says prompted him to commit suicide, but the sections we’ve highlighted provide strong evidence that the author is the extremist donor. he mentions that he has “bequeathed [his] fortune to certain causes and certain people,” and cites various far-right talking points in his analysis of the world today. for example, he states his belief that “Western civilization is in decline” and claims that he encourages Westerners to hate their “ancestors and heritage”. He also apparently alludes to his belief that George Floyd died of a drug overdose and not due to the actions of the police officer who violently detained him. These are all common beliefs on the far right and paint a picture of donor motivations for sending cryptocurrency to so many far right figures.

stand united against domestic extremism

While we don’t know if these donations directly funded last week’s violent gathering at the capitol or any associated activity, the timing certainly raises suspicions. As the Biden administration prepares to fight domestic extremism, these donations are a reminder of the need to track the cryptocurrency activity of all designated terrorist groups and individuals, including those operating in the US. uu. I usually. As major payment platforms crack down on extremist groups and figures, we may see them adopt crypto more as a donation mechanism. Fortunately, thanks to the inherent transparency of cryptocurrency blockchains, law enforcement can track these transactions in real time and work with crypto companies to prevent funds from reaching violent groups that can use them to fund their operations and commit acts of violence. chainalysis is actively seeking to identify any further extremist payment and activity and will keep our customers updated.

This blog is an excerpt from the 2021 chainalysis cryptocrime report. click here to download all!

1/15/21 updates:

The media has confirmed the death of the French donor. The French publication 20 minutes confirmed the death of a French computer programmer who appears to have owned the bitcoin wallet from which they were sent. extremist donations. December, and the blog where the suicide note we posted earlier was posted. Reporter Philippe Berry spoke with someone who knew the donor personally, who confirmed his death by suicide on December 8, as well as the authenticity of the note and the health problems mentioned in it. the app also found a cached version of the obituary, including burial information, that had been deleted.

This transaction originally came to our attention based on a tip from yahoo news, who covered the story here. We have received many questions about it.

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