Cryptocurrency donations to white nationalists increase ahead of Unite the Right rally: report

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency donations to white nationalists have reportedly surged in the lead-up to this year's "Unite the Right" rally in Washington, D.C.

Cryptocurrency donations to internet activist Weev, whose given name is Andrew Alan Escher Auernheimer, and his neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer are rising, according to data collected by cybersecurity expert John Bambenek, Forbes reported this week.

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Bambenek gathers data through his Neo-Nazi BTC Tracker Twitter bot, according to Forbes, which notes that the Daily Stormer collected about $60,000 in bitcoin and cryptocurrency donations for last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent, leaving one counterprotester dead.

Weev, who reportedly runs the technical side of the Daily Stormer website, has received about $1.8 million in cryptocurrency donations to his known wallet address, Forbes reported. 

"Many of these known neo-Nazis had hundreds of thousands of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies before the massive price rises we've seen over the last couple of years," said Bambenek. "They still have a great deal, and many choose to store their crypto in Monero — which is more anonymous than bitcoin."

Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency that centers around anonymity, according to Forbes.

Due to their relative anonymity and ease of use, many far-right extremists have used bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Forbes reported.

The Unite the Right rally, is scheduled to take place in Washington on Saturday. It's being organized by the same group that planned last year's demonstration in Charlottesville.