Foreign Policy: Neo-Nazis Bet Big on Bitcoin (And Lost): How the far-right’s failed cryptocurrency gamble became a bad joke for the Christchurch killer — by me

As I posted on Friday, the murderous neo-Nazi terrorist claimed in his manifesto to be into cryptos.

This was just more trolling nonsense from the alt-right — but James Palmer from Foreign Policy asked if there was a piece in it. Most of the press coverage of neo-Nazis and Bitcoin was from the bubble era — though Breaker did good pieces last October and December — so I figured there was room for an update. I interviewed some experts, and here’s the piece.

In summary: the Nazis were very hopeful that Bitcoin was the way out of their problems with getting kicked off PayPal … but it didn’t work out that way.

My favourite line:

One neo-Nazi podcaster found a credit card processor that was fine with the content of his show but said he was untouchable for another reason: He was considered a money laundering risk because he dealt in cryptocurrency.

I also covered the crossover between the Bitcoin subculture and people who buy into these ideas. The good news is that it’s really very small! The not-so-good news is that it’s greater than zero, and that Bitcoin started out this way. I don’t expect crypto people to be pleased with this section, but it’s also what’s out there in the subculture. Beware of fellow bitcoiners talking about international banker conspiracies and the Rothschilds.

Update: The piece has been translated for Newsweek Japan! (No, I don’t get paid again.) The Foreign Policy version also made their list of best weekend reads.

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