Vice - May 13, 2022
White nationalist so-called “groypers” have also been prominent beneficiaries of crypto—in particular their leader, Nicholas Fuentes. His supporters lamented the collapse of crypto in the live chat during one of his streaming sessions earlier this week. “Anyone else staring at their portfolio instead of working today?” wrote one viewer with the handle “Chicago Groyper.”
American white nationalist Richard Spencer once declared Bitcoin as “the currency of the alt right.”
But now, Bitcoin and just about every cryptocurrency are in full-on crisis mode, because the crypto market has lost roughly $1 trillion in value since November. And some folks on far-right online message boards aren’t taking it particularly well.
Cryptocurrency has been a magnet for domestic extremists ever since payment processors like Stripe and PayPal scrambled to deplatform the far-right in the wake of the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. A recent investigation by Southern Poverty Law Center identified more than 600 crypto addresses with known white supremacists and far-right extremists, with an estimated value in the millions of dollars as Bitcoin's price skyrocketed over the years.
Now, the global meltdown in cryptocurrencies is creating anxiety, desperation, and frantic posts casting blame in online forums that cater especially to the extreme right.
To take just one example: A poster on 4chan, a traditional favorite hangout for white supremacists, claimed crypto is falling because Jews “want you losing money like idiots”—in a post that put three parentheses around the word “they” in an online code often used by antisemites to refer to Jews.
Meanwhile, the Telegram channel associated with the New Jersey chapter of the far-right, street-fighting Proud Boys shared a mock image of the 4chan business channel that featured a lengthy row of screaming, cartoon faces, with all-caps “AAAA” as the only commentary. (Proud Boys and their former chairman Enrique Tarrio pushed hard on Dogecoin.) ...
Read the full report at Vice