Groups involved in ethnically and racially motivated terrorism are increasingly relying on cryptocurrencies to drum up funds, according to a new report.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) says Bitcoin has risen in popularity because such groups cannot process credit card payments. In some cases, privacy coins are accepted to ensure that users can remain anonymous.
According to the authors:
“There has been plenty of interest in virtual assets from different extreme right-wing groups and individuals looking for anonymity, especially after being removed from mainstream payment platforms. ERW actors that feel more security-conscious and desire a greater level of secrecy, often choose VAs. However, notably there is limited information on the volume of funds being transferred in this way.”
A Concerning Trend
The FATF report noted that Brenton Tarrant, who carried out the New Zealand terror attack in 2019 and killed 51 people, had made several donations to extreme right-wing groups using Bitcoin.
Organizations such as the Nordic Resistance Movement have also “encouraged its followers to donate Bitcoin via various payment platforms.”
The report concluded:
“Successful disruption of ERW groups and individuals, and their violent activities, requires an understanding of how they are financed.”