Large bitcoin payment made to far-right individuals before US Capitol attack - report

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Jan 14 (Reuters) - Payments in bitcoin worth more than $500,000 were made to 22 different virtual wallets, most of them belonging to far-right activists and internet personalities, before the storming of the U.S. Capitol, cryptocurrency compliance startup Chainalysis said on Friday.

The payments, made by a French donor, of 28.15 bitcoins were made on Dec. 8, the New York-based startup, specializing in countering money laundering and fraud in the digital currency space, said in a blog post. (https://bit.ly/3bG83yE)

Chainalysis said it now has evidence that many alt-right groups and personalities received large bitcoin donations as part of the single transaction.

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"We have also gathered evidence that strongly suggests the donor was a now-deceased computer programmer based in France," Chainalysis said in the report.

Nick Fuentes, who was permanently suspended from YouTube last year for hate speech, received 13.5 bitcoins, worth about $250,000 at the time of the transfer, making him by far the biggest beneficiary of the donation, according to the blog post.

Fuentes could not be reached for a request for comment.

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Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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