BRUSSELS — The Daily Stormer website advocates for the purity of the white race, posts hate-filled, conspiratorial screeds against Blacks, Jews and women and has helped inspire at least three racially motivated murders. It has also made its founder, Andrew Anglin, a millionaire.
Anglin has tapped a worldwide network of supporters to take in at least 112 Bitcoin since January 2017 — worth $4.8 million at today’s exchange rate — according to data shared with The Associated Press. He’s likely raised even more.
Anglin is just one very public example of how radical right provocateurs are raising significant amounts of money from around the world through cryptocurrencies. Banned by traditional financial institutions, they have taken refuge in digital currencies, which they are using in ever more secretive ways to avoid the oversight of banks, regulators and courts, finds an AP analysis of legal documents, Telegram channels and blockchain data from Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency analytics firm.
Anglin owes more than $18 million in legal judgments in the United States to people whom he and his followers harassed and threatened. And while online, he remains visible — most days, dozens of stories on the Daily Stormer homepage carry his name — in the real world, Anglin’s a ghost.
His victims have tried — and failed — to find him, searching at one Ohio address after another. Voting records place him in Russia in 2016 and his passport shows he was in Cambodia in 2017. After that, the public trail goes cold. He has no obvious bank accounts or real estate holdings in the US For now, his Bitcoin fortune remains out of reach.
Beth Littrell, a lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center who is helping represent one of Anglin’s victims, says it’s grown harder to use the legal system to stamp out hate groups because now they operate with online networks and virtual money. “We were able to sue the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization, in essence out of existence,” she said. Doing the same today is much harder, she said. “The law is evolving but lagging behind the harm.”
In August 2017, a week after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Anglin received 14.88 Bitcoins, an amount chosen for its oblique references to a 14-word white supremacist slogan and the phrase “Heil Hitler” because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. Worth around $60,000 at the time, it was his biggest Bitcoin donation ever and would be valued at over $641,000 at today’s exchange rate. The source of the funds remains a mystery. Anglin now faces charges in US court for conspiring to plan and promote the deadly march.
By the time of Charlottesville, Anglin had been cut off by credit card processors and banned by PayPal so Bitcoin was his main source of funding. In his “Retard’s Guide to Using Bitcoin,” published in April 2020, he claimed to have funded the Daily Stormer exclusively through Bitcoin for four years.
“I’ve got money now. I’ve got money to pay for the site for the foreseeable future,” he wrote in December 2020, as Bitcoin’s price surged.