Unmasking the Deceased Programmer Who Donated 28 Bitcoin to Capitol Hill Rioters

Key Takeaways

  • Laurent Bachelier, AKA Pankkake, was an early adopter of Bitcoin, often rubbing shoulders with figures like Monero developer Riccardo Spagni in IRC chatrooms in 2013.
  • Citing the downfall of Western civilization, Pankkake allegedly sent white nationalists in the U.S. $500,000, including almost $250,000 in BTC, to “white majoritarian” Nick Fuentes.
  • Bachelier suffered from a serious illness and posted a suicide note on his blog the day after the donation.

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Supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Washington D.C. Capitol Building last week in protest of Trump’s election defeat, killing five people, including two police officers. Reports later revealed that many involved had been funded with Bitcoin.

Many alt-right and white nationalist figures were present at the riots, including self-described “white majoritarian” Nick Fuentes, outspoken neo-nazi Baked Alaska, and various other high-profile white supremacists.

Nick Feuntes at Capitol Hill. Source: Twitter
Nick Fuentes (center) at Capitol Hill. Source: Twitter

The riot was planned via the social media site Parler starting Jan. 6, with Wild Protest movement leader Ali Alexander stating, “If DC escalates… so do we.”

Bitcoin Funds Capital Riots

On Dec. 8, a single donor sent over 28.15 BTC worth over $520,000 at the time to multiple alt-right figures and organizations, including figures directly involved in the Capitol Hill unrest. 

Cybersecurity firm Chainalysis identified the transactions and tracked them, building a paper trail.

Through the Namecoin blockchain, Chainalysis identified the donor as “Pankkake.” According to Chainalysis, domestic extremists in the U.S. have been receiving foreign funding traceable on the Bitcoin blockchain since at least 2016.

Nick Fuentes, a self-described “white majoritarian” and anti-LGBT speaker banned from YouTube for denying the Holocaust, received 45% of the Dec. 8 funds. That sum amounted to 13.5 BTC or approximately $250,000 at the time.

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