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This Twitter Bot Tracks Neo-Nazi Bitcoin Transactions

• motherboard.vice.com by Louise Matsakis

After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month turned violent, a number of tech companies including GoDaddy and Cloudflare stopped supporting the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website. It now struggles to maintain a presence on the surface web. But its staff are still steadily raising funds: Monday, one recently-created Bitcoin wallet associated with the site received a donation for more than $100 USD. Tuesday, another, older Bitcoin wallet received a similarly-sized donation.

Though Bitcoin's value fluctuates daily, the Daily Stormer retains around $80,000 in the digital currency, and has received more than $200,000 since it started accepting it back in 2014, according to Bitcoin transactions listed in wallets controlled by the site. The Daily Stormer isn't alone: Racists have been raising significant funds via Bitcoin for years.

Now, a new Twitter bot created this month by security researcher John Bambenek is tracking just how much money they're collecting. It monitors a handful or so Bitcoin wallets associated with white supremacists, and reports when a donation is made. It also tweets updates on the amount of money Bitcoin wallets connected to hate groups have saved up.

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