Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny raises $3 million in Bitcoin (BTC)

25 Apr, 2019
by David Robb
Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny raises $3 million in Bitcoin (BTC)

A politician believed to be the leader of the Russian opposition has taken advantage of Bitcoin to raise a significant amount of funds. Putin opponent Alexei Navalny has received around 591 BTC in donations, worth roughly $3 million, as reported by CoinDesk.

Navalny runs an investigative center known as the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which has published exposés of government officials, including prime minister Dimitri Medvedev and attorney general Yuri Chaika. 

The amount of BTC Navalny had received was brought up recently on pro-Putin television network Tsargard TV, as the timing of the donations was called into question. Several large ones had been made around the time of some recent exposés, which were alleged to be paid 'hitpieces'.

An anonymous Telegram channel related to the FBK claimed that on November 21, 2018, a donation of 19.9 BTC was made. November 22 then saw a video published about an individual known as Sergei Brilev. Other examples are given of large transactions followed by information being released.

FBK Chief of Staff Leonid Volkov denied that the investigations were financially motivated, telling news publication Znak that "each time Encke’s Comet approaches the Earth it coincides with a big war: 1914 (First World War), 1941 (World War II) and 2014 (War on Eastern Ukraine). But its rotation period is three years, and it approached the Earth many times when there were no big wars". This was presumably supposed to mean that the timing was a coincidence.

The official website for Navalny's campaign has a link to a BTC address, and blockchain analysis shows that it has been involved in over 2,000 Bitcoin transactions, dating back to December 2016.

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