Putin critic Navalny’s non-profit is still receiving Bitcoin — $24M and counting

Supporters of Alexei Navalny, the jailed-again critic of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, have now donated nearly $24.5 million worth of Bitcoin to his cause.

Blockchain data shows a Bitcoin address linked to Navalny’s non-profit Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has netted over 653 BTC since its creation in 2016.

FBK’s address has received 13 BTC in the past year (worth $481,000 at today’s prices) and 3.8 BTC ($140,600) since Navalny’s reported poisoning in August 2020.

Indeed, a steady stream of Bitcoin donations has flowed into FBK’s BTC wallet — even as it quadrupled in one month to set new highs above $40,000.

The largest donation (in terms of Bitcoin) so far was 25 BTC sent in April 2017, worth around $30,000 back then but $925,000 today.

The biggest by US dollar value was worth $105,400, when 10.45 BTC was donated in September 2019.

Navalny fans are also donating in Bitcoin Cash, but so far they’ve sent just 159 BCH ($83,400).

Rick and Morty on-screen.

Of course, the US dollar value of FBK’s Bitcoin donations depends heavily on when it cashes them out.

Protos calculated FBK would’ve netted about $3.5 million if it swapped its BTC for fiat on receipt. This also means Navalny’s foundation could be up 600% if it’s chosen to hold.

In any case, Bitcoin flowing in lately gets taken out just as quickly. Earlier today, a supporter donated 1 BTC ($36,800), but now the address holds less than $100.

In fact, the address has never kept more than $110,000 worth of Bitcoin at any one time, despite raising millions.

Navalny’s FBK dissolved, but not out

Navalny started dissolving FBK in last July after an alleged Kremlin-linked businessman sued it for $1.6 million in a libel lawsuit.

In 2018, a Moscow court ordered another Navalny foundation to close for fundraising via Bitcoin.

Navalny returned to Russia this week, five months after being hospitalized in Germany for what’s been labelled Novichok poisoning.

[Read more: Gab’s QAnon groups are ironically overrun with Trumpcoins]

Local police arrested Navalny on arrival, having jailed an FBK member for inciting extremism online a day earlier — moves that prompted a string of world leaders to rebuke the Russian government.

A fresh FBK investigation into Putin’s alleged $1.35 billion palace has since surfaced online.

Update 21:22 UTC, Jan 19: Correction in the third paragraph, 13 BTC is worth $481,000.

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