The central theses
- The Russian authorities arrested the leader of the opposition party Alexei Navalny last Sunday at an airport, citing a 2014 conviction.
- Over 40,000 people protested against Navalny’s release.
- The Navalny political party bitcoin address has received $ 120,000 since it was arrested.
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A Bitcoin address related to the release of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has received over $ 120,000 as protesters flooded the streets of Moscow this weekend.
Bitcoin funding in the release protest
On January 17, Russian police in Moscow arrested Navalny at Moscow Airport when he was arriving from Berlin. Officials said a 2014 conviction provoked his arrest last Sunday.
Navalny called for a nationwide protest and citizens followed suit, with thousands of protesters pouring into the country’s capital.
Navalny’s political party Foundation for Combating Corruption (FBK) is a nonprofit that does not list the party’s BTC address for legal reasons. However, the group headquarters website linked on the homepage accepts donations via wire transfer, PayPal and Bitcoin.
The party’s address has received numerous donations totaling 3.5 BTC ($ 120,000) since its arrest and a total of 657.1 BTC ($ 21.3 million) since the party first accepted bitcoin donations. Donations continue to arrive at the address.
Bitcoin has been part of public protests and covert operations around the world, from helping protesters in Hong Kong last year to funding the U.S. Capitol riots more recently.
Vladimir Putin has described the protests as illegal and dangerous. More than 3,000 demonstrators were reportedly arrested in Moscow.
Who is Alexei Navalny?
Alexei Navalny is a lawyer who turned activist and began criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 2000s. He announced his presidential candidacy in 2016.
The political activist has been heavily criticized by the government, particularly for his reports against Putin. Navalny has spent time in jail on allegedly unlawful charges and was also poisoned – most recently in August, which put him in a coma.
The Russian opposition leader has received support from Joe Biden’s government and asked for his release.
In other cryptocurrency news, the Russian Ministry of Labor banned state officials from holding cryptocurrency. The new rule not only prevents federal and local employees from buying new cryptocurrency, it also calls for old purchases to be sold.
Disclosure: This author held Bitcoin at the time of publication.
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