Russia’s opposition leader Alexey Navalny's bitcoin donations have increased by 3.7 BTC since his arrest in Moscow last week. This amount is equivalent to $115,876 as of press time and shows how crypto-assets continue to play a role in fighting against authoritarian regimes. Hong Kong protesters had also resulted to BTC at the height of the pro-democracy protests last year.
Navalny, who had been in Germany receiving treatment, returned to Russia on Jan 17, where he was arrested at the airport. The opposition leader is a victim of Novichok poisoning; this military-grade nerve agent was used to poison him in August 2020. An event that saw Navalny spend months recovering in a German hospital announced that he would be back in Russia upon his recovery.
Increased Fiat & Crypto Donations
Well, things are now taking a different turn following Navalny’s return and Russians taking it to the streets to protest his arrest. Most notably, donations to the opposition political party ‘Foundation for Combating Corruption’ (FBK) have spiked significantly within the past week. Russians are now using fiat and crypto donations more aggressively to fight the Putin administration.
According to Navalny’s volunteer coordinator, Leonid Volkov, the share in BTC donations grew as a result of people contributing larger donations,
“Both Bitcoin and fiat donations spiked after the investigation release and [Navalny’s] arrest, and the share of bitcoin grew a bit because of a couple [of] large donations.”
While 2020 was not as fruitful as previous years, Navalny’s donations have received over 657 Bitcoins since the initiative launched five years ago. In recent donations, one whole BTC allegedly came from Navalny’s exiled millionaire friend, Evgeny Chichvarkin.
Meanwhile, Russian authorities have arrested over 3,000 individuals who participated in last week’s protest. This has sparked International spectators' interest, including Biden’s administration, which has asked for Navalny’s release. His volunteer coordinator Volkov also announced a fresh round of protests to be held at the end of this month.