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Unknown assailants have attacked many pro-Bitcoin politicians in Russia in recent weeks

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INDIA

Sep, 24 2020

Sep, 24 2020

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There have been a bad couple of weeks for pro-Bitcoin / anti-Putin activists in Russia. First, on August 20, opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned.

Then on August 31, a prominent blogger Yegor Zhukov was beaten by unknown assailants.

They are two of the nation’s most ardent critics of President Putin. They have taken Bitcoin (BTC) donations in the past. However, their support of cryptocurrency is not the inciting factor behind these attacks. More likely, they are being silenced because they oppose the government. There were fears over having their donations seized. This has led to their acceptance of cryptocurrency as a side effect. This would not be dissimilar to WikiLeaks. Wikileaks chose to accept Bitcoin. This was after the U.S. government coerced PayPal into suspending its accounts.

 

Alexei has been perceived as the biggest (and perhaps only) challenger to Putin for over a decade. He has been subjected to many physical attacks and legal incriminations.

 

Zhukov is only 22 and a devout libertarian. He received public recognition in 2019 for his videos supporting protests in Moscow. Soon after, he was arrested for participating in unauthorized demonstrations. He was sentenced to three years’ probation. It was perceived as a victory by the opposition.

Some believe that the Kremlin conspired to carry out this recent wave of attacks. Situations may also have been agitated by the situation in neighboring Belarus. There, tens of thousands have been protesting. The protests are against what they perceive to be rigged presidential elections. The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, maybe in real danger of losing his power. This will happen for the first time since coming to power 26 years ago.

The protestors may have become digital currency supporters out of necessity. But it goes to illustrate the viable alternative to authoritarianism which decentralization provides.

Meanwhile, there has been a crypto business surge of 5% in Russia amidst the Covid-19 crisis.


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