The Bitcoin-Russian Information Warfare Nexus

Frequently, consumers of Russian disinformation who are Libertarian seem fixated on the idea of gold and bitcoin as replacement for the US dollar as a global reserve currency. Ron Paul has specifically called out bitcoin as a great way to “destroy the dollar”. This has been a stated objective of Vladimir Putin since at least 2009. In this vein, the well-known ‘gray-market internet entrepreneur’ (and criminal) Kim Dotcom is an interesting case study which shows the nexus between internet-based Libertarian voices hyping bitcoin and Russian information warfare / disinformation. It would seem to be a reciprocally cooperative agreement.

Here is a summary of information:

1.) Since at least 2015, Kim Dotcom had been hyping his Twitter followers to purchase gold and bitcoin on the expectation of market crashes in both China and Greece .

2.) Russia Today (RT) has promoted the Bitcoin-based file sharing business of Kim Dotcom and otherwise portrayed his businesses and political claims positively. (Similar businesses operated by Dotcom have been implicated in facilitation of criminal activity, leading to his problems with US law enforcement since at least 2012.)

3.) To substantiate this relationship, Dotcom is also unabashedly pro-Putin. This meme for example highlights the theme of Strong Putin : Weak Obama which has been connected to Russian efforts to influence veterans and service people during the 2016 election period. The post was noted as a “troll” of Obama at RT which celebrated the social media move.

4.) ZeroHedge – a financial blog connected to Russian information narratives which disproportionately covers bitcoin (see below table) – ran stories which highlighted how Kim Dotcom claimed to have special (derogatory) knowledge about Hillary Clinton. The story emphasized that since at least December 2014, he claimed he would be “Hillary’s worst nightmare in 2016.”  Six months later, he dialed back his suggestion to claim that it was “more Julian [Assange] who threatens Hillary” (and who was her “worst nightmare”) but that he was “aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her”, reinforcing the idea that Assange-WikiLeaks were in possession of incriminating evidence on Hillary Clinton.

Showing how pro-Putin financial blog Zerohedge has much more bitcoin content than other sites based on indexed Google pages. (Invisible column for search site:sitename.com intitle:”bitcoin” ) Data collected mid August 2017.

5.) Dotcom involved himself in promoting an idea that he was in possession of knowledge that Seth Rich had been killed by the DNC , echoing a well-debunked conspiracy theory connected to WikiLeaks . ZeroHedge treated this story credibly (as though it was “real” news). Dotcom also specifically deflected charges of attribution to Russia.  (In this case, he directly injected himself into the story, claiming he himself had been in contact with Seth Rich. Dotcom’s promotion of this narrative echoes suggestions of a “Clinton body count” promoted by groups connected to Russia like Alex Jones’ ‘Infowars’.) The Seth Rich conspiracy has been equated with distinctly Russian style-disinformation campaigns.

Altogether, there is clear evidence that Kim Dotcom made good on his promise to attack Hillary Clinton. Dotcom has become personally involved in the Seth Rich conspiracy story and has thus produced a narrative that has emerged in direct contradiction to the forensic findings of US intelligence officials (re: “Guccifer 2.0”). This story was spread through known and suspected Russian disinformation ‘third parties’ like Infowars and Zerohedge. He also has worked closely with the Russian state information machinery (RT.com), worked closely with hostile intelligence connected to Russia (WikiLeaks), and attempted to stoke fears of market crashes which would damage global fiat currencies (simultaneously promoting bitcoin).

While both Assange and Dotcom “share the same prosecutor” — and that could motivate them to collaborate — there is strong evidence to suggest they not only lie together, but they ‘fly together’ too. There is clear evidence of this informational ‘dyad’ collaborating with Russian sources to spread known disinformation and that they have enormously profited from bitcoin through these associations.

This would seem connected to efforts to get “Clinton dirt” from WikiLeaks by figures close to the Trump administration and the presence of money-laundering connected parties. (Donald Trump Jr. – who directly communicated with WikiLeaks- has established himself as a reader of the Zerohedge website in relation to anti-Clinton conspiracy theory. Roger Stone may also have had direct contact with WikiLeaks and was a notable amplifier of the Seth Rich conspiracy as portrayed by Kim Dotcom.)

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