White nationalist Richard Spencer, who says he uses bitcoin, is restrained by police in Charlottesville in August. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Bitcoin has become a refuge for far-right extremists looking to make payments and take in donations, according to a Washington Post report. After bans from services like Google, GoDaddy, and PayPal, some on the far-right turned to the decentralized cryptocurrency to conduct transactions, reaping a financial windfall in the process with bitcoin's rise in value.
Why it matters: Without access to more traditional online financial options, some extremist groups may have ironically gained a massive windfall by moving to bitcoin earlier this year. And this battle illustrates larger questions about free speech in the Internet age, especially surrounding how much right an online service provider might have to regulate who uses its products.