Tor Official Announcement Shows 841% Surge in Cryptocurrency Contributions to Tor Project in 2021, Ensuring Regular Access to the Dark Web for Russian Users
In the final months of each year, the Tor Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, holds fundraising events in hopes of gaining support. In a blog post at the end of January, Tor said that cryptocurrency donations to the privacy-focused nonprofit Tor Project jumped 841 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year.
The Tor Project directs the development of Tor, the privacy network and web browser, and in late January the team announced the results of its largest fundraising campaign conducted in the final months of 2021. 150 percent more money was raised in 2021 than in 2020, up to $940,361, compared to just $376,315 in 2020. Of the $940,000 raised throughout 2021, 58% of donations were in cryptocurrency, totaling $548,647. This represents an 841 percent increase compared to 2020, when donors sent $58,296 in cryptocurrency.
According to AlSmith, director of fundraising for the Tor Project, "It's clear that cryptocurrency people are very charitable and they care deeply about online privacy."
Of the cryptocurrency donations, 68% ($373,000) were in the form of Bitcoin, 28% ($154,000) in Ether, 2% ($11,000) in DAI, and 1% ($5,000) in the privacy coin Monroe.
Tor officials thanked the cryptocurrency community for their strong support in the announcement, with special thanks to Gitcoin Grants for including them in the funding round that intersected with this event. Everyone who makes an individual donation on the Gitcoin platform (https://gitcoin.co/grants/2805/the-tor-project) by December 31, 2021 is included in this number.
The cryptocurrency community is more privacy conscious than most, going back to Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, who hid his true identity when he launched the digital currency system in 2009.
The Tor network also plays an important role in improving cryptocurrency privacy. Bitcoin core nodes offer the option of sending traffic through a cryptographic privacy network to hide the node's IP address and thus shield the node's location. According to Bitcoin network tracking site Bitnodes, more than 51% of nodes run on the Tor network.
The Tor Project began accepting bitcoin donations in 2013, then expanded to accept nine other cryptocurrencies in 2019. the official Tor announcement says: "Through donations in 2021 and over the past few years, the Tor Project has managed to add the Snowflake Bridge to the Tor Browser stable; create a Tor forum that allows direct contact with users experiencing censorship and blocking; hired translators to localize guides to route around censorship into Russian; kept the back end of all this infrastructure healthy and you enabled Tor to work in a flexible way to respond immediately to censorship emergencies."
The Tor announcement stated that in late 2021, the Russian government began to increase censorship of Tor, gradually escalating from blocking www.torproject.org to using various methods to block the Tor network. Each ISP reacted differently to the directive, but saw censorship unfold in various forms across Russia. the Tor Project acted quickly and mobilized their community members to build hundreds of new bridges, making it possible for users in Russia to stay online and successfully access the dark web.
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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