Crypto Donations to Tor Surged 841% in 2021

Of the nearly $1 million raised by the non-profit, 58% of the donations were in cryptocurrencies.

AccessTimeIconFeb 2, 2022 at 9:33 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:53 p.m. UTC
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Crypto donations to privacy-focused non-profit The Tor Project surged 841% in 2021 compared with the previous year, Tor said in a blog post from Monday.

The Tor Project steers the development of the privacy network and web browser Tor. On Jan. 31, the team published the results of its biggest fundraising drive, which took place over the last few months of 2021.

Of $940,000 raised, 58% of donations were in cryptocurrencies. This is a much larger percentage compared to 2020, when donors sent $58,000 in crypto.

"It's clear that cryptocurrency folks are extremely philanthropic, and that they care deeply about privacy online," Tor Project fundraising director Al Smith told CoinDesk.

Of the crypto donations, 68% ($371,000) where in the form of bitcoins, 28% ($154,000) were in ether, 2% ($9,000) in DAI and 1% ($7l) was in monero, a privacy coin.

The cryptocurrency community is more privacy-conscious than most, going back to Bitcoin's creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, who hid his or her real identity when launching the digital currency system in 2009.

The Tor network plays a big role in improving cryptocurrency privacy as well. Bitcoin core nodes provide the option of sending traffic over an encrypted privacy network to hide the node's IP addresses, shielding the node's location. According to the Bitcoin network tracking site Bitnodes, more than 51% of nodes run over the Tor network.

The Tor Project started accepting bitcoin donations in 2013 before expanding to accept nine other cryptocurrencies in 2019.


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Alyssa Hertig

Alyssa Hertig is a programmer and journalist specializing in Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. She's currently writing a book exploring the ins and outs of Bitcoin governance. Alyssa owns some BTC.

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