Russian Media Outlet Asks for Crypto Donations After Being Labeled ‘Foreign Agents’ by the Kremlin

In what can only be described as a cry for help, a Russian media outlet specializing in cryptocurrency news called bit-bay has launched a crypto-based fundraiser with the goal of raising 1,000 BTC to get by. The reason is unknown, but it is believed that the media outlet was recently labeled a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin, which caused a financial crisis that forced them to seek alternative methods to make ends meet.

A news outlet in Russia has launched an unorthodox fundraising campaign, asking its readers to donate cryptocurrency to help offset the cost of its legal battle with the Russian government. Specifically, the outlet, TV Rain, is asking its readers to donate to the Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses associated with its defense fund, which was set up by its parent company, RTVi. TV Rain is still trying to gather information on the status of the donations received, and has not announced what it plans to do with the funds.

Russian authorities recently declared one of the country’s leading independent media outlets a foreign agent. These maneuvers have led to Meduza holding fundraisers in fiat and cryptocurrencies to survive the fallout from the labeling.

TheFoundation will accept donations in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance Coin.

According to a statement released by the newspaper, Russia’s Justice Ministry issued Meduza on 23… April to the list of media outlets that are foreign agents. This means that each of their news or social posts should be accompanied by a message notifying readers of the new status.

Meduza’s team, however, argues that by labeling them this way, the Kremlin considers them an enemy of the state. This makes it more difficult to do journalistic work, such as gathering information or reporting, the statement said.

Since then, advertisers have terminated their relationship with the publication, disrupting the financial flow that allows the publication to survive, and a significant number of our advertisers are expected to drop out in the coming weeks.

In this regard, Ivan Kolpakov, editor-in-chief of Meduza, announced the launch of a fundraising campaign that accepts donations via debit cards, Paypal or digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Etherium (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB).

Under the Law on Foreign Agents adopted in 2012, non-governmental organizations that receive foreign aid and engage in political activities must register in Russia with such a seal and have their financial activities audited by the authorities.

Meduza has entered the top 10 most-cited Russian-language Internet sources in 2020.

Can we pay journalists in cryptocurrencies to avoid future sanctions?

But there could be even more dangerous consequences in terms of media funding. In fact, the editorial statement regarding the indemnification of journalists after Meduza was granted foreign agent status read as follows.

(…) Writers paid by Meduza now risk falling into the category of individual foreign agents. If this happens (and there are already precedents), they will be obliged to declare all their income and expenses to the Russian Ministry of Justice, as Meduza is currently obliged to do. Errors in reporting can lead to fines and even criminal charges and imprisonment. So it’s easier than ever to put pressure on our reporters.

However, the press release did not disclose any further plans for the continuation of the Fund’s activities after its establishment.

What do you think about fundraising with crypto-currencies as an alternative source of revenue for the media? Let us know your comments in the section below.

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