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Tor Project’s crypto donations increased 23% in 2020

The cryptocurrency community has been doubling down on its support to privacy-centric applications like Tor Browser in 2020, according to new data.

The Tor Project, a non-profit organization behind the anonymous Tor Browser, saw a 23% increase in cryptocurrency donations in 2020. A spokesperson at the Tor Project told Cointelegraph that crypto-powered donations surged from $189,637 in 2019 to $233,019 in 2020.

According to a Jan. 25 announcement by the project, crypto donations made up nearly 26% of total individual donations, which amounted to $913,110. According to a Tor Project representative, Bitcoin (BTC) was the most popular cryptocurrency for their donors in 2020, followed by Ether (ETH) and privacy-focused altcoins like Monero (XMR):

“We have seen that Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency for our donors, followed by Ethereum and Monero — these two currencies are about evenly split for second most popular. Next most popular is Zcash.”

The Tor Project has emerged as a major Bitcoin-friendly nonprofit, having started accepting BTC donations back in 2013. In March 2019, the Tor Project expanded the number of supported cryptocurrencies for donations, adding eight altcoins including Ether, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) Dash (DASH), Stellar Lumens (XLM) and others.

The project’s move to support more cryptocurrencies for donations was apparently widely appreciated in the crypto community as Bitcoin holders got an opportunity to keep their BTC and donate in other digital currencies instead. In September 2019, Matt Odell, a Bitcoin maximalist and co-host of the Tales from the Crypt podcast, urged the community to support the Tor Project with altcoins, not Bitcoin. “Donate shitcoins. stack sats,” Odell wrote in his XLM transaction to the Tor Project.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were becoming increasingly popular as a tool for donations in 2020. Dave Portnoy’s Barstool Fund — an initiative to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — started accepting crypto donations through The Giving Block in late 2020.