To cope with the impacts of the war in Ukraine, this independent Russian media outlet must now rely solely on foreign funds. These are sent to it in the form of fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC).
BTC and ETH to finance journalistic independence in Russia
The traditional funding of Russian independent media outlet Meduza via rubles is among the casualties of the war in Ukraine. The media outlet had to turn to cryptocurrencies to be able to fund its activities. As an independent media outlet, Meduza has been under pressure from the Putin Administration since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The authorities are indeed repressing independent reports that try to cover the conflict in the Ukrainian neighbor. These conditions are not very favorable to the development of the “real” profession of journalist in the country. In addition, Meduza had already been designated, in 2021, as a “foreign agent” by the Russian government.
International funding enabled by cryptocurrency
Given this difficult context, the media then wanted to relocate its 25 journalists to Latvia. However, this move and the continuation of the newspaper’s activities are faced with the lack of funding.
Meduza can no longer count on the support of its 30,000 Russian readers. They can no longer make payments via Stripe. The payment gateway had to suspend its services in Russia to comply with sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.
In order to get the financial resources it needs, Meduza must therefore reach out to an international audience and expand the payment methods they accept: card, bank transfer, PayPal, and crypto-currencies – Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Binance coin (BNB), BEP-20 tokens from the Binance Smart Chain, Tether (USDT), Monero (XMR), and Zcash (ZEC).
The BTC and ETH addresses posted on the media site currently hold 3.75 BTC – just over $110,000 – and 49.92 ETH – just over $110,000.
Meduza’s editor-in-chief, Ivan Kolpakov, said that the media outlet has received about half of the funds it needs. Moreover, he emphasized that Meduza depends, for the first time, entirely on funding from abroad.