Who is pankakke? French programmer who donated over $500,000 in Bitcoin to Capitol rioters allegedly kills himself
Laurent Bachelier, a 35-year-old French computer programmer has come under the radar after he allegedly transferred about $500,000 worth of Bitcoin to MAGA supporters and far-right activists, who may have used the money during the Capitol riots on January 6. However, in a surprising turn of events, Bachelier, whose digital wallet's username was Pankakke, reportedly committed suicide a day after he transferred the money to the extremist groups.
According to Associated Press, a firm called Chainalysis, which investigates Bitcoin transactions, discovered that of the 22 transactions made by the French programmer, a majority of them were directed to Nick Fuentes, a far-right online activist, who was present during the riots. Fuentes, however, denied being part of the group that engaged in breaking into the building through doors and windows during the riots.
Bachelier transferred the money on December 8 and reportedly committed suicide on December 9. His death was confirmed by one of his relatives on the French website 20 Minutes. Daily Mail revealed that the French programmer left behind a suicide note, and even shared the contents of the note. The note was posted on his blog, posthumously.
It revealed that the 35-year-old suffered from several health ailments and was keen on leaving behind his fortune to "certain causes and people" that were affected by "unprecedented civil liberties violations" due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement protests.
In the letter, he also mentioned the "decline" of Western civilization and lamented the "rejection of our ancestors and our heritage". The blog post was tracked down by an Associated Press journalist. Following is a snippet from Bachelier's suicide note.
"While it's a long-term trend, this year, in particular, has shown how submissive the population can be. First when accepting unprecedented civil liberties violations on the pretense of a virus less dangerous than seasonal flu, than kneeling down for a career criminal who happened to die of an overdose while resisting arrest, of pretend to fight for freedom of speech while jailing people for their ideas."
"Oddly, as trust in media is at historic lows, the population has blindly accepted those reality distortions. To top it all, F9 has been pushed back to 2021, while referencing the delay in the release of the ninth installment of the 'Fast And The Furious' movie franchise.
Chainalysis, a startup based out of New York, which specializes in countering money laundering and fraud of digital currency, jumped into the investigation against the French programmer after Yahoo News allegedly provided the company some key data points about the transactions. The company used open-source intelligence to find a bitcoin address that was linked to the wallet registered under the pseudonym "pankakke".
The wallet has allegedly been active since 2013. Although the identity of "pankakke" wasn't revealed by Chainalysis, Daily Mail confirmed it as belonging to Laurent Bachelier. Although Chainalysis didn't directly correlate Bachelier's money to funding the riots, they did subtly imply it by pointing out how the timing of the transfer (exactly a month prior to the instigation of riots) warrants suspicion.