New details about the source of the millions of dollars supporting Canadian truck drivers’ caravan indicate that many of the biggest donors are wealthy Canadians, although one of the biggest contributions has been in the name of an American tech entrepreneur.
The leaked data, purported to be from crowdfunding platform JeffSindgo, posted last night on a now-defunct webpage by an unknown hacker, lists records of more than 92,000 donations totaling more than $8 million. A review of the data shows that about $4.3 million came from Canada, while another $3.6 million originated from the United States, although the United States was responsible for most of the individual donations. Small donations from dozens of other countries made up a fraction of the total amount raised.
One of the largest donations, $90,000, is attributed to Thomas M. Seibel, a billionaire businessman and investor in Silicon Valley. He did not respond to a request for comment sent to the email address listed on the records and to his company.
Others who have made donations between $10,000 and $75,000 appear to be mostly Canadian business owners, with a few Americans in the mix.
Brad Howland, president of a New Brunswick-based company that makes pressure washers, appears in the leaked data as donating $75,000, leaving the comment: “Hold on!” In an email, Mr Holland confirmed he was a benefactor, saying the protests “will go down in the history books”.
“Our company and my family are proud to stand by these men and women as they support the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for our great nation,” he said.
A donation of $17,760, attributed in the data to Travis Moore of Idaho, was accompanied by the caption: “Let freedom ring, brothers of the North. Cryptocurrency is the future.” A request for comment sent to Mr Moore, using the email address listed in the donation records, was answered with a reply containing a meme objecting to the Covid restrictions.
Most comments left by donors expressed peaceful solidarity with the issue of opposing vaccine mandates and other restrictions related to the pandemic. However, positive messages were mixed together on a more serious tone, such as the one left by an American who donated $50: “I’d rather pay to support this movement now than pay for the lead later.”
The presence of crypto evangelists among the supporters of the caravan is evident in a separate set of statements reviewed by The New York Times. It shows that Bitcoin donations were made through a webpage that appeared after the initial fundraising tool, GoFundMe, pulled the plug on the campaign. The new site, called “Bitcoin for Truckers,” is hosted by a crypto crowdfunding service, and has raised $946,000 as of Monday morning.
The Bitcoin campaign, which has received more than 5,000 donations mostly of small dollars, has been supported by a handful of large payments from cryptocurrency boosters. The largest of the two, with a total value of more than $300,000 at the time of their manufacture, were donated, without revealing their identities.
Another series worth about $42,000 each appears to be linked to an online challenge by A Former software engineer who goes by the alias LaserHodl and asks other Bitcoin fans to join him in supporting the trucker’s caravan. Jesse Powell, founder of crypto exchange Kraken, He tweeted his approvalThe donation attributed to him is shown in the data.
Benjamin Dichter, one of the organizers of the caravan, said in a Press Conference Last week, after the crypto crowdfunding campaign began, he received offers of assistance from “major players” in the cryptocurrency markets.
“I was shocked by the speed with which I began to receive messages from some of the most prominent bitcoin clients in the world,” he said.
The GiveSendGo data leak was announced Sunday evening on a webpage titled “GiveSendGo is now frozen,” with a five-minute video clip in which a statement is swiped by anonymous hackers across a screen. In it, the hackers complained that the truck driver’s protest “has taken a city hostage” and warned that it “could be a cover for some kind of Trojan horse attack where extremists and militias might arrive in large numbers with weapons.”
The data contains a record of each donation that includes the donor’s name, zip code, and email address used. Not every donation can be independently verified, but some of them line up with donations that appeared publicly on GiveSendGo before it went offline.
For example, Mr. Siebel was cited last week by a Canadian News Network, who noted that his name appeared with the $90,000 donation, at the time of its submission, on the Caravan campaign’s web page. About half of the donations were not accompanied by a person’s name when they appeared publicly on the Page.
GiveSendGo, which was previously the target of another data hack that revealed personal information, such as driver’s licenses and passports, to some of the site’s users, was offline on Monday morning. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
Organizers launched the GiveSendGo campaign earlier this month after GoFundMe shut down an online fundraising campaign that raised nearly $7.8 million. Alex Shipley, a spokeswoman for GiveSendGo, told The Times in an email last week that the money will be used to “provide humanitarian assistance and legal support to peaceful truck drivers and their families.”