Making Sense of the New Zealand Shooter’s Mention of BitConnect4

Those of us in the U.S. awoke this morning to the horrible news of yet another terrorist attack by apparent white supremacists. It left at least 49 dead at two mosques in New Zealand. Four people have been detained, but attention has focused on one man, reportedly a white Australian in his late twenties, who appears to have posted a lengthy manifesto online just before the attack. In that lengthy document, the suspected attacker wrote that instead of attending a university he “worked for a short time before making some money investing in BitConnect, then used the money from the investment to travel.”

This appears to be the only mention of cryptocurrency of any sort in the document, which is relentlessly focused on repeating boilerplate white supremacist ideology. Nonetheless, given the gravity of events, it may prove significant to understanding this crime. The following is a brief attempt, by a journalist who has been focused on cryptocurrency for many years, to explain what BitConnect was and what significance its mention in this context might have, in part for the benefit of journalists and other researchers with less domain expertise.

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