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Want to donate money to Meduza without anyone ever knowing about it? Here’s how.

6 cards
  • What happened?
  • Will any cryptocurrency do?
  • How do you use these anonymous cryptocurrencies? How does something like Monero work?
  • What about Zcash?
  • Can I set up recurring payments with these transfers?
  • Can Russians legally use cryptocurrency like this?

What happened?

Meduza is crowdfunding to compensate for lost advertising revenue, following the Russian Justice Ministry’s decision to designate us as a “foreign agent.” Many readers are asking if it’s possible to donate to Meduza completely anonymously — some of you have even offered to mail us cash. Unfortunately, we cannot accept cash. 

To help support Meduza’s survival, there are several donation options:

  • Debit payments (in rubles, euros, or U.S. dollars)
  • PayPal
  • Cryptocurrency transfers (Bitcoin, Etherium, BNB, Smart Chain, Monero, and Zcash)

Each of these payment options is perfectly legal — even Russian citizens have the right to send money to Meduza or any other declared “foreign agent.” The only anonymous donations we can accept, however, are in cryptocurrency. 

So let’s break down how to make a donation in cryptocurrency. If you’ve never used something like Bitcoin before, don’t worry. We’ll explain how it works here.


Will any cryptocurrency do?

You’re best off using one that supports private/anonymous transactions. To facilitate these transfers, Meduza created wallets for the cryptocurrencies Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC).

Whatever cryptocurrency you use, Meduza doesn’t know who is sending the money, but anonymous transactions ensure that no one else can identify you. 

Most cryptocurrencies don’t actually provide complete anonymity. For example, transfers made in Bitcoin or Ethereum are designed so that anyone could see which wallet is responsible for a particular donation. Granted, a wallet number isn’t enough to identify the individual owner, but most cryptocurrency exchanges and exchangers now demand from clients detailed personal information and copies of official documents before permitting them to conduct transactions in regular (fiat) money. In other words, if someone like the state authorities obtained access to these data, they could try to find out who donated the money.


How do you use these anonymous cryptocurrencies? How does something like Monero work?

Monero works just like any other cryptocurrency. If you don’t already own any cryptocurrency, it’s easiest to buy some at a cryptocurrency exchange. Create an account at Kraken or Binance, and report the personal information needed to get permission to operate with regular money. Kraken allows you to buy Monero (XMR) directly with your debit card, while you’ll need to buy another cryptocurrency and exchange it for Monero if you use Binance.

Theoretically, you could transfer this cryptocurrency immediately from your account to Meduza, but the exchanger would be aware that you made this transfer and it could store the information. For even greater security, you can create your own GUI (graphical user interface) wallet (for example, using a mobile device). In Kraken, add your wallet as a new withdrawal address and then transfer the cryptocurrency to the wallet. It may take some time for the funds to appear in your wallet. Once they have, you can make an anonymous donation to Meduza from your wallet.


What about Zcash?

Using Zcash is a bit more complicated. With this cryptocurrency, you can transfer funds to (open) “t-addresses” or (private) “z-addresses.” The only fully protected transfers are from one z-address to another z-address; external observers will be unable to see the sender, the recipient, or the amount of the transfer. Many cryptocurrency exchanges, however, are capable of transactions only between open t-addresses.

After buying Zcash (ZEC) at a cryptocurrency exchange (you can do this the same way you buy Monero), you’ll need to create a wallet that supports operations using both open and private addresses simultaneously (such as Zecwallet Lite). Transfer the cryptocurrency from the exchanger to your wallet’s “open” address. Once you’ve done this, you have two options for private transactions:

  • You can make a donation directly to Meduza from your open address to our private address;
  • Or, within your own wallet, you can transfer the funds from your open address to your private address, and then donate all or some of this sum from your private address to Meduza’s private address.

In both cases, the transfer’s recipient will remain secret. If you go the second route, you can also send Meduza an encrypted message, using the optional “memo” field.

To obfuscate your IP address and maximize your anonymity, install Zecwallet FullNode (instead of Zecwallet Lite) and connect over Tor.


Can I set up recurring payments with these transfers?

Unfortunately, you cannot. We, too, are disappointed.


Can Russians legally use cryptocurrency like this?

Yes, Russia hasn’t banned cryptocurrency, which is equated to property. Russians are, however, prohibited from paying for goods and services with cryptocurrency. Russians are still perfectly free to buy any cryptocurrency and donate it to others, including everyone’s favorite mass media outlet “performing the functions of a foreign agent.”

Text by Denis Dmitriev

Translation by Kevin Rothrock

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