Hamas Fundraiser Is Linked To Coinbase Bitcoin Account By Blockchain Analysis

Hamas Fundraiser Is Linked To Coinbase Bitcoin Account By Blockchain Analysis

Hamas, a controversial Palestinian military-political group, which is deemed as a terrorist organization by the government of the United States and Israel and as a freedom fighter by Palestinians, has been recently linked to a Coinbase crypto account.

According to Whitestream, a blockchain analytics company based in Israel, several Bitcoin wallets have been linked to the military group. Some of these wallets are featured on the site of Hamas, which asks for BTC donations to “support the resistance”. It looks like there is not a lot of support, though, as Hamas was able to get less than $4,000 USD in Bitcoin with its campaign.

None of this is actually very surprising as groups that operate outside of the law often use cryptos as a way to circumvent their sanctions, however, one of these wallets belonged to Coinbase, which is a company set in the United States, which declares Hamas as terrorists. This would constitute terrorism financing, according to the local.

Local Israeli reports affirm that the Coinbase wallet continued to receive transactions even 48 hours after it was identified. Itsik Levy, the CEO of Whitestream, has used shared inputs to determine that these were, in fact, Coinbase wallets.

Levy affirmed that similar organizations tried to get funds the same way before, so it is not a new strategy to try fundraisers. Despite being against the U. S. law, the campaign continues.

Not Only Coinbase

While Coinbase, a U. S.-based company, could have huge problems by giving an account to a Hamas member, some other companies were also involved in the transactions. Binance, the largest exchange in the world, and CoinPayments, which is legally incorporated in the Cayman Islands have also had their wallets used by the Palestinian group.

Despite all this letting, some people worried because cryptos are used to finance organizations which are deemed as terrorists, the fact is that terrorists are not very common. According to Levy, “only 2%” of all Bitcoin transactions are connected to any kind of criminal activity, terrorism or not.

The numbers may seem low to Levy, but 2% is actually a lot. Not a lot to stain Bitcoin’s legitimacy, but certainly a lot of money involved in illegal activities.

Despite these numbers, Hamas’ statistics are almost irrelevant. $4,000 USD is basically nothing compared to even 0.1% of the Bitcoin volume in a single day, so despite being against the law, nobody should be too concerned with a campaign that raises such a small amount of money, as it possibly does not even mean a big source of income for even Hamas itself.

The main concern is that companies which are acting legally in countries that have anti-terrorism financing laws are allowing these groups to use their services, which could bring legal consequences that could affect their other customers.

In a curious twist, local reports affirm that Hamas members affirm that people can use Bitcoin to donate without leaving a trace, which is not the truth. Bitcoin is actually easy to trace, so it looks like some Hamas supporters may also face some trouble down the road by being misinformed by the organization.

The Hamas campaign seems to be inspired by a similar one made by the Islamic State’s Gaza wing, a rival of Hamas, which got $8,000 USD with Bitcoin last year.


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