Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and several other countries, but its status is a subject of political and international debate.
- Cryptocurrency funding increases amid Hamas conflicts.
- Israeli authorities freeze 100+ Binance accounts with suspected Hamas ties.
- Global initiative targets digital currencies used for illicit purposes.
- US regulators previously alleged connections between Binance and Hamas.
In the midst of escalating conflicts involving the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the world of cryptocurrency has witnessed a surge in fundraising activities. Hamas has been exploiting a global financial network, including cryptocurrencies, to gather support from charities and sympathetic nations while evading international sanctions.
Israel Freezes Over 100 Binance Hamas-Linked Accounts
Israel, in response to these developments, has taken action by freezing numerous crypto accounts and seizing millions of dollars in cryptocurrency following recent attacks on the country. According to a report from FT, more than 100 accounts on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange suspected of having links to Hamas have been closed since the commencement of the organization’s assault on October 7. Additionally, Israeli authorities have requested further information regarding around 200 crypto accounts, a majority of which are held on the Binance platform.
These measures are part of a broader global initiative to regulate and oversee digital currencies in an effort to curb their exploitation for illegal purposes. Cryptocurrencies, with their decentralized structure and potential for user anonymity, have become favored fundraising tools among terrorist groups.
Binance confirmed its compliance with the recognized sanctions rules but did not disclose the exact number of accounts blocked.
Tom Alexandrovich, the executive director at the Israel National Cyber Directorate, emphasized the significance of cryptocurrency in financing terrorism during times of conflict, stating, “In this period of war, cryptocurrency is a major issue for financing terror because there are no other options. The amount (of crypto funds) has super-increased since the attack began.”
Reports from sources familiar with Israel’s enforcement efforts indicate that approximately 150 donation campaigns associated with Hamas and other groups have been identified since October 7. Last week, the Israeli police force announced via social media that it had frozen an unspecified number of accounts used by Hamas for fundraising.
First off, if you’re a terrorist org, you’re not going to use a CEX where you have to register your ID. Even if you use a DEX it’s not hard to figure out where shady shit is happening on the blockchain, if you’re the NSA, FBI, or CIA… https://t.co/PtqZ19J3k5
— BlueChecksMatter (@CheckThatBlue) October 17, 2023
Previously, US financial regulators alleged connections between funds held on Binance and Hamas. In a lawsuit filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against the exchange in March, it was claimed that senior Binance executives had received information related to “Hamas transactions” in 2019. According to the lawsuit, a Binance employee at the time mentioned that terrorists typically send “small sums” because “large sums constitute money laundering.” Binance has expressed its intention to contest the lawsuit.
The recent actions taken by Israeli authorities to freeze cryptocurrency accounts linked to Hamas highlight the growing concern of digital currencies being exploited for illicit purposes, particularly in the context of conflicts. This development underscores the need for increased regulatory measures and vigilance within the crypto industry to prevent misuse by terrorist organizations.
Additionally, the involvement of US financial regulators in the allegations against Binance adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing debate about the regulation of cryptocurrencies and their role in facilitating illegal activities. This case emphasizes the importance of addressing these issues through international cooperation and coordinated efforts to ensure the responsible use of digital assets.