- Cryptocurrency and associated anonymity makes it an ideal tool for terror financing
- Hamas is now using a range of crypto assets
- Weak and ineffective controls are a boon for financiers of terrorism
The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency and associated anonymity makes it an ideal tool for money laundering activities. Israeli officials have recently seized millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies from addresses that it says are owned by Hamas terror groups. Eighty-four wallets have been seized, and it reveals that terror groups have diversified their holdings far beyond Bitcoin.
The wallets contain a mix of cryptocurrencies, including BTC, DOGE, ADA, XLM, XRP (+1.56%), ETH, and others. National Bureau for Counter-Terrorist Financing files reveal that the crypto wallets have received over $7.7 million in total.
Tracing firm Elliptic in a blog post revealed that a number of them are deposit addresses at exchanges, while others belong to brokers. Of the deposits, $4.1 million is in the USDT (+0.05%) stablecoin, and another $3.4 million is in bitcoin, with small amounts spread across other coins. Of these, according to Elliptic’s analysis, Tron’s TRX accounts for $165,000, ETH for $51,000 and DOGE for $40 000.
According to a blockchain-investigating firm, the seizure reveals that Hamas is now using a range of crypto assets and not relying only on Bitcoin to fund their terror activities.
Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz had ordered the seizure order after being convinced that these wallets were directly linked to terror groups and were being used to carry out severe terror attacks on Israeli civilians.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has allowed terror financing to blossom.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way the world carries out its financial transactions. The contactless mode of the monetary transaction has provided the terror organization with a tool that makes them almost invisible to any investigating agency in the world.
As the nations were battling the COVID-19 Pandemic, terror financing and money laundering have blossomed and increased in an ever-expansive way. The new age cryptocurrency is a blessing in disguise for terror organizations that use its anonymity to their benefit.
The cryptocurrency market is ever-expanding despite a sharp contraction in commerce activities globally due to the Pandemic. As nations battle the Pandemic, unlawful activities and terror financing activities have shot up. The pattern and the source of terror financing have also undergone a massive shift. As a result, it is challenging for security agencies to identify the terror funding sources and choke money supply to such terror organizations.
Cryptocurrency trade must be watched out for since it is not regulated.
The International Monetary fund has pointed out that money laundering and terrorism financing activity in one nation can have serious cross-border and even global effects. Weak and ineffective controls are especially attractive for money launderers and financiers of terrorism. The cryptocurrency trade must be watched.The fact that it is not regulated and provides an opportunity for terror groups