By: Eliza Bennet
Blockchain forensic firm Elliptic has challenged recent reports suggesting that Hamas has been receiving substantial volumes of cryptocurrency donations to fund its attacks against Israel. Instead, the firm asserts that the amounts raised via cryptocurrency remain minimal.
In a statement earlier this week, Elliptic expressed that there exists no evidence to support the claim that Hamas has garnered significant crypto donations. The firm was responding to recent articles and letters that have circulated among the media and U.S. lawmakers, which attempted to argue that cryptocurrency is largely used to support Hamas’ activities.
A prominent pro-Hamas media outlet, Gaza Now, reportedly only managed to raise $21,000 in cryptocurrency donations since Hamas initiated an assault on Israel earlier this month. This figure, already modest, was further compromised as $9,000 was sequestered by stablecoin issuer Tether and another $2,000 was frozen after it was sent to a cryptocurrency exchange.
The firm also alluded to the clampdown on Hamas' cryptocurrency accounts by Israel's National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing. According to Elliptic, the transparency of blockchain undercuts the potential of cryptocurrencies as a tool for financing terrorism because it allows illicit funds to be traced and in certain instances, tied to real-world identities.
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