Elliptic Debunks Claims of Substantial Crypto Funding to Hamas

On October 25, 2023, blockchain analytics agency Elliptic released an announcement clarifying misconceptions surrounding the extent of cryptocurrency funding acquired by Hamas. The agency emphasised the absence of considerable proof supporting claims that Hamas has garnered vital crypto donations. This follows heightened scrutiny on cryptocurrency’s function in financing terrorism, particularly within the wake of the tragic incidents on October 7, orchestrated by Hamas.

Elliptic’s clarification comes amidst a wave of stories suggesting that cryptocurrencies have grow to be a considerable financing software for Hamas. On October 10, a story was fueled by an article within the Wall Avenue Journal, titled “Hamas Militants Behind Israel Assault Raised Thousands and thousands in Crypto”. This narrative gained traction when, on October 17, over 100 US lawmakers referenced the article in a letter to the White Home and the U.S. Division of the Treasury, asserting that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) raised over $130 million in cryptocurrencies between August 2021 and June 2023, a declare Elliptic argues lacks evidentiary backing.

Evaluation signifies that public crypto fundraising campaigns by Hamas haven’t acquired substantial donations. The disclosure reveals that Gaza Now, a pro-Hamas information outlet, solely acquired $21,000 in cryptocurrency donations since October 7, with $2,000 being despatched to an change on October 9, and round $9,000 in stablecoin donations being frozen by Tether. This contrasts starkly with the reported $130 million determine cited by lawmakers.

Traditionally, Hamas sought Bitcoin donations beginning in 2019, peaking in the course of the Could 2021 regional violence outbreak. Nonetheless, by April 2023, the group ceased public crypto fundraising, citing donor security considerations. The halt adopted US and Israeli legislation enforcement actions, together with the issuance of seizure orders for Hamas-associated crypto wallets and collaboration with exchanges to freeze associated accounts.

Additional evaluation by each Elliptic and Chainalysis, one other blockchain forensics agency, underscores the exaggerated figures in media stories. As an illustration, one pockets presupposed to have acquired $82 million over seven and a half months had solely $450,000 related to terrorism, as per Chainalysis. The evaluation reveals a major misrepresentation of details regarding the extent of cryptocurrency’s function in funding terrorism.

Notably, the scrutiny on Hamas’s crypto funding coincides with thriving crypto fundraising for humanitarian causes in Israel. As of October 19, Crypto Support Israel amassed over $185,000 in cryptocurrency donations to help these affected by the assaults, showcasing the potential constructive affect of cryptocurrencies.

Elliptic confused the significance of nuanced blockchain evaluation to keep away from misinformation, emphasizing its long-standing dedication to stopping crypto property’ illicit use. The agency advocates for a balanced understanding and reporting on the multifaceted points surrounding cryptocurrency and terrorism financing.

Picture supply: Shutterstock



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