Israel Spreads “Blacklist” of Hamas-Related Bitcoin Addresses

Key facts:

These are addresses that are used by the group to receive donations.

The Palestinian organization receives funds in BTC, but also in USDT, DOGE, and ETH.

The government of Israel “seized” more than 80 addresses for bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies from the Palestinian group Hamas. The Office for the Fight against the Financing of Terrorism released a list with information on what type of digital assets the organization receives. These are addresses arranged for contributions from your followers.

The cryptocurrency donations were targeted, according to Israel, to the military arm of Hamas, the Al Qassam Brigades (AQB), but they were also sent to other close associates of the group. According to records released by blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, the fighters are funded in bitcoin, but also USDT, DOGE, XRP, BNB, and ETH, for example.

“This action comes after a significant increase in cryptocurrency donations to Hamas in May following increased fighting between the group and Israeli forces. In particular, this is the first terrorist financing-related cryptocurrency seizure to include such a wide variety of digital assets, ”Chainalysis explained in its statement.

The state counter-terrorism office links the “seized” addresses to seven activists. At the time of publishing this article, there was a combined balance of 0.051 BTC or about $ 1,700, according to the current price of the first cryptocurrency. As for the rest of the addresses, it should be mentioned that they also register various operations with crypto assets.

Chainalysis said that some addresses are related to exchanges and that activists often transfer funds to intermediary wallets and to “high risk” exchange houses. In addition, two of the cited addresses would have also received funds from the Syrian exchange Bitcoin Transfer, which, according to the intelligence firm, is related to terrorist financing cases.

It is important to clarify that, although Chainalysis speaks of “seizure”, the most accurate thing is to speak of a marking of the addresses. That is, if some service provider with digital assets received funds from these addresses, then they should report it to the authorities or it could even block cryptocurrencies.

Investigate Bitcoin transactions

Various companies have come to the bitcoiner ecosystem that carry out research on how cryptocurrencies move within blockchains. In recent years companies such as Chainalysis, Elliptic and CipherTrace have established contracts with governments, public or private entities to conduct research on where crypto assets come from and where they are going.

Even some exchanges have also started hiring this type of service, especially to settle regulatory and compliance issues. In the case of Hamas, CriptoNoticias has reported in the past that exchange houses have blocked donations in BTC to the group.

In April 2019 the group began using new methods to receive funds and evade the blockade of exchanges. For a time, the organization received funds in the following way: to supply specific addresses and receive contributions, a website generated a public key of a new wallet after each donation, according to a report by CriptoNoticias.

The mechanism, according to the Elliptic researchers, made it more difficult to detect funds that were used to finance the group’s operations.

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