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Following the recent bombing just before Easter in Sri Lanka, blockchain analysis firm Whitestream has uncovered how the ghastly terrorist group, ISIS, got their funds. The tech team at Whitestream discovered that there was a tremendous increase in the Bitcoin wallet address managed by ISIS a day before the bombing.
The devastating event that claimed more than 250 innocent lives happened in Sri Lanka during the Easter period, and not long after the attack, the militant Islamic group came out to declare they are behind the attack.
A recent video surfaced on the web, showing the head of ISIS Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi briefing the organization’s terrorists on attacks of the group in Syria and its links to the recent attack at Sri Lanka.
Digging deeper into the crypto stream, the research team at Whitestream found a Bitcoin wallet linked to ISIS on a crypto exchange based out of Canada and that is licensed in the Cayman Islands, CoinPayment. Like most crypto firms, CoinPayment deals with the conversion of virtual assets to fiat currencies and fiat currencies to virtual currencies. Unfortunately, it seems that it’s now being used as a funding means for terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Hamas (which also attempts to raise funds through cryptocurrency).
The findings by Whitestream revealed that there was a sharp rise from $500,000 to $4.5 million in ISIS main Bitcoin wallet just a day before the attack. Digging further, they found that the balance on the wallet dropped back to $500,000 the next day which is the day of the attack. It is only logical to conclude that the terrorist group used the wallet to store the Bitcoin sum collected over time for funding their attack.
According to Whitestream, the terrorist group has been running a mass funding campaign in the past two years. The campaign, whose website’s domain is frequently altered to prevent tracking, is geared towards soliciting Bitcoin from supporters. The funds are used to fund the organization’s technical division; the said technical division is a unit of the organization that deals with advertising, media, and computer infrastructure.
Whitestream also stated that this isn’t the first time that CoinPayment is being used to fund a terrorist group. They noted that another terrorist group by the name Hamas also got their funds from CoinPayment last year.
When confronted with the details, Whitestream stated that CoinPayment agreed to hold the said wallet addresses but obviously denied any connection to ISIS or any other terrorist group. This leaves us with the conclusion that these terrorist groups use the wallet anonymously that the firm doesn’t get to know it is controlled by them.
The use of crypto coins for funding such heinous groups is an excruciating pain to the crypto space because it dents everything that the space stands for.