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Hamas, the ruling Islamic Palestinian terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, has resolved to soliciting funds through Bitcoin after being cut off from other means of payments, recent report finds.
The terrorist organization has been unrelentingly fighting against Israel, forcing Israel to cut ties with any part of the Gaza Strip, and this includes their means of receiving payments. Hamas also reportedly turned down the recent agreement it reached with Egypt and Israel. Qatar, which proposed to send about $15 million to Hamas each month through Israel, was bluntly rejected by the violent Palestinian group. Now, they are out to seek funds from supporters via cryptocurrency.
The team at the Israeli startup, Whitestream, disclosed that Hamas is leveraging one of American’s largest crypto firm, Coinbase, to solicit Bitcoin from its supporters. This is an alarming turn of event as Coinbase’s services are not opened to fund terrorist organizations. A close look at the official Telegram account used by Hamas for communication revealed that a Bitcoin address was attached as a means of receiving funds. Using a software designed to analyze crypto users’ behavior on the blockchain, the team at Whitestream was able to detect activities on the Bitcoin address.
The week following, Hamas published yet another Bitcoin address, which Whitestream analysis predicts is unrelated to Coinbase. Shedding some light on the activities on Hamas Coinbase’s Bitcoin wallet, the team revealed that a total of $2,500 was donated by two Bitcoin addresses two days after the address was published by the Palestinian organization. One of which was reportedly sent from a Buy Cash Bitcoin trader in Khan Yunis within the Gaza Strip.
Other donations so far were reportedly sent from crypto wallets related to Binance – a Chinese crypto exchange – and Vilkov – a Russia-based crypto firm. In addition, a new payment from a wallet related to Coinbase was also detected. The team probed further and discovered payments were made from Hamas’s Coinbase Bitcoin wallet to two wallet addresses related to CoinPayment in the Cayman Island and Binance in China.
Furthermore, the team looked into the activities on the second Hamas Bitcoin address and found several donations from wallets related to Coinbase and Bittrex – both located in the United States. Payments from wallets related to coinMixer.io, Binance and Vilkov were also found on the second Bitcoin address, although the wallet addresses appear to be now blocked. It is believed the Palestinian organization found another wallet for funding its activities.
As at the time of compiling this article, there is no record yet of any action taken by Coinbase. However, the findings by Whitestream have been long forwarded to security agencies.