The Hamas terrorist organization has found a new cryptocurrency network to finance its attacks against Israel. The Iran-backed militant group has moved its activities from Bitcoin to Tron, a faster and cheaper blockchain.
According to a Reuters report, interviews with financial crime experts and blockchain specialists revealed that more groups designated as terror organizations by the U.S. and Israel are conducting their crypto transfers on Tron. This is evident in the number of Tron wallets seized by Israeli security agencies recently.
From Bitcoin to Tron
Between July 2021 and October 2023, the Israeli National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing (NBCTF) froze more than 143 Tron wallets believed to be tied to terrorist groups or used for terror crimes. Analysts found that the rise in the seizure of Tron wallets was followed by a fall in the targeting of Bitcoin addresses.
Mriganka Pattnaik, CEO of New York-based blockchain analysis firm Merkle Science, confirmed that on-chain data shows the terrorist organizations were beginning to favor Tron over Bitcoin, as the network is known for its stability, low fees, and faster transaction times.
Notably, Iran also backs Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad, alongside Hamas, in an “Axis of Resistance” coalition, which is anti-Israeli and anti-western. The NBCTF has seized around 87 Tron wallets this year, and 39 of them were linked to Hezbollah, while 26 were tied to Islamic Jihad, which joined Hamas’ assault on Israel.
The national security agency also froze 56 wallets directly linked to Hamas and, last March, seized 46 connected to Dubai Co. For Exchange, a Gaza-based financial company. Israel had confiscated 600 crypto accounts linked to the money exchange firm weeks after Hamas’ assault.
Hamas Ceased BTC Donations
While Israel refused to disclose which crypto networks or assets were involved in the Dubai Co. seizure, over a dozen users interviewed by Reuters revealed that they had been using Tron. However, they denied any connection with Hamas or Islamic Jihad, stating the accounts were for their business or personal finances.
In April, Hamas’ armed wing announced that it would cease bitcoin (BTC) contributions and stop accepting donations in the leading digital asset, citing concern for the safety of the donors. While the group did not mention Tron in the statement, it was to continue receiving funds in Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT), as claimed by multiple sources.
Meanwhile, Tron has emerged as the dominant blockchain for USDT, with the stablecoin issued on the network hitting all-time highs in 2023.
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