Terrorist Group Turns To Bitcoin For Funding
August 19th, 2019
The Western Government has recently deemed Hamas, the militant Palestinian group as a terrorist organization. While the group has now technically been ousted from tapping any resources in the traditional financial system, its military wing is developing a campaign to raise funds using Bitcoin. Hamas, which has control over the Palestinian coastal territory of Gaza, owes its survival to donations from foreign governments like Qatar.
According to the report, One of the latest developments of the wing includes its recently updated website, Qassam Bridges, wherein each visitor is allocated a unique Bitcoin address from where they can send digital currency. Interestingly, such a method makes it nearly impossible for lawmakers to keep a check on these activities.
Furthermore, the site is available in seven languages and features a self-explanatory video which explains how to obtain and send Bitcoin without getting caught by the authorities.
This Is Just The Beginning
While such a development is enough to shake the authorities, it is predicted that the situation is likely to worsen.
“You are going to see more of this. This is going to be a part of the terrorist financing mix, and it is something that people should pay attention to.”
said Yaya Fanusie, a former analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency.
“We are dedicating a lot of resources very specifically to this space. It is still relatively new to them, but I’m confident that we’re going to see more of it in the future.”
Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in an interview.
Terrorists Are Learning Fast
Claims from individual campaigns reveal that terrorist groups using cryptocurrencies are increasingly getting sophisticated. The fact that bitcoin has no central controlling authority is of great appeal to the lawbreakers.
On the other hand, Bitcoin’s technical sophistication makes it slower to be adopted by terrorists. However, countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Russia are building crypto assets to escape such scenarios.
Online markets where Bitcoin can be used to purchase drugs are earning nearly $1 Billion in a year, even when authorities have shut down several leading markets.