Bipartisan Lawmakers Push for Action Against Hamas’ Crypto Financing

In response to the recent deadly attack by Hamas in Israel, a bipartisan group of 105 US lawmakers, led by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Roger Marshall, and Representative Sean Casten, has urged the Biden administration to swiftly address the use of cryptocurrencies by Hamas and its affiliate, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The lawmakers expressed “grave concern” over the groups utilizing digital assets to fund their operations and evade U.S. sanctions.

The Biden administration has taken action by issuing sanctions aimed at disrupting Hamas’ funding. This includes targeting a “secret Hamas investment portfolio,” a financial facilitator linked to Iran, and a Gaza-based cryptocurrency exchange. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized the commitment to denying Hamas the ability to raise funds for atrocities against the people of Israel.

Israeli police have reported freezing several crypto accounts used to solicit donations for Hamas. Since 2021, Israel has seized around 190 crypto accounts at Binance, including those allegedly owned by Palestinian firms associated with Hamas. Binance confirmed its collaboration with international counter-terrorism authorities in these seizures.

The cryptocurrency community, known for touting digital assets as vehicles for anonymous transactions, has faced increased scrutiny due to federal enforcement actions against fraud, money laundering, and unregistered coin offerings.

Hamas operates a global financing network, using cryptocurrencies to funnel support from charities and friendly nations. Israeli authorities have seized “tens of millions of dollars” in crypto from Hamas-linked addresses in recent years, according to blockchain researchers.

In their letter, lawmakers requested estimates from the Biden administration on the value of crypto assets in Hamas-controlled wallets, the extent of Hamas’ operations funded through crypto, and information on actors facilitating the transfer of crypto to and from Hamas and other militant groups.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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