Israeli law enforcement authorities have taken decisive action to close and seize cryptocurrency accounts as part of their ongoing efforts to sever connections between cryptocurrency markets and Hamas. The move comes following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7. Over 100 accounts on Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, have been closed, and requests for information on nearly 200 additional crypto accounts, primarily on Binance, have been made.
Binance confirmed that it has “blocked” a “small number” of accounts over the summer, asserting its compliance with internationally recognized sanctions but declining further comment.
Concerns about the potential use of lightly regulated cryptocurrency markets by terrorist organizations for fundraising and money transfers have escalated in the wake of the recent attack on Israel, along with multiple cryptocurrency-based fundraising efforts by Hamas and related groups.
Tom Alexandrovich, Executive Director at the Israel National Cyber Directorate, emphasized the significance of cryptocurrency in financing terrorism during times of conflict. He noted that the amount of crypto funds involved has significantly increased since the attack began.
Additionally, Tether, a widely used digital token for crypto trading, announced the freezing of 32 addresses containing over $873,000 linked to “terrorism and warfare” in Israel and Ukraine. The breakdown of assets between the two nations was not disclosed.
Israeli law enforcement has identified approximately 150 donation initiatives associated with Hamas and other groups since October 7. Last week, the Israeli police force confirmed the freezing of undisclosed Hamas-related accounts used for fundraising. US financial regulators have previously alleged links between money held on Binance and Hamas, dating back to 2019.
Prior to the attack, Israeli authorities had been monitoring crypto accounts suspected of having ties to terrorism financing. Israeli officials have requested information on hundreds of accounts on Binance as the scope of the issue has expanded significantly. They are also relying on public assistance to track suspicious fund flows across cryptocurrency markets.
Over the past two years, Israeli authorities have seized millions of shekels from crypto accounts suspected of having links to Hamas and other militant organizations in the Middle East.
Information for this story was found via the Financial Times, and 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.