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Elliptic: Hamas is not receiving millions of cryptocurrency donations


Elliptic, a blockchain analytics company, refuted allegations that Hamas has received significant cryptocurrency donations to fund its activities. In an October 25 statement, Elliptic stated that there is no proof of significant cryptocurrency donations received by Hamas, with the amounts raised being described as “minimal.”

Elliptic challenged the narrative presented by The Wall Street Journal and some U.S. lawmakers, asserting that claims of cryptocurrency being a major source of funding for Hamas are based on a misunderstanding of available data.

Elliptic highlighted the Gaza Now fundraising campaign as a “high-profile” example that failed to raise a significant amount for Hamas ($21,000) since the attack on Israel on October 7.

Additionally, out of the $21,000 collected, Elliptic observed that Tether, the stablecoin issuer, froze $9,000, while an additional $2,000 was frozen when it was transferred to a cryptocurrency exchange, likely for conversion.

Elliptic also pointed out that The Wall Street Journal inaccurately claimed that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad had raised over $130 million in crypto. Elliptic reached out to The Wall Street Journal to provide the correct figures.

The Wall Street Journal updated its article on October 10 to reflect the more accurate estimate of $93 million.

Meanwhile, on October 17, Elizabeth Warren and other U.S. lawmakers referenced The Wall Street Journal article in a letter to the White House and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. They believe that the use of crypto to facilitate illicit activity poses a serious risk to national security and call for “strong action” by Congress and the Biden administration to address this threat.

Elliptic clarified that its data was being misinterpreted:

“Over the past two weeks, politicians and journalists have portrayed public crypto fundraising as a significant source of funds for Hamas and other terrorist groups, but the data simply does not support this.”

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Chainalysis also published a blog post on October 18 to address misconceptions surrounding the role of crypto in funding terrorism. According to Elliptic, Hamas ceased collecting donations in Bitcoin in April 2023, citing “concerns about the safety of donors and to spare them from harm.”

Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing actively tracked and seized crypto wallets associated with Hamas in 2021. 

“This illustrates the weakness of crypto as a terrorism fundraising tool. The transparency of the blockchain allows illicit funds to be traced and in some cases linked to real-world identities.”

However, Elliptic argued that the actions taken by Israel and other governments indicate that crypto is not the most effective way for groups like Hamas to raise funds.

Read also: Report: Q3 blockchain gaming Unique Active Wallet surpasses Q2

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