Whitestream, a Blockchain Analytics Firm Identified Hamas Fundraising to Coinbase Bitcoin Account.

Whitestream, the Israeli blockchain analytics firm found bitcoin wallet addresses on Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange platform referred to on official Hamas digital media channels in requests for donations. There was an appeal on the 31st of January asking for donations to support “the resistance,” on Telegram channel run by a spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, Abu Obeida.

Even though Coinbase did not comment to address all the questions, Whitestream stated that there were still transactions on the account even after the news being all over social media and identified by the media.

“Based on shared inputs, we can tell that Hamas blockchain transactions were signed by addresses that are operating on Coinbase company wallets,” Itsik Levy, the firm’s founder, and CEO.

Adding all three accounts altogether, Whitestream found out that the Palestinian organization Hamas’s fundraising campaign appears to have accumulated less than $4,000 in bitcoin.

“[Hamas] is struggling with getting funds from the Israeli government and Qatar,” Levy stated. “We’ve heard of other Islamic extremist organizations doing the same thing over the past few years…now Hamas tries the same thing.”

“It’s still an active campaign,” he continued. “It just started.”

Furthermore, Whitestream reportedly identified this Hamas-operated Coinbase account potentially sending bitcoin to a CoinPayments account and a Binance account, the end of which is a wallet provider legally incorporated in the Cayman Islands. CoinPayments and Binance did not instantly reply to requests for comment on these transactions.

Cryptocurrencies and war.

Itsik Levy, the co-founder of Whitestream, mentioned to Globes that “only 2 percent” of all the bitcoin transactions his firm investigated were connected to “terrorist or criminal activity.”

The spokesperson of Hamas did not post on the Telegram group after the last request for bitcoin donations on February 2.

They might have been inspired by the Islamic State’s Gaza wing, a rival of Hamas, reportedly raised $8,000 worth of bitcoin donations by March 2018. Moreover, there have been some confusions about the blockchain technology from their supporters

On the 30th of January, Hussam Al-Dajany, a Palestinian journalist said during an interview on Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV that: “People who donate using this currency cannot be identified by any security agency.”


Citations:

Cuen, L., & Cuen, L. (2019, February 07). Blockchain Analysis Links Hamas Fundraising to Coinbase Bitcoin Account. https://www.coindesk.com/hamas-coinbase-bitcoin


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