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Government officials call on US government to take action against Hamas’ cryptocurrency use following Israel attack.

Lawmakers Call on White House to Take Action Against Hamas’ Use of Cryptocurrency

A Bipartisan Plea for Swift Action

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Biden administration to crack down on the use of cryptocurrencies by Hamas and its affiliates. The plea comes in the wake of the Palestinian militant group’s recent deadly attack in Israel.

In a letter sent to the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House, 105 lawmakers expressed “grave concern” over Hamas and its affiliated group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, utilizing digital assets to fund their operations and evade U.S. sanctions.

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“Congress and this administration must take strong action to thoroughly address crypto illicit finance risks before it can be used to finance another tragedy,” the letter stated.

The Use of Cryptocurrencies by Hamas

Israeli police disclosed that they had frozen several crypto accounts on October 10th, which were being used to solicit donations for Hamas. This follows a previous report by Reuters in May that Israel had seized approximately 190 crypto accounts at Binance since 2021, including dozens connected to Palestinian firms associated with Hamas.

Binance, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, has been collaborating with international counter-terrorism authorities in these seizures.

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While cryptocurrencies were initially touted as vehicles for anonymous transactions, the industry has faced increasing scrutiny due to numerous enforcement actions related to fraud, money laundering, and unregistered coin offerings.

Cracking Down on Hamas’ Financial Network

According to Reuters, Hamas employs a global financing network that relies on support from charities, friendly nations, and even cryptocurrencies. In recent years, Israeli authorities have seized “tens of millions of dollars” in crypto from Hamas-linked addresses, as reported by blockchain researchers TRM Labs.

The lawmakers have requested the Biden administration to provide estimates on the value of crypto assets remaining in Hamas-controlled wallets, the extent to which Hamas is funded through cryptocurrencies, and any information pertaining to the facilitation of crypto transactions involving Hamas and similar militant groups.

It is crucial for the U.S. government to take decisive action against the use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist organizations like Hamas. By cutting off their financial resources, we can significantly weaken their capabilities and prevent further tragedies.

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