Hamas, the Palestinian Sunni-Islamist fundamentalist organization generally considered as a terrorist group by the U.S. government, may be leveraging on U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase to raise funds, Israeli financial daily Globes reported February 3.
According to the report, Israeli blockchain analytics firm Whitestream has recently detected two donations to Hamas through Coinbase, as it identified a number of Bitcoin wallet addresses indicated on Hamas’ official media channels posting public requests for donations to support “the resistance,” among which includes an appeal for Bitcoin donation published January 31 through a Telegram channel operated by the spokesperson of Hamas’ military wing, Abu Obeida.
While Coinbase did not issue any official statement pertaining to the alleged accounts, Whitestream indicated that the addresses still continued receiving transactions 48 hours after the news has reached the media.
As Whitestream founder and CEO Itsik Levy was quoted as stating:
“Based on shared inputs, we can tell that Hamas blockchain transactions were signed by addresses that are operating on Coinbase company wallets.”
The Hamas fundraising campaign currently maintains multiple Bitcoin addresses that when summed up, would appear to have generated nearly $4,000 in Bitcoin, according to Whitestream.
As Levy went on noting:
“[Hamas] is struggling with getting funds from the Israeli government and Qatar. 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. It just started.”
Aside from Coinbase, Whitestream has also reportedly detected Hamas-linked accounts purportedly transferring Bitcoin to both a Binance and a CoinPayments account, a Cayman Islands-incorporated wallet provider.
According to Levy, only around 2 percent of all the Bitcoin transactions the firm has so far analyzed are linked to “terrorist or criminal activity.”
Since making headlines following the last request for Bitcoin donation on February 2, Hamas’ spokesperson has not posted on the Telegram channel. Subsequently, the Palestinian resistance tweeted the Bitcoin wallet address on the Al-Qassam Brigades’ official account.