“Hamas Has Received a Small Amount of Crypto,” Adeyemo Says
Hamas has been receiving funding in crypto over the years. However, the United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo, says digital currencies only make up a small portion of the funds that the terror group has received so far.
While delivering his speech at the Royal United Services Institute in London over the weekend, Adeyemo said crypto was still a relatively new concept for many terror organizations and that they were mostly using payment platforms like Venmo and PayPal to make illicit money transfers.
However, he admitted that as cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity, terror groups will probably turn to blockchain technology. Adeyemo called on crypto players to work with governments to help prevent the illegal use of digital currencies.
US Lawmakers Claim Crypto Account for a Huge Percentage of Funds Received by Hamas
The deputy secretary’s comments come a few days after crypto-hating US policymakers led by Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to President Joe Biden and the Justice Department, demanding an explanation of the crypto’s role in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The lawmakers argue that Hamas had received most of its funds in crypto, which helped the group execute a deadly attack on the Jewish nation.
On Friday, House Representative French Hill and Senator Cynthia Lummis urged the Justice Department to launch investigations on cryptocurrency exchange Binance and Tether, a well-known stablecoin issuer, over their alleged involvement in facilitating illegal fund transfers.
Elliptic Dismisses US Policymakers’ Claim
While US lawmakers claim that Hamas was primarily funded using digital currencies, several blockchain analysts have refuted those claims, calling them baseless. Blockchain analytics company Elliptic wrote on X early last week that there was no evidence supporting US policymakers’ claim that Hamas received massive crypto donations.
Meanwhile, Adeyemo says crypto mixers, the tools used to obscure the movement of funds on the blockchain, are among the elements that will cause terror groups to adopt digital currencies. He adds that the US Treasury will hold developers of these tools responsible for ensuring they are taking necessary steps to block terrorists from making illegal transactions.
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