Roughly $165 million in crypto transactions linked to Hamas, report

A report shared by the US Treasury Department has linked Hamas to 300 instances of financing terrorism with crypto and roughly $165 million in transactions, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports. 

The report, seen by the WSJ and written by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, was sent by the Treasury’s deputy secretary Wally Adeyemo to Congress on Tuesday. 

It claimed that 12 dozen financial institutions, including crypto exchanges, have found over 300 instances of crypto potentially being used for terrorist financing purposes which suggests that Hamas is moving funds between its operatives. 

The report also linked Hamas to almost $165 million in transactions and digital assets over the past three years. It is reportedly the first formal assessment of crypto use related to Hamas as the US looks to increase its oversight of crypto and curtail Hamas’s ability to work around sanctions. 

Read more: Hamas victims from the US sue Iran, Syria, Binance, and CZ

Adeyemo wrote in his letter to Congress featuring the report, “I remain concerned that as we cut off [Hamas’s] access to traditional finance these groups will increasingly turn to virtual assets.” 

The US reportedly wants foreign financial institutions to verify its users the same way the institutions in the US do, or risk access to their markets. 

Details of Hamas’s crypto use remain ‘murky’

The report also notes that the exact figure relating to Hamas’s crypto transactions is ‘murky,’ and that the designated terrorist group’s use of crypto might be overstated. 

In the letter, Adeyemo claimed that the findings “may have attributed the full value of a customer’s transactions — including both fiat and digital assets activity — to Hamas, while only a portion of the reported activity may have constituted such activity.”

Last October, the WSJ was found to have misinterpreted sources from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic while reporting that Hamas was linked to $130 million in crypto

Read more: Israel allegedly used crypto to conceal its hunt for Hamas in Turkey

Forbes reports that Elliptic claimed there is no evidence to either “suggest that crypto fundraising has raised anything close to this amount,” or “support the assertion that Hamas has received significant volumes of crypto donations.” Fellow blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis also backed up these assertions.

Elizabeth Warren cited the $130 million in multiple arguments and called for the curtailing of terrorists’ crypto use. Minnesota representative Tom Emmer said in a hearing last month that “The ​​Treasury has the data to paint the correct narrative of crypto and how it’s used.”

“Instead, we have senators who are legislating on these false figures and major CEOs using these figures to inform their perspectives on digital assets.” 

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