The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) interceded three cryptocurrency campaigns that were funding Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State group in the largest seizure of terrorist-owned or related cryptocurrency accounts, according to a press release.
U.S. authorities seized over 300 cryptocurrency accounts holding millions of dollars that the three groups amassed by donations via social media. They also uncovered four websites and four Facebook pages related to the groups.
"Terrorist networks have adapted to technology, conducting complex financial transactions in the digital world, including through cryptocurrencies,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the release. “IRS-CI special agents in the DC cybercrimes unit work diligently to unravel these financial networks.”
The donations were solicited both by overtly advertising their terror campaigns and by claiming that the money went to charities or to fake businesses purportedly selling N95 face masks.
“IRS-CI’s ability to trace funds used by terrorist groups to their source and dismantle these radical group’s communication and financial networks directly prevents them from wreaking havoc throughout the world,” IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort said in the release.
In other parts of the world, blockchain technology is being used legally to support countries’ infrastructure.
In South Korea, 1 million citizens have adopted a blockchain-powered digital alternative to a physical driver’s license, representing more than 3 percent of the country’s driving population, according to Cointelegraph. The digital identification card is found in the PASS smartphone app.
The project was approved in September by South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT, the report stated. The National Police Agency worked with the Korea Road Traffic Authority to launch the card in May.
The card can be used for identity verification by scanning a barcode or QR code on the PASS app and could replace face-to-face verification checks.