The recent events on October 7th have highlighted how groups like Hamas raise funds for their activities. In recent years, Hamas has explored using cryptocurrency for crowdfunding via social media, but the transparent nature of cryptocurrency has limited the amounts they can raise. They initially sought Bitcoin donations in 2019, with a peak in donations during the May 2021 regional violence. However, in April 2023, they suspended crypto fundraising, citing donor safety concerns and increased efforts against crypto support for their cause. This suspension followed U.S. law enforcement actions against crypto wallets used for money laundering and identifying donors. The weakness of cryptocurrency for terrorism financing is illustrated by its traceability and reliance on centralized services, which cooperate with law enforcement.
After the October 7th attacks, Gaza Now, a pro-Hamas news organization, ran a prominent crypto fundraising campaign, but only raised $21,000, most of which was frozen by crypto entities and researchers. In contrast, crypto fundraising for humanitarian causes in Israel has been successful, with Crypto Aid Israel receiving over $185,000 in crypto donations by October 19th.
Despite recent discussions in politics and media portraying crypto fundraising as a major source of funds for terrorist groups, the data suggests otherwise, as no public crypto campaign by such groups has garnered significant donations compared to other funding sources…