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Elliptic Refutes Claims of Significant Crypto Donations to Hamas

Elliptic Refutes Claims of Significant Crypto Donations to Hamas

Blockchain forensics firm Elliptic has refuted recent media reports suggesting that the Palestinian militant group Hamas has received significant volumes of cryptocurrency donations. The firm stated that there is “no evidence” to support these claims and that the amounts raised “remain tiny”.

The controversy began when a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report claimed that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad had raised over $130 million in cryptocurrency between August 2021 and June 2023. 

This report was later revised to “as much as $93 million”. The WSJ article was cited in a letter written by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren along with 100 other lawmakers to the White House and U.S. Department of the Treasury, arguing that cryptocurrency poses a “national security threat” to the U.S. and its allies.

Elliptic Clears the Air Regarding Donations

However, Elliptic has clarified that its research was not intended to suggest that Hamas received substantial crypto funding. The firm has gone so far as to contact Senator Warren’s office and the reporters from WSJ to correct the misinterpretation.

Elliptic Refutes Claims of Significant Crypto Donations to Hamas

Elliptic has highlighted a cryptocurrency fundraising campaign run by Gaza Now, a news outlet known for its support of Hamas. The campaign, which began following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, has so far accumulated $21,000. 

However, not all of these funds are accessible. Tether, the issuer of a popular stablecoin, has frozen $9,000 of the total amount. Additionally, $2,000 was also frozen after being transferred to a cryptocurrency exchange, presumably for conversion into cash.

Elliptic’s report was prepared to disproof recent articles and letters circulating among the media and U.S. lawmakers this month. The firm’s clarification suggests that the terrorism funding problem may be far less pointed than initially reported.

This incident highlights the importance of accurate data interpretation in understanding the role of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities. It also underscores the need for rigorous fact-checking in reporting on sensitive issues such as terrorism financing.

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