It’s not new that terrorist organizations throughout the world are financing themselves through cryptocurrencies, which is one of the major concerns of international security agencies. However, a start-up managed to detect recently that Hamas was raising bitcoins by funneling it through several digital wallets.
Elliptic, a London-based start-up, offers blockchain analysis tools to some of the world’s most important cryptocurrency platforms, such as Binance and Circle, as well as banks. Its software is used to investigate criminal activities in the Bitcoin digital ledgers, and also monitor transactions to prevent money laundering by criminal and terrorist organizations.
Recently, Elliptic discovered that Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, used a donation website that generated a different Bitcoin wallet address for each person who visited that page, which made it difficult to track the funds.
James Smith, co-founder and CEO of this start-up, said in a phone interview with CNBC:
“Since we always know what will happen, we can see when the funds start to move to exchanges. We were able to notify our clients that those Hamas funds were directed at them, and they were able to stop them. ”
Elliptic’s platform deals with several areas of illegal activity apart from terrorist financing. Its use also includes the tracking of people who exchange drugs and child pornography, as well as the hacks that result in stolen funds. The technology of this start-up is considered as more favorable for financial services companies and regulators, while showing a different side of the crypto industry.