Hamas, one of the most prominent militant groups in the Middle East, has been found to be using cryptocurrency to raise funds for its activities. The US Justice Department has been investigating the group’s use of cryptocurrency for alleged money laundering, following the seizure of Hamas-linked cryptocurrency accounts three years ago. Investigators believe that Hamas has exploited online donors offering support in cryptocurrency. Furthermore, Israeli authorities have seized cryptocurrency accounts allegedly linked to Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups, which have been collectively worth tens of millions of dollars. While Hamas has announced the cessation of fundraising activities in bitcoin, it is believed that they have not ceased their efforts entirely. The group has urged supporters to donate through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. According to private analysts, cryptocurrency addresses linked to Hamas that were seized by Israeli authorities received nearly $41 million between 2020 and 2023. It is unclear how much money Hamas has actually received in cryptocurrency, but it is apparent that they have amassed significant amounts. Hamas’ use of cryptocurrency is just one example of the group’s efforts to raise funds while evading sanctions, including the exploitation of shell companies, informal taxes, and smuggling. Iran has been identified as one of Hamas’ major benefactors, providing up to $100 million annually to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas. However, government investigators have identified several other revenue streams being exploited by the group. Attorney Asher Perlin, who represents the family of an American who was murdered by Hamas in 1993, has been keeping tabs on the group’s assets. Perlin filed a claim two years ago to collect on the legal judgment obtained by the Weinstock family against Hamas in 2019. However, the case has been repeatedly delayed as government lawyers have asked for more time to allow a related criminal investigation to proceed. Perlin expressed frustration that the Justice Department has indicated that it will oppose allocating any of the seized assets to his clients.
‘They’re opportunistic and adaptive’: How Hamas is using cryptocurrency to raise funds