Israel combats militant financing via cryptocurrency


Israel has been actively fighting against the financing of Iran-supported militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. A new aspect of this continuous battle is the rising popularity of the cryptocurrency network, Tron. Financial crime experts and blockchain research specialists state that Tron has overtaken Bitcoin as the favored platform for crypto transfers linked to groups labeled as terror organizations by Israel, the United States, and several other nations. This shift towards Tron is primarily due to the platform’s increased anonymity features, flexibility, and high transaction speed, making it difficult for authorities to track illicit transactions.

In response, governments and regulatory bodies are now prioritizing the analysis of Tron’s network and its potential uses by militant groups as they seek to develop effective strategies to disrupt and neutralize this new form of financial support for terrorism. An in-depth examination of cryptocurrency confiscations carried out by Israeli security services since 2021 highlights this emerging pattern. There has been a notable increase in the targeting of Tron wallets for the first time, while the seizures of Bitcoin wallets have lessened.

Tron has quicker transaction times, low costs, and stability

Mriganka Pattnaik, the CEO of New York-based blockchain analysis company Merkle Science, asserts that terrorist groups increasingly opt for Tron due to its quicker transaction times, low costs, and stability. Additionally, the migration to Tron may be attributed to the heightened scrutiny and regulation faced by more established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As terrorist organizations continually adapt to find ways around anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) measures, law enforcement and intelligence agencies must evolve their methods for tracking and combating these illicit activities.

Commenting on these findings, Hayward Wong, a representative for Tron, said that any technology has the potential to be used for dubious activities, like using US dollars for money laundering. Wong highlighted that Tron has no control over the people using its technology and has no ties to the groups flagged by Israel. Furthermore, Wong emphasized that Tron is constantly working towards improving the security and transparency of the platform to prevent illicit activities. He also urged the community and authorities to collaborate in identifying and addressing such issues, stressing the importance of a united effort to ensure the technology is utilized responsibly.

Featured Image Credit: Tron

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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