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Tron wallets tied to Hamas funding – Here’s Israel’s intelligence data

TL;DR

  • Tron, an exponentially expanding cryptocurrency network, has emerged as a new front in Israel’s battle against the financing of Iranian-backed militant organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
  • Between July 2021 and October 2023, Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) blocked 143 Tron wallets it thought were linked to a “designated terrorist organization” or used for a “severe terror crime.” 
  • Nearly two-thirds of Israel’s Tron seizures—87—were this year, including 39 wallets from Hezbollah in June and 26 from Palestinian Islamic Jihad in July, a Hamas ally that joined the Gaza assault on Israel.
  • Wong, a representative of the entity, states that Tron has no control over the users of its technology and has no ties to the terror entities identified by Israel.

How is Tron and its wallets tied to the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine? The Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 killed approximately 1,200 people. Following that, Israel bombarded and invaded Gaza, killing around 14,000 civilians. Israel’s response has also increased monitoring of Hamas financing.

In the midst of Israel’s ongoing conflict with terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, security authorities have discovered a new link of terror organizations using the rapidly expanding Tron network. Another probable explanation is that the Tron network has received less attention than Bitcoin.

Tron wallets tied to militant financing unearthed

According to interviews with seven financial crime experts and blockchain investigations specialists, Tron has surpassed its larger rival, Bitcoin, as a platform for crypto transfers associated with groups designated as terrorist organizations by Israel, the United States, and other countries.

A Reuters report of crypto seizures announced by Israeli security agencies since 2021 confirms the pattern, revealing for the first time a dramatic increase in the targeting of Tron wallets and a decrease in the targeting of Bitcoin wallets.

According to Mriganka Pattnaik, CEO of New York-based blockchain analysis firm Merkle Science, terrorist organizations are increasingly favoring Tron over Bitcoin. This move is attributed to Tron’s faster transaction speed, lower fees, and enhanced stability. Merkle Science’s clientele includes law enforcement agencies from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.

The Israeli National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF), which is in charge of such seizures, froze 143 Tron wallets between July 2021 and October 2023 that it suspected were linked to a “designated terrorist organization” or used for a “severe terror crime,” according to the Reuters investigative report.

Israel’s focus on curbing terror financing

This year saw 87 the blockchain’s coin seizures in Israel, including 39 wallets tied to Lebanon’s Hezbollah and 26 wallets linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In addition, 56 Tron wallets were linked to Hamas, with 46 tied to a Gaza-based money exchange organization called Dubai Co, for Exchange in March of last year.

Weeks after the Hamas attack, Israel revealed its largest known seizure of crypto accounts to date, suspending approximately 600 accounts linked to Dubai Co. without specifying which crypto networks or coins were used. Israel calls Dubai Co. a terrorist entity:

 Due to the aid that they provide to the Hamas terrorist organization, particularly its military arm, in transferring funds on a scale of tens of millions of dollars a year.

Israel’s NBCTF

Hayward Wong, a representative for Tron, a British Virgin Islands-registered company, stated that all technologies might “in theory” be used for “questionable activities,” mentioning the use of US dollars for money laundering as an example.

Wong stated that the blockchain has no influence over anyone who uses its technology and is not associated with the entities mentioned by Israel.

The military branch of Hamas, which had been raising crypto funds since at least 2019, said in April that it would discontinue Bitcoin fundraising due to increasing measures to block donations. However, Tron was not mentioned in the Hamas statement.

Iran previously used Tron to avoid US sanctions. According to Reuters, Iranian enterprises used it for $8 billion in transactions between 2018 and 2022.

Tron’s TRX market performance

Since its inception in 2008, the Bitcoin blockchain and, more broadly, crypto have been magnets for criminals enticed by liquidity and a reputation for anonymity. According to blockchain tracker Chainalysis, the illegal percentage of total crypto transaction volumes was 0.2% in 2022, down from 2% three years earlier.

In comparison to Tron, Bitcoin seizures in Israel have been rare. In 2021, the first year the NBCTF issued seizure letters, it froze 30 Bitcoin wallets. In later years, no mention of Bitcoin wallets appears in announcements.

TRX is currently trading at $0.104322 with a 24-hour trading volume of $314,616,944.98 on CoinGecko. This indicates a -3.67% drop in the last 24 hours and a -0.63% drop in the last 7 days. TRX has a market cap of $9,232,196,710 and a circulating supply of 89 billion TRX.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

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