Terror Organizations Use Cryptocurrencies To Raise Funds – Research

Recent reports from TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence firm, have shed light on a new alarming trend in the crypto industry. The firm stated that terror organizations use cryptocurrencies for fundraising and illicit activities.

The overwhelming evidence uncovered by TRM Labs underscores the need for vigilance and robust measures to prevent such misuse.

The Rise Of Crypto-Fueled Terrorism

TRM Labs’ extensive investigation into terrorism financing has unveiled exclusive details of how crypto assets have become the tool of choice for many terror organizations and their supporters across Asia. The report revealed that the Tether stablecoin (USDT) on the Tron network was the preferred cryptocurrency for many illicit transactions.

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In one case study, various pro-ISIS networks utilized cryptocurrencies as rewards for residents of Tajikistan willing to become ISIS fighters or affiliates. The report further revealed that one of these fundraising campaigns amassed a staggering $2 million worth of USDT through a famous crypto exchange address in 2022.

However, the crypto exchange informed the Turkish authorities about the transaction, who apprehended Shamil Hukumatov, the individual behind this campaign, in June 2023.

This successful apprehension of Hukumatov was possible due to the exchange’s implementation of rigorous know-your-customer (KYC) measures. TRM Labs’ investigation also uncovered connections between these cryptocurrency-based activities and pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the report emphasized that Syria remains a troubling epicenter of crypto use by ISIS and its supporters.

The Stance Of Crypto Exchanges On Terrorism

Following these allegations, many reputable cryptocurrency exchanges have shown a strong commitment to combat terrorism and related illicit activities. Notably, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, stated that its anti-money laundering policies help prevent terrorism funding.

The exchange also disclosed that it employs over 750 experts, many with law enforcement and regulatory agency backgrounds. So far, this year alone, Binance has assisted law enforcement in freezing or seizing over $1 billion in suspicious funds.

Nearly half of the compliance team at Binance is devoted to sanctions control work, such as anti-money laundering efforts, name screening, KYC onboarding, and on-chain monitoring.

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Coinbase, another prominent crypto exchange, publicly disclosed its unwavering commitment to counter-terrorism efforts. In 2021, the company published a comprehensive report on the use of cryptocurrency in terrorist financing and outlined its initiatives to help curb such activities.

The Need For Collaborative Action

While crypto exchanges are crucial in preventing crypto-related terrorism, the fight against illicit activities requires a collaborative effort among governments, financial institutions, and tech companies. Furthermore, broader regulatory frameworks are necessary to ensure the responsible and ethical use of cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, technology companies and blockchain intelligence firms like TRM Labs are critical in identifying and flagging suspicious activities. Another crucial step is to promote financial literacy, including crypto education.

Thus, many can identify potential red flags, report suspicious activities, and foster a safer and more secure digital environment.

Author: Owen Clark

Owen Clark, a seasoned crypto newsman and broker, deciphers the intricacies of the digital currency realm, empowering investors with his astute analysis and actionable insights.

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