Israeli authorities have seized accounts on Binance that were used by Hamas and the Islamic State, according to a Reuters report. Binance responded by stating that it works hard to ensure compliance.
Reports have emerged that Hamas and Islamic State have used accounts on the crypto exchange Binance to fund their activities. Reuters reported on May 5 that Israeli authorities seized the accounts in question in a bid to tackle terrorism.
Israel has seized roughly 190 accounts since 2021, with the country’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing (NBCTF) seizing accounts as recently as Jan. 12.
There is no information on how much crypto was seized and whether other exchanges were also monitored. There is little information besides the fact that authorities have, in fact, focused on seizing accounts on crypto exchanges.
Binance responded to the Reuters report shortly after in a post titled “Our Response to Reuters.” The exchange stated that the outlet was “deliberately leaving out critical facts to fit their narrative.”
Binance emphasized that it did more than others to keep bad actors off the platform among exchanges. The exchange stated,
“The true measures of compliance for a crypto exchange are the steps it takes to identify and react to suspicious deposits, and it is in these areas that Binance is an industry leader. When we learn of bad behavior, we intervene and take appropriate action, including freezing funds and working with law enforcement to support investigations.”
Global Authorities Combating Terrorism Funding Through Crypto
Governments across the world have begun working on preventing the crypto asset class from being used to fund terrorism. In October 2022, the United Nations pointed out that crypto was increasingly being used in terror financing.
Both Australia and India have spoken of this trend and are taking corresponding actions. One Chainalysis report stated that the amount funding illegal activities has quadrupled over the last five years to $20 billion.
Many of these funds have been transferred to groups that have been sanctioned internationally. A large portion of it went to the Russian crypto exchange Garantex.
Israel Working on Important Crypto Regulation
While it has been working on countering the financing of terrorism, Israel has also been working on crypto regulation. The country’s budget for 2023–24 includes crypto-related changes that would make it easier to report taxes.
The Israel Securities Authority is also working on new definitions for digital assets that would bring it under the government’s supervision. This would help establish investor protection, a key agenda on every government’s crypto regulation plans.
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