Hamas developing Bitcoin system for secure international funding, report says
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Hamas developing Bitcoin system for secure international funding, report says

Terror group in ‘experimental stage’ of building complex online payment system, raising fears among regulators

Palestinian fighters from Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terror organization, attend a rally in Gaza City on December 16, 2018, marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamist group's founding. (Said Khatib/AFP)
Palestinian fighters from Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terror organization, attend a rally in Gaza City on December 16, 2018, marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamist group's founding. (Said Khatib/AFP)

Hamas has launched an experimental program that uses a complex cryptocurrency system to raise money from international donors.

The terror group’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, called for digital currency donations in January, asking donors to send payments to a single digital address.

In recent weeks, the group adjusted its approach, with its website generating a new digital address for each transaction, according to a Reuters report released Friday.

The constantly changing online address is difficult for regulators to track and control, according to the analysis firm Elliptic.

From March 26 to April 16, donors sent Hamas around $3,300 via the new Bitcoin mechanism. It is a relatively small amount compared to the funding the terror group receives from Iran and other sources, but the new development could be a sign of things to come, analysts said.

Hamas is still in an “experimental stage” when it comes to cryptocurrency, Elliptic cofounder Tom Robinson told Reuters.

A two-minute video on the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades website gives donors detailed instructions on how to send the group Bitcoin payments. The animated video, in Arabic with English subtitles, advises viewers to use a public device to set up a secure Bitcoin “wallet” that cannot be linked to their own IP address.

Hamas, an Islamist terror group, seeks to destroy Israel.

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