The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has recently released a 200-page report entitled The Coming Storm: Terrorists Using Cryptocurrency offers an in-depth look at the connection between cryptocurrencies and terrorism. It reveals that jihad organizations are actively promoting the use of the newfangled asset for funding purposes.
Jihadists eyeing cryptocurrencies
al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, is particularly keen on Bitcoin, and it asks for donations on privacy-focused messager Telegram as well as different social media platforms. Earlier this year, Israeli Blockchain research firm Whitestream determined that some of its contributions were made with the help of the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange.
The study, which was spearheaded by MEMRI Executive Director Steven Stalinsky, it supposed to serve as a wake-up call for politicians around the globe.
This is the beginning of an enormous challenge for counterterrorism officials," he warns.
In the preface, Stalinsky also said mentioned that cryptocurrencies represent the future of terrorism funding, and the potential threat shouldn’t be downplayed.
An ugly side of crypto
It’s a painful thing to know that the advantages of cryptocurrencies are exploited by terrorists for nefarious purposes, but one cannot ignore their dark side.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brought the issue to the table, calling for closer monitoring of crypto-related businesses. His comments came shortly after President Donald Trump’s critique of digital assets.
Meanwhile, US lawmaker Brad Sherman, who’s known as the biggest Bitcoin hater within the walls of Congress, recently made an outlandish statement that Facebook’s Libra could do more harm than 9/11.