The news of Syrian Jihadi group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), asking its donors to send the terror outfit crypto donations, once more brings the dreadful question into spotlight: Is cryptocurrency financing terrorism?
This is not an isolated incident. Previosly we had reported how Hamas Received Bitcoin Donations Through Coinbase and Binance. Terrorist groups have found a solid mechanism to circumvent any sort of state surveillance on their monetary transactions, by asking for money to be sent in Bitcoin.
Due to the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency, which has been branded as its most desirable feature, it is virtually impossible to trace the source of transactions received in a digital wallet. Unless the source is detected, it is also not possible to cut it off and cripple the terror outfit.
The militant group in question, HTS, currently has control over the majority of northern Syria’s Idlib province, and has so far managed to survive on the funding through tariffs and taxes in areas they have taken over. The Counter Terrorism Project has however revealed that the group continued to receive support from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait through money transfers.
Sometimes the money is also sent via people crossing the state borders. The latest trend however is to ask for BItcoin donations in order to eliminate the possibility of getting caught. It is also a very profitable asset to own, considering the current bull run in the market.
It would be untrue if we claimed that every other group who has launched a campaign like this has succeeded, but the ones that have, raised enough money to buy deadly weapons and feed and clothe their entire terror group.
Crowdfunding has slowly become an extremely popular method of raising funds for any cause whatsoever. In the age of crypto, it has become all the more convenient to donate money online for a cause that one believes in.