Giving its users the ability to buy drugs anonymously through the dark web, bitcoin has long been a convenient way for potheads to get high, junkies to chase the dragon and meatheads to beef up on steroids.
But did you know that the cryptocurrency has also been useful for terrorist groups to raise funds? Whether it’s in Raqqa or buying tunneling equipment for ya boyz in southern Lebanon, bitcoin is the answer.
More proof of this came on Friday as Reuters reported that terrorists in Gaza have been using the cryptocurrency to raise money.
According to blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have been telling their fans to send them cash using bitcoin.
Ever changing address
Better known as the Al-Qassam Brigades, the organisation is the armed wing of Hamas and is recognised by the European Union, US and several other countries as a terrorist group.
The boys over at Al-Qassam have been trying to get people to fund them using bitcoin for several months.
When they started out, however, their setup was fairly straightforward.
Users could send bitcoin to a set address and then Al-Qassam could access the funds.
Unfortunately for Al-Qassam, public wallet addresses can be identified and blocked by cryptocurrency companies.
But, according to Elliptic, the terrorists have figured that out and implemented a new system. Now, every time an Al-Qassam supporter sends them bitcoin, their wallet address changes. That makes tracking the funds much harder.
“The Israeli occupation is fighting the resistance by trying hard to block any support for it,” says the group’s website, “but the resistance’s friends around the world are fighting back against such Israeli attempts and seeking all possible ways to support the resistance.”
Elliptic says that the terrorists have managed to raise around $7,700 from bitcoin, a paltry amount compared to the millions it receives from Iran and individuals in Gulf states.
Nonetheless, this is early days for both cryptocurrency and Al-Qassam’s use of it. As such, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Gaza outfit will be able to get more cash through the digital asset as well as other cryptocurrencies in the coming years.