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TRON Is The New Favourite For Hamas, Hezbollah

TRON Is The New Favourite For Hamas, Hezbollah

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Israel's battle against the financing of Iran-backed militant groups, spanning from Hamas to Hezbollah, has encountered a new battleground: the rapidly expanding crypto network known as Tron.

Rise in TRON Wallet Seizures

In a recent report by Reuters, TRON has gained prominence as the preferred platform for crypto transfers associated with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah labeled as terrorist organizations by Israel, the US, and others. The Israel National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) has frozen 143 TRON wallets between mid-2021 and October 2023, suspected to be linked to Hamas, Hezbollah, and other militant entities.

Shift From BTC To TRON

Compared to Bitcoin wallet seizures, the rise in TRON seizures signifies a shift in the modus operandi of these organizations. Israel reported 87 seizures from TRON wallets in 2023 alone, with two-thirds occurring since July 2021. Notably, 39 of these wallets were linked to Lebanon-based Hezbollah, and 26 were associated with Hamas ally Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Mriganka Pattnaik, CEO of Merkle Science, a blockchain analytics firm, said, 

"Earlier it was Bitcoin, and now our data shows that these terrorist organizations tend to increasingly favor TRON.” 

The attraction lies in TRON's faster transaction speeds, lower fees, and overall stability compared to Bitcoin.

Cheaper, Quicker, and Tether Dominance

The report points out that the cost-effective and rapid TRON network has seen increased usage of Tether (USDT). With over 50% of Tether's tokens stored and transacted on the TRON network, according to Defillama, it indicates a growing reliance on TRON for these activities.

The report cites growing pressure on Bitcoin's perceived anonymity as a driving factor pushing terrorist organizations towards alternatives like TRON. 

Shlomit Wagman, a senior fellow at Harvard University, noted that TRON, once a "blindspot," is now under the global law enforcement radar.

Israel's Seizures Post-Hamas Attacks

Following the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel, Israel announced its largest known seizure of crypto accounts, freezing approximately 600 accounts connected to Dubai Co. More than a dozen affected individuals revealed they had been using TRON for legitimate trading, denying any connection with designated terrorist groups.

Binance's Involvement and Response From TRON

Binance co-founder Yi He reported the freeze on accounts linked to Hamas militants, emphasizing the need for financial entities to cooperate with freeze requests. In response, Hayward Wong, a spokesperson for TRON, clarified that they do not have control over how their technology is used and asserted no direct linkage to the identified groups.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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