The dominant asset in this network is the USDT stablecoin from Tether

Analysts point to the growing popularity of the TRON blockchain among terrorists

27.11.2023 - 14:24

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2 min

What’s new? The TRON (TRX) blockchain, created by Justin Sun, CEO of the HTX and Poloniex crypto exchanges, has overtaken the bitcoin network in popularity among terrorists, experts interviewed by Reuters claim. Higher speed and lower transaction costs have contributed to this, they said. TRON, a British Virgin Islands-registered company, said it had no control over blockchain users, adding that in theory any technology could be used for criminal activity.

Material by Reuters

What else is known? Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) froze 143 wallets on the TRON blockchain linked to terrorist organizations including Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas between July 2021 and October 2023.

Hamas has been raising cryptocurrencies since at least 2019, but in April this year, its representatives said they would stop raising BTC due to increased efforts to prevent donations. The TRON blockchain was not mentioned in the same statement.

Analysts interviewed by Reuters also said that Tether’s USDT stablecoin is the dominant asset on the TRON network. Earlier, Tether had already faced accusations of aiding and abetting terrorist fundraising by US lawmakers. The company itself denied the accusations, emphasizing its active participation in freezing suspicious funds, including in conjunction with Israeli authorities.

At the same time, journalists note difficulties with a reliable assessment of the amounts collected by terrorists in cryptocurrencies: it is difficult to establish whether the assets on the frozen wallets were really intended for these groups.

The interest of US officials in Tether in connection with the financing of terrorism arose after the publication of the WSJ feature, which significantly overstated the amount of funds collected by groups in cryptocurrencies. Elliptic analysts stated about the distortion of information by journalists, a link to the research of which was used in the article.

The EU also later became interested in the topic: local lawmakers are considering a complete ban on anonymous cryptocurrency transactions to combat terrorist financing.

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