Unraveling Hamas Crypto Terror Financing in Israel-Gaza War

Amidst crippling sanctions, Hamas turns to crypto. Dive into how they are using crypto to finance its war with Israel.

Soldier standing on a digital battleground.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Hamas intensifies its use of crypto amidst escalating tensions with Israel.
  • Non-state actors seek crypto to circumvent sanctions. 
  • The transparency of blockchain poses challenges. 

In an era where digital currencies promise financial autonomy, the Israel-Gaza conflict has found an unexpected dimension. As tensions escalate, a parallel battle unfolds in the digital realm, with Hamas leveraging cryptocurrency amidst Israeli sanctions.

How Hamas Used Blockchain to Bypass Sanctions

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas launched a wide-scale attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets and, according to reports, killed over 700 Israelis. In the backdrop of this physical confrontation, a digital strategy was at play. 


Hamas, facing sweeping Israeli sanctions, turned to cryptocurrency as a lifeline. The decentralized nature of digital currencies offers entities like Hamas a chance to bypass international sanctions, ensuring a continuous flow of funds to support their operations.

Hamas is also not the only actor using blockchain to bypass sanctions. North Korea, for instance, has also been reported to engage in state-sponsored crypto activities. Its infamous Lazarus Group is notorious for engaging in crypto hacks, stealing hundreds of millions from users. The state reportedly uses the proceeds of these hacks to fund its military, including its nuclear arsenal.   

Like North Korea, Hamas uses crypto to further its political and military aims. For instance, following a major outbreak of violence in Gaza in May 2021, addresses controlled by Hamas received over $400,000. 

Since the recent October 7 attacks, Gaza-based group GazaNow, actively supporting Hamas, solicited donations using a cryptocurrency address. First active in August 2021, this address has received nearly $800,000 in total and less than $5,000 since the recent attacks.

How Israel is Cracking Down on Hamas Crypto Wallets

On October 10, the cyber branch of the Israel Police’s Lahav 433 announced the seizure of cryptocurrency accounts belonging to Hamas. According to the Israeli Police, Hamas had been using these accounts to raise money on social media since the attacks began. Collaborative efforts between Israeli agencies and Binance further tightened the noose, shutting down these accounts.


Over the past few years, Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing (NBCTF) has repeatedly targeted Hamas’ use of cryptocurrency. They have seized dozens of cryptocurrency addresses with tens of millions of dollars in volume, controlled by entities affiliated with Hamas. These include Gaza-based businesses such as Dubai Co. For Exchange and al-Muhtadon. 

The majority of the funds seized have been Tether on the Tron network. In July 2021, the NBCTF released a copy of an administrative seizure for various cryptocurrencies controlled by agents of Hamas, revealing the growing sophistication of terrorist financing campaigns.

Crypto Regulations and the Shadow of Terrorism

The association of cryptocurrency with entities like Hamas has cast a shadow over the broader crypto community. Such associations raise concerns about the potential misuse of digital currencies, leading to calls for stricter regulations. 

Notably, on Tuesday, October 11, several global financial watchdogs expressed concerns over using crypto for illicit activities, especially in conflict zones. However, not everyone agrees with these claims. 

For instance, Sam Lyman, Director of Public Policy at Bitcoin infrastructure company Riot Platforms, sees things differently. He points out that blockchain tech has serious issues for non-state actors. 

Specifically, blockchain’s inherent transparency is a major problem for non-state actors. Because every transaction is traceable, it becomes a powerful tool for intelligence agencies aiming to stamp out terror financing. 

This very transparency led Hamas to halt its crypto fundraising in April 2023. On Thursday, April 27, al-Qassam Brigades announced the suspension of Bitcoin donations, emphasizing the risks associated with blockchain’s open nature.

On the Flipside

  • While the focus is often on the misuse of cryptocurrencies, it’s worth noting that blockchain technology has potential applications for peace and diplomacy. For instance, blockchain could track aid donations transparently, ensuring they reach the intended recipients without diversion.
  • Beyond the Middle East, cryptocurrency has emerged as a significant tool in global defense strategies. During the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine turned to digital currencies to bolster its defense. 

Why This Matters

Understanding cryptocurrency’s geopolitical implications is crucial for crypto traders and enthusiasts. The association of digital currencies with entities like Hamas can influence regulatory decisions, impacting the broader crypto market. 

Read more about the Israel-Gaza conflict: 
Israel Cracks Down on Binance Crypto Accounts Tied to Hamas

Read more about Coinbase’s performance in 2023: 
Coinbase Q3 Spot Trading Volume Hits New Low Since Listing

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.