Hamas, the Palestinian islamist group is begging for donations in Bitcoin inorder to survive the financial isolation and deprivation its suffering from due to the economic sanctions slapped on it by the US and Israel.
A Hamas representative accused of Israel of attempting to cut off funding from the group from sources all over the world.
In a plea to their supporters all around the world, the Hamas rep said “Support the resistance financially through the Bitcoin currency,”
The Times of Israel went on to Mock the plea by Hamas by jokingly reporting that “There was no immediate reply from Bitcoin,”
The pleas by Hamas were precipitated by the Palestinian National Authority (interim body that governs the west bank and Gaza strip-cut off much of its funding to the strip.
A tweet from a Hamas rep Ahmad Matar read;
“#Hamas invites the ppl around the world to support #Gaza by sending Bitcoin in order to break the Israeli siege since 13 years “
Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-islamist network funded mainly by Iran. The funding has been drying up though, since Iran is going through some financial turbulence of her own due to crippling sanctions imposed on it by the US.
In response to the sanctions, Iran is now looking at crypto as a possible avenue for financial freedom. Iran is now using crypto-currencies with a state-backed crypto reportedly set to be unveiled, and is also mining Bitcoin, in an attempt to go around the sanctions.
The Bitcoin plea by Hamas has pumped widespread belief among those outside the crypto community, that virtual currencies are mainly used for illegal activity such as tax-evasion, money laundering, and terrorism financing.
A 2017 report from the University of Technology Sydney Business School stated that “Bitcoin has become the PayPal of the dark web,” an assertion that was quickly countered by Quebec government’s Chief scientist’s office. The chief scientist said;
Bitcoin is not above the law, nor is it a magnet for illicit transactions. It forms only a tiny part of the criminal money circulating around the planet. The reason: it is less attractive for anyone who wants to make transactions without leaving a trace.
The assertion that Bitcoin as well as other virtual currencies are illegitimate will only be fueled further by this plea from Hamas. My take is that pro-Israeli crypto cynics may just cite this as another reason why crypto is not to be trusted.
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