New crypto front emerges in Israel's militant funding fight

STORY: A new front has emerged in Israel's fight against militant financing of groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah, and this front is a fast emerging blockchain known as Tron.

[What is Tron?]

Tron is essentially the infrastructure that's used to send and receive cryptocurrencies.

Tron has overtaken Bitcoin, which is by far the largest cryptocurrency and blockchain out there, as the predominant platform for transfers associated with groups designated as terrorist organizations by Israel and even the United States.

That's according to a Reuters analysis of several years of Israeli cryptocurrency seizures that identified crypto wallets as being linked to these groups.

[Why are militant groups turning to Tron?]

It's grown quite popular because of three main reasons.It's very quick, it's very cheap and it's become quite difficult for blockchain analysis companies and law enforcement to track.

[Israel's response]

Since the October 7th attacks on southern Israel by Hamas, Israel has started a bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza Strip that has killed around 14,000 people. Israel has also stepped up scrutiny of how the militant group is raising money in general.

Since 2021, Israel's counter-terrorist financing authorities have seized about 140 Tron cryptocurrency wallets that it said were linked to militant groups. Of these seizures, about two thirds have come this year, including 39 wallets that Israel said were linked to the Lebanese organization Hezbollah.

Reuters was not able to identify exactly how Israel's counter terrorist financing body had linked the cryptocurrency wallets it had seized to militant groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.