Crypto exchange Binance has frozen more than 100 accounts allegedly associated with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, according to a report by the Financial Times on Tuesday.
Citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, the FT states that the frozen accounts were blocked following requests from Israeli law enforcement in the wake of recent violent clashes between Israel and Hamas. Authorities have also reportedly asked Binance for information on over 200 additional accounts potentially tied to Hamas.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, confirmed to the FT that it had “blocked” a small number of accounts but declined to specify the exact figure. The company previously acknowledged last week that it was coordinating with Israeli officials to restrict terror financing on its platform.
The crackdown comes after over a week of conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas militants centered in Gaza. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the US, UK and other nations. The group has reportedly solicited cryptocurrency donations to support its operations.
On Monday, stablecoin provider Tether revealed it had frozen funds worth $160,000 across 32 wallet addresses associated with Hamas and other entities engaged in warfare. Tether stated it was cooperating with Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing.
While the number of blocked accounts represents a fraction of Binance’s total user base, the actions highlight crypto’s traceability for law enforcement and the ongoing challenges around illicit usage. As regulatory scrutiny of the crypto sector intensifies globally, major exchanges face increasing pressure to monitor transactions for ties to sanctions, terrorism, and other crimes.
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