Although it was already known that cryptocurrencies are an ideal way to finance military groups, today we know that Tron has become the favorite cryptocurrency for this purpose. Iran is reportedly financing military groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah using Tron, which has become a rapidly growing cryptocurrency network.
According to a Reuters report, Tron has opened a new front in Israel’s fight against financing Iran-backed militant groups. The reason for Tron’s popularity is that its transactions are much faster and more economical compared to the better-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. As a result, Tron has become the go-to platform for cryptocurrency transfers for groups designated as terrorist organizations by Israel, the United States, and other countries.
Tron outperforms Bitcoin in financing militant or terrorist groups
Starting in 2021, Israeli security services began seizing cryptocurrencies. This reflected a sharp increase in targeting Tron wallets and a drop in seizures of Bitcoin wallets.
“Before, it was Bitcoin, and now our data shows that these terrorist organizations increasingly tend to favor Tron,” said Mriganka Pattnaik, CEO of a blockchain analysis firm.
The Israel National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF), responsible for such seizures, froze 143 Tron wallets between July 2021 and October 2023, believed to be connected to a “designated terrorist organization” or used for a “serious terrorist crime,” according to Reuters’ analysis.
Following Israel’s ground invasion and bombing of Gaza, scrutiny of Hamas’ funding has also intensified. A clear example is that two-thirds of Tron seizures (87) occurred this year. Of these, 39 belonged to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, according to Israel. Another 26 belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Hamas ally.
Hayward Wong, a spokesman for Tron, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, argued that all technologies could “in theory be used for questionable activities.” He cited the example of using US dollars for money laundering. Hayward said Tron had no control over who used its technology and was not linked to the groups identified by Israel.
Other users have fared poorly by using a wallet with the Tron cryptocurrency
Of course, there can be “false positives”. After the assault on Hamas, Israel announced the freezing of about 600 accounts it linked to Dubai Co. More than a dozen people whose funds were frozen in that seizure told Reuters they had been using Tron. They defended themselves, saying they traded cryptocurrencies to help their businesses or personal finances and denied any connection with Hamas or Islamic Jihad.
One of the individuals, who only identified themselves as Neo, said it was possible they had transferred money on one occasion to someone associated with Hamas. Israel classifies Dubai Co. as a terrorist group “due to the assistance they provide to the Hamas terrorist organization, particularly its military wing, in transferring tens of millions of dollars a year”.
The entry “Tron becomes the preferred cryptocurrency for terrorist organizations in the US and Israel” first appears on El Chapuzas Informático.