• 29 May, 2024

Coinbase Strengthens Compliance Measures to Combat Terrorism Financing

Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has taken a strong stance against the use of digital currencies for funding terrorism. In an official blog post, the company outlined its comprehensive compliance program aimed at preventing illicit activities. This includes Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, sanctions screening, and suspicious activity reporting. 

The exchange also utilizes blockchain analytics technology to trace and prevent terrorist financing. Coinbase’s blog post cited, “No currency of any type – whether it’s fiat, gold, or crypto – should ever be used to support Hamas or any other terrorist organizations.”

This comes amid Israeli authorities seizing cryptocurrency accounts linked to the Palestinian group. The Israel Police’s Cyber Unit, in collaboration with national intelligence agencies, has effectively blocked these accounts on centralized exchanges. The exact number of accounts and the amount of funds seized remain undisclosed.

Tom Alexandrovich, executive director of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, has previously emphasized the urgency of the situation:

In this period of war, cryptocurrency is a major issue for financing terror because there are no other options. The amount [of crypto funds] has super-increased since the attack began.

Coinbase’s blog post also highlighted the need for clear U.S. regulation to prevent cryptocurrencies from being pushed offshore, thereby increasing the risk of illicit activities. The company maintains a team of 400 compliance, legal, and investigative staff who work alongside U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies.

Coinbase is not the only exchange taking proactive measures. Binance, another leading cryptocurrency exchange, has frozen 100 accounts suspected of being linked to Hamas. These accounts were frozen in collaboration with Israeli authorities. Furthermore, Binance has been asked to provide data on an additional 200 crypto accounts, most of which are held on its platform.

Tether, a stablecoin issuer known for its USDT stablecoin, has also taken substantial action. The company has frozen over 30 addresses that were tied to illegal activities in both Israel and Ukraine. These addresses had accumulated a total of $873,118. This action was taken in close collaboration with Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing.

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