Hamas Crypto Funding Sparks Controversy as Coinbase CLO Takes a Stand
Following the recent escalation between Hamas and Israel, Coinbase‘s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal condemned the idea of a fund to support the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
What’s happened in and to Israel is evil. No funds should EVER be used to support Hamas or any other organization responsible– whether those funds are in the form of fiat currency, gold, crypto or whatever. 1/3
— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) October 11, 2023
Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7, and Grewal shared that what’s happening in Israel is “evil.” He stated, “No funds should EVER be used to support Hamas or any other organization responsible.” Moreover, he claimed that it doesn’t matter if those funds were in fiat, gold, or cryptocurrencies.
The attack was sudden, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Hamas’ attack was financed with crypto. Israeli police reportedly froze crypto accounts used by Hamas, which were used to collect donations and funds on social media. Furthermore, Hamas reportedly received large amounts of funds through crypto during the last year.
Reuters reported that Hamas initiated a fundraising campaign on social networks to urge the public to deposit crypto into their accounts. The police froze the accounts seeking donations with crypto exchange Binance’s assistance, but the number of accounts frozen or the value of the crypto wasn’t disclosed.
Grewal claimed that Coinbase “has been laser-focused on rooting out bad actors seeking to use crypto for illicit purposes.” Moreover, he added that Coinbase does KYC checks, sanctions screening, and suspicious activity reporting (SAR), and has strong law enforcement partnerships.
The current situation led Grewal to highlight the need for crypto legislation in the United States “without further delay.” He said, “We need this industry flourishing in nations committed to the rule of law, not driven to places where human rights and public safety mean much less.”
Grewal’s statement received a mixed reaction from the public; one user on X (previously Twitter) stated, “God bless Hamas and oppressed people everywhere. Crypto should be on the side of the repressed.” Another user said, “This was a nice warning to pull all crypto off your exchange.”
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