A report from news outlet Reuters indicates increasing oversight by Israeli authorities on transactions on TRON. The report comes amid backlash from the crypto community due to mainstream media outlets trying to link crypto to illegal activity.

BTC’s price trends to the upside on the daily chart. Source: BTCUSDT on Tradingview

Israel Intensifies Crackdown On TRON Wallets Linked to Militant Funding

According to Reuters, TRON is becoming a “key player” in the financing of Iran-backed militant groups, from Hamas to Hezbollah. Israel’s battle against funding sources takes a new turn, as per Reuters, after consulting with financial crime and blockchain experts and basing their investigation on data provided by Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF).

TRON’s appeal over Bitcoin lies in its faster transaction speeds, lower costs, and greater stability, making it the preferred platform for transactions linked to groups classified as terrorist organizations by Israel, the report claimed. An analysis of crypto seizures by Israeli security services since 2021 reveals a notable increase in targeting TRON wallets, signaling a pivot from Bitcoin.

According to the New York-based blockchain analysis firm Merkle Science, there’s a clear shift in preference towards TRON among these organizations. The firm’s CEO, Mriganka Pattnaik, notes this change to TRON’s advantageous transaction attributes.

TRON Founder Responds To Accusations

The Reuters report confirmed that Merkle Science’s clientele includes law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Britain, and Singapore. Justin Sun, Founder of the TRON blockchain, replied to the accusations against the network. Via his official X handle, Sun stated:

TRON is a decentralized protocol, similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum, with nodes operating worldwide. Global super representatives are responsible for running this protocol. While we are committed to combating terrorist financing by integrating various analysis projects and partners, our top priority remains maintaining decentralization, ensuring the safety of everyone’s assets, and providing instant, affordable, and reliable transactions, as has always been the case. I extend great appreciation to everyone in our industry who is contributing to the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency.

From July 2021 to October 2023, the NBCTF froze 143 Tron wallets connected to “designated terrorist organizations” or involved in “severe terror crimes.” This trend was evident in the recent attacks by Hamas on Israel and the ensuing financial scrutiny of the group’s funding sources, the report claims.

TRON’s spokesperson, Hayward Wong, responded to the allegations, stating that while all technologies could theoretically be misused, TRON does not control or affiliate with the groups identified by Israel. Notably, a significant portion of Israel’s TRON seizures occurred in 2023, including wallets reportedly owned by Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In addition to the backlash from the crypto community demanding mainstream media outlets provide more data to support their accusation against the industry, there has been an evident decline in donations sent to Hamas and other terrorist groups using cryptocurrency.

As seen in the chart below, crypto has become increasingly useless to criminal groups. Especially since Hamas asked donors to avoid Bitcoin due to its transparency.

Bitcoin Hamas BTC BTCUSDT
Number of Bitcoin donations declining since 2022. Source: Elliptic

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