No, ISIS does not have $300 million in Bitcoin funding

The blockchain forensic firm Chainalysis has published a report that discredits a number of popular narratives about the use of cryptomoney to finance terrorism.

The report emphasizes the damage of false reports by spreading misinformation and damaging the reputation of companies that operate with virtual currencies.

As „a trusted research partner for governments around the world, one of our main goals is to prevent terrorists from using cryptomoney,“ says Chainalysis.

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„It is a serious task, and it is important to be responsible and judicious in disseminating information on such an important issue as the financing of terrorism.

Chainalysis discredits ISIS’s US$300 million crypt-currency funding fund
Chainalysis cites reports last week that ISIS’s $300 million lost funding fund would be denominated in Bitcoin (BTC).

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Despite being recorded as a certainty in traditional media reports, the primary source of the information, Hans-Jakob Schindler, director of the Project Against Extremism’s expert group, simply suggested that cryptomonies „may have been one of the ways in which [the funds] could have been used.

In addition to noting how Schindler’s claims had been discredited, Chainalysis said that „Schindler’s theory is highly improbable“ in any case.

We know that most terrorist financing campaigns have raised less than USD 10,000, indicating limited adoption. Moreover, if ISIS had channeled oil revenues to Bitcoin, the volume of trade from regional exchanges and money service companies would have reflected this flow of funds.

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The report also points to unsubstantiated claims that ISIS financed its 2019 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka using Bitcoin, citing Chainalysis‘ Crypto Crime Report 2020 in refuting that crypto currencies were used as a means to finance the attacks.

However, a separate report from the Philippine Institute for Research on Peace, Violence and Terrorism released today shows that ISIS branches in Southeast Asia have been using crypto currencies for money laundering.

Bitcoin is not used to raise USD 24 million for the PRC
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Earlier this year, reports indicated that the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in Gaza had raised USD 24 million through the local cash service business, Cash4PS.

Chainalysis noted significant flaws that support the story, stating that the reports assumed that every transfer into Cash4PS wallets was related to terrorist financing without evidence.

Further, the majority of funds received by Cash4PS wallets came from other addresses within the Cash4PS network, and Chainalysis estimated that only USD 1 million was transferred into the network from external sources.03