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Hamas raised $7,400 in Bitcoin, but it’s still learning to hide the evidence

Hamas raised $7,400 in Bitcoin, but it’s still learning to hide the evidence

The military wing of Palestine’s Hamas has received around $7,400 since it began accepting cryptocurrency donations, but tracking the funds is set to become more difficult.
Al-Qassam Brigades has been urging supporters to send Bitcoin BTC since January. The campaign is led by tutorial videos that show how Bitcoin can subvert the traditional finance system, Reuters reports.

The group is proscribed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, which labelled it a terrorist organization. The European Union has done the same for Hamas.
In fact, sending funds to the organization is illegal in those regions.
“They are still in experimentation stage – trying it out, seeing how much they can raise, and whether it works,” one researcher told Reuters.
Since the campaign began, analysts have easily tracked contributions as the group had used a single Bitcoin address to receive funds.
The service is now said to generate a unique Bitcoin address for each donation, rendering “tagging” wallets belonging to Al-Qassam Brigades significantly harder.
Hamas is figuring out how to use Bitcoin better
According to Reuters, a two-minute video posted to the Al-Qassam Brigades site acts as a step-by-step guide to supporting the Palestinian resistance with Bitcoin.
It reportedly advises supporters on how to send Bitcoin via money-exchange offices and cryptocurrency exchanges, and how to avoid authorities linking Bitcoin wallet transactions to personal IP addresses (by using public devices).
Blockchain analytic firm Elliptic reported multiple Bitcoin donations had been sent from the group to a major Asia-based cryptocurrency exchange, but it was unclear whether the Bitcoin had been sold for fiat.
Al-Qassam Brigades is also said to have fielded 13 donations directly from a separate digital asset exchange, also based in Asia.
The $7,400 raised is relatively insignificant when compared to the total sum of annual funding Hamas has received in the past  (at one point, $23 million per month), but the group has been struggling for years.
In 2016, it raised taxes dramatically after tunnel trade with Egypt ceased, and its allies (Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood) scaled back financial support.
There are other groups around the world using cryptocurrency to raise money, too. Venezuela’s hard-line ruler Nicolas Maduro famously launched his own cryptocurrency, the Petro, in an apparent bid to skirt international sanctions on oil sales.
Reports also indicate North Korea has hacked cryptocurrency exchanges and related services en masse to support the Kim Jong-un regime. Last week, researchers even claimed it could be using the funds in attempts to acquire nuclear weapons.
Did you know? Hard Fork has its own stage at TNW2019, our tech conference in Amsterdam. Check it out.

Published April 26, 2019 — 10:01 UTC

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$25,000 Bitcoin Price Next for Perma-Bull Lee after Ringing Crypto Winter Dead

$25,000 Bitcoin Price Next for Perma-Bull Lee after Ringing Crypto Winter Dead

By CCN: Fundstrat CEO Tom Lee says the ‘crypto winter’ is finally over, offering 13 solid reasons to back up his claim. According to the bitcoin perma-bull, there’s nothing but blue sky between here and his $25,000 price prediction.If he’s right, then bitcoin has bottomed for this cycle and we have now entered a bull market. Lee’s 13 signs touched on everything from technical analysis, Wall Street involvement, bitcoin metrics, and generally positive sentiment.After a disturbing pullback to ~$6,200, #Bitcoin back >$8,000 further cementing positive trend intact.As we said a few weeks ago, Consensus 2019 @coindesk was to prove whether crypto winter is over……confirmed pic.twitter.com/M8ni4g2YvX— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 19, 2019Bitcoin’s “disturbing pullback” to $6,200 just a blipLee said that bitcoin’s recent flash crash to $6,200, which was triggered by a huge sell order on Bitstamp, was a blip. And the subsequent rebound to $8,000 strengthened the case that bulls were back in control of the market.Tom Lee believes bitcoin has bottomed at $3,200 and begun the road to recovery. Source: CoinMarketCapAs Lee points out in his 13 reasons, negative news stories no longer seem to dent the market. Citing recent events that ought to have shaken the markets, he said:“Stable market reaction to controversy around Bitfinex/Tether and NY Attorney General’s court order alleging undisclosed transfer from Tether’s reserves to Bitfinex in order to cover up mishandled funds.”Lee: Consensus 2019 confirms the end of crypto winterLee said the final proof of bitcoin’s rebound lies with the Consensus conference. The event, run by Coindesk, is often cited as a catalyst for price action, known as the “Consensus Pump.”The bitcoin price rallied to a ten-month high of $8,000 as the conference kicked off. It was the catalyst Lee needed to confirm that crypto winter is finally over.Bitcoin transactions surge and accumulation beginsAmong the other reasons for Lee’s conclusion is the volume of bitcoin transactions. He wrote that on January 23rd:“On-chain transactions per day turn positive YoY, the first time since January 2018 (consistently).”#bitcoin transactions reaching ath’s again🚀 pic.twitter.com/YMfQIQir1C— Sakura ¥ (@carryyen) March 28, 2019He also pointed to volume on over the counter (OTC) markets, hinting that brokers were reporting 60 – 70 percent increase in new client activity. At the same time, wealthy investors were accumulating bitcoin, not just on OTC markets, but in Grayscale’s flagship Bitcoin Investment Trust.It’s in the charts…Additionally, Lee points to a slew of technical analysis that confirms bitcoin’s upward trends. The most significant of which is the so-called “golden cross” when bitcoin’s 50-day moving average crossed the 200-day moving average. It historically indicates a bull market, not just in crypto, but in financial markets generally.Ladies & Gents… The Golden Cross!Bitcoin’s 50-day moving average (gold) crossing above her 200-day moving average (blue). 📈This is yet another sign that we’re back in a🐂market. 🚀🌛 pic.twitter.com/VK1PSsOYIB— Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan) April 23, 2019Lee also cites his own firm’s Bitcoin Misery Index which ticked back up to 2017 levels.Bitcoin price to soar to $25,000?With crypto winter finally over, Lee may double down on his $25,000 bitcoin price prediction. The perma-bull originally predicted that bitcoin would hit the milestone by the end of 2018. Even when it failed to materialize, he remained optimistic, saying $25,000 is a fair price for bitcoin.“Strangely, I just think that’s a good, fair value for bitcoin, but the timing of that’s going to be difficult. Bitcoin has had 70 percent pullbacks four times already in its 10-year history, and it has recovered to new all-time highs every time. So to me, it’s resilient.”At what price will see FOMO from those who gloated about 90% crash in $BTC?Military term, SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess).My SWAG is $10,000 is price that causes FOMO from those who saw #bitcoin as dead forever. POLL: At what price do we see FOMO?— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 12, 2019For now, the psychological barrier remains at $10,000. According to a Twitter poll conducted by Lee, his followers believe this is the price at which new investors will FOMO into cryptocurrencies. 
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JPMorgan Tries Fear-Mongering in Attempt to Sabotage Bitcoin Price Rally

JPMorgan Tries Fear-Mongering in Attempt to Sabotage Bitcoin Price Rally

JPMorgan Tries Fear-Mongering in Attempt to Sabotage Rowdy Bitcoin Price RallyJPMorgan strategists are warning investors that bitcoin, in its current value, is overpriced. | Source: ShutterstockBy CCN: JPMorgan doesn’t love bitcoin. The bank – the United States’ biggest financial institution by assets – has been historically pessimistic about the flagship cryptocurrency, so just when bitcoin prices started going through the roof, it decided to crash the party with a dire warning.#Bitcoin prices diverge from intrinsic value, carrying echoes of late 2017, JPM says. pic.twitter.com/DImDoSMv8L— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) May 17, 2019JPMorgan makes yet another effort to sabotage bitcoinThe crypto winter gave JPMorgan’s bitcoin bears reason to cheer earlier this year. The Wall Street firm’s analysts were bandying about a $1,260 bitcoin price target in January, warning HOLDers that they should prepare for more pain in case the crypto winter continued.Bitcoin’s impressive price rally has made those analysts eat their words as the digital currency is now trading over $7,900. But JPMorgan says that the current bitcoin price is reminiscent of 2017’s boom-bust pattern when the cryptocurrency’s market price had surged ahead of its intrinsic value and then crashed spectacularly.JPMorgan strategists wrote in a note (via Bloomberg):Over the past few days, the actual price has moved sharply over marginal cost. The divergence between actual and intrinsic values carries some echoes of the spike higher in late 2017, and at the time this divergence was resolved mostly by a reduction in actual prices.The note tells us that JPMorgan is trying to rain in on bitcoin’s parade, giving bears fodder by telling them that bitcoin’s current price doesn’t reflect its true value. But there’s a flaw in the JPMorgan has arrived at the “intrinsic value” of bitcoin.Don’t get carried away by JPMorgan’s fearmongeringJPMorgan has arrived at bitcoin’s intrinsic value by treating the digital currency as a commodity. The Wall Street firm estimated the cost of “producing” a bitcoin using variables such as electricity expenses, hardware efficiency, and electricity expense.But it seems like JPMorgan forgot that the current bitcoin price rally has a lot more legs than the last one, and it doesn’t make sense to value it based on the cost of mining. That’s because bitcoin is proving to be a solid alternative investment at a time when the stock market is in turmoil, thanks to the US-China trade war.In a period where: —political tensions escalate between US and China, —global equity markets fall sharply—VIX largest spike in many months—global yield curves flatten/invert#bitcoin has RISEN and >$6,000Crypto showing its value as an uncorrelated asset.— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 9, 2019As it turns out, the Chinese are dumping their currency in favor of bitcoin to escape the yuan’s painful decline.Meanwhile, institutional investors are piling into bitcoin as the digital asset is believed to be better than gold as a safe-haven investment. Asset management firm Morgan Creek Digital’s CEO, Mark Yusko, estimates that the price of bitcoin could reach as high as $500,000 if the cryptocurrency is valued like gold:So if we get the amount of value in total Bitcoin market value or network value equal to gold, that’d be about $7.4 trillion divided by 21 million coins, although there aren’t really 21 million left, and you get around $400,000 a coin, maybe $500,000 a coin. Now, when does that happen? It’s probably over a decade or maybe even more.A survey carried out by Fidelity Digital Assets has found out that almost half of the institutional investors that it had surveyed see a place for digital assets like bitcoin in their portfolios.We asked: what do institutions really think about #digitalassets? https://t.co/3Lq5h5ITbT— Fidelity Digital Assets (@DigitalAssets) May 2, 2019So, JPMorgan’s claim that the price will crash just because it is trading above the intrinsic value, which has been arrived at by calculating mining costs, is nothing but a farce.It’s ‘Worth Nothing’: Jamie Dimon Takes Another Shot at Bitcoin https://t.co/junawpXqNa— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) September 22, 2017But bitcoin has proved that it has value because of its real-world use cases. So don’t be surprised to see JPMorgan’s famed analysts eating their words once again when the price shoots higher.Click here for a real-time bitcoin price rally. About The AuthorHarsh ChauhanHarsh Singh Chauhan has a wealth of experience evaluating publicly-traded companies across several verticals, including technology, oil and gas, retail, and consumer goods. He is a syndicated author whose articles have been published on reputed online platforms across the U.S., Europe, and India since 2011.This article was edited by Samburaj Das.
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