The United States Department of Treasury through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added Buy Cash to its sanctions list for its connections with the Hamas Terrorist Organization.
Blockage of Hamas Crypto Funding
According to the Press Release from the Treasury Department, the goal of the sanction is to block the rate at which Hamas gains access to funds from its partners in other Arab regions including Algeria, Sudan, Turkey, and Qatar.
The Treasury’s announcement noted that the “action targets members managing assets in a secret Hamas investment portfolio, a Qatar-based financial facilitator with close ties to the Iranian regime, a key Hamas commander, and a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange and its operator.”
Earlier this month, Hamas launched an attack and invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip, an action that has proven to be a very costly one in the region in decades. Israel has launched a counter-offensive, plunging the region into a full-blown war that has attracted fundraising from the crypto community.
The attacks have been blamed on cryptocurrencies by lawmakers in the United States including Senator Elizabeth Warren.
There have also been calls on regulators in the US to sustain the crackdown efforts and per the current action, the Treasury Department confirmed that it has targeted at least 1,000 individuals and entities connected to Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Middle East.
The sanctions on Buy Cash became necessitated following the seizure of one of its addresses indicted based on previous Hamas fundraising events. Besides this fundraising, Buy Cash has also reportedly been used to facilitate transfers to other Hamas affiliates. The Treasury said it is designating Buy Cash for “having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hamas.”
OFAC’s Historic Crypto Sanction
The role of crypto in terrorist financing and sanctions evasion has been dubbed a concern by OFAC and as such, has led to a lot of asset confiscations and designations over time.
From the sanctions on Blender.io to the crackdown on Tornado Cash, the Treasury Department has had a busy few years based on the links of these protocols to Lazarus Group.
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