House Lawmakers Ask White House for Data on Hamas Using Crypto

(Bloomberg) -- House lawmakers asked President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to share information on how Hamas has used digital assets to fund its operations, ratcheting up scrutiny of the group following its attack on Israel last month.

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Citing media reports about digital wallets linked to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that reportedly received millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies, the bipartisan group of representatives said it is unclear how much of the assets are accessible and remain in the groups’ possession.

“Congress must understand the size, scope, and duration of Hamas’s digital asset operations, as well as whether the United States has had success in seizing illicit digital assets,” said a letter from the group led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Digital Asset Subcommittee Chairman James Hill.

The letter adds that it appears that Hamas’s fund-raising efforts are exploiting exchanges connected to nations adversarial to the US, including Russia-based Garantex, Binance and Gaza-based Buy Cash.

The group wants to know, among other things, how many digital wallets linked to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah have been identified by the US and what is the value that’s believed to remain accessible to the groups. They asked for a response no later than Nov. 29.

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