New research from Singapore-based web intelligence firm S2T suggests Islamic State (ISIS) could be using bitcoin for fundraising.
Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz has reported that S2T analyst Ido Wulkan managed to find concrete evidence linking an ISIS cell based in the US to fundraising activities. The cell apparently used the dark web and bitcoin to cover its tracks.
Wulkan found a dark web site that urged supporters to donate bitcoin to the cause. The message, posted by a user named Abu Mustafa, stated that bitcoin donations are accepted by the cell.
"There was smoke, and now we have found the fire," Wulkan told Haaretz.
The bitcoin address listed on the site received around 5 BTC before being shut down. Furthermore, Wulkan said this could be a one-off fundraising effort, or even a hoax or a joke.
This is not the first time ISIS has been associated with bitcoin. A blog affiliated with the militant group discussed the possibility of using bitcoin for fundraising last year, but no evidence of bitcoin use by ISIS was ever found.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.