Hamas, Hezbollah Now Prefer Tron to Bitcoin: Reuters

Hamas, Hezbollah Now Prefer Tron to Bitcoin: Reuters
Photo by Michael Förtsch / Unsplash

In an unprecedented shift in the digital finance landscape, groups designated as terrorist organizations by multiple jurisdictions, including Hamas and Hezbollah, are increasingly turning to the Tron blockchain over Bitcoin, a recent Reuters report highlights. This trend marks a significant evolution in the use of cryptocurrencies by such groups, raising new challenges for global finance and security authorities.

The Rise of Tron in Illicit Finance

Almost two-thirds of Israel's cryptocurrency seizures in 2023 targeted Tron, a blockchain network that is now seemingly preferred by these organizations over the more well-known Bitcoin. According to data revealed by Israeli authorities, 87 seizures from Tron wallets occurred this year alone, a stark increase from previous years. These seizures included 39 wallets in June, purportedly owned by Lebanon's Hezbollah, and another 26 in July, linked to Hamas ally Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Why the Shift from Bitcoin?

Experts suggest several reasons for this strategic shift. "Earlier it was Bitcoin, and now our data shows that these terrorist organizations tend to increasingly favor Tron," explains Mriganka Pattnaik, CEO of blockchain analysis firm Merkle Science. Factors contributing to this preference may include Tron's lower transaction fees, faster processing times, and perceived anonymity compared to Bitcoin.

Tron's Response and the Cryptocurrency Dilemma

In light of these findings, questions are being raised about the responsibilities of cryptocurrency networks in preventing misuse. Tron spokesperson Hayward Wong commented to Reuters, stating that while all technologies could, in theory, be used for questionable activities, Tron does not have control over individuals or groups using its network. This statement reflects a broader dilemma in the cryptocurrency world, where the balance between financial innovation and potential misuse remains delicate.

International Reaction and Future Implications

The international community, particularly countries that have designated Hamas and Hezbollah as terror organizations, including the U.S. and U.K., have expressed concern over these developments. The use of cryptocurrencies by such groups poses new challenges for law enforcement and financial regulators globally. Efforts are underway to enhance monitoring and control mechanisms, but the decentralized and borderless nature of blockchain technology makes this a complex task.

The Impact on Global Security and Finance

The shift to Tron by these organizations could have far-reaching implications for global security and the fight against terrorism financing. Experts argue that it underscores the need for stronger international cooperation and more robust regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies. The situation also highlights the evolving nature of digital finance, where traditional methods of monitoring and control are continually challenged by new technological advancements.

The Role of Blockchain Analysis in Combatting Terrorism Financing

Blockchain analysis firms like Merkle Science are at the forefront of tracking illicit activities in the cryptocurrency space. These firms use advanced algorithms and data analysis techniques to identify suspicious transactions and wallets, providing crucial intelligence to authorities. However, the effectiveness of these measures is often limited by the inherent anonymity features of many blockchain networks, including Tron.


The preference for Tron over Bitcoin by groups like Hamas and Hezbollah represents a new chapter in the use of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities. While it offers these groups certain advantages, it also presents new challenges for global authorities in tracking and combatting terrorism financing. As the digital finance landscape continues to evolve, so too must the strategies to ensure its safe and lawful use.