Home ยป Wall Street Journal Corrects Misleading Article on Hamas Crypto Funding

Wall Street Journal Corrects Misleading Article on Hamas Crypto Funding

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has issued a partial correction to an article that previously mischaracterized the extent of cryptocurrency funding for Hamas and other militant groups involved in terrorism activities.

by Isaac lane
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The original article, published on October 10, was titled “Hamas Militants Behind Israel Attack Raised Millions in Crypto.” It cited blockchain forensics firm Elliptic and claimed that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) had raised as much as $93 million in cryptocurrencies between August 2021 and June 2023. However, Elliptic clarified that these funds were not necessarily raised to finance terrorism.

Correction and Clarification

In the correction, WSJ acknowledged that PIJ and the Lebanese political party Hezbollah might have exchanged up to $12 million in cryptocurrencies since 2021, as per Elliptic’s data. This amount is significantly less than the initial $93 million figure mentioned in the original article.

WSJ also updated other parts of the article to provide additional context about Elliptic’s research.

On October 25, Elliptic urged WSJ to correct its misinterpretation of the data. The firm emphasized that cryptocurrency funding for Hamas remains relatively small when compared to other funding sources.

Ongoing Concerns

While WSJ’s correction addressed some inaccuracies, discussions are ongoing. Critics, including Paul Grewal, Coinbase‘s chief legal officer, noted that the article’s opening paragraph still suggests that cryptocurrency was the primary funding source for Hamas in an attack on Israel. Some individuals, like Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures, are now urging U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren to retract a letter, supported by over 100 lawmakers, which cited WSJ’s misinterpreted data to argue that cryptocurrency poses a “national security threat.”

This correction underscores the importance of accurate reporting and data interpretation, particularly in the context of cryptocurrency’s role in financial activities related to organizations and events with broader implications.

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