The Associated Foreign Press (AFP) and Al Jazeera report Hamas has called on its supporters to send bitcoin.
“Support the resistance financially through the bitcoin currency,” said Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.
The statement made on Tuesday did not provide any detail, with Obeida stating the exact mechanism of sending bitcoin will be revealed later.
Presumably just a bitcoin public address is all that’s needed, although that could be tracked as bitcoin transactions are public, but pseudo-anonymous with each address being sort of like a nickname.
“The statement accused Israel of seeking to cut Hamas’s access to finance. Hamas officials say its military wing receives significant support from Iran, although the routes through which these funds are transferred are opaque,” AFP says.
This move comes amidst an ongoing conference in Iran with the theme of “blockchain revolution” where details are expected of their announced aims to tokenize Rial through what may be a semi-private blockchain.
Iran is apparently holding talks with major European countries to make or receive payments in crypto-rial to bypass US sanctions. Europe does not currently impose sanctions on Iran.
Hamas however is a designated terrorist organization in EU and US. They rule the Gaza strip, an overpopulated and blockaded piece of land where some 2 million Palestinians live.
They have been able to hold power since 2013, with this surprise announcement having considerable significance for it could have substantial geopolitical implications.
Cryptos are of course politically neutral by design. They don’t and they can’t pass judgment just like electricity or the Toyota cars they use.
It’s a technology that operates outside of the banking system and outside anyone’s control. That is seemingly making it a very powerful tool in the geopolitical arena with Iran’s central bank announcing today it has:
“Authorised initial coin offerings (ICOs), tokens, cryptocurrency wallets, cryptocurrency exchange bureaus and mining the process of generating cryptocurrencies through employing computing power.”
Bitcoin and cryptos were previously banned in the country, but following US sanctions they turned to the new technology. Now they’re seemingly telling Hamas to do the same.
Previously there was some debate in the Islamic world on whether cryptos are sharia compliant. A debate settled in April 2018 when Matthew J. Martin, CEO of Indonesia’s Blossom Finance, said:
“Blockchain proves ownership of the asset – it proves you actually have the money you’re sending in a transaction.
Conventional banking literally loans money into existence, and that is completely incompatible with the Shariah principles of money…
Blockchain gives you mathematical proof of ownership and that’s overall much more in line with the spirit of Islamic finance than any digital fiat money.”
Before that, to understand where we are we have to go to Russia 2017 when Putin fell “ill” with the blockchain idea.
From there probably comes Petro and crypto-rial, with Iran now seemingly spreading it to their own allies like Hamas.
That might make this one of the most significant geopolitical development in finance since most countries moved to the debt system two-three centuries ago.
And it hasn’t even begun, but it appears very clear that a technological race is developing which could have considerable implications within a decade.