If anyone thought the Binance-Bitcoin SV saga was veering to a close, you’ll have to think again. Two weeks after the largest exchange delisted the five-month-old Bitcoin Cash [BCH] hard fork, one of the main spearheads of the BSV camp has lodged a slew of accusations against the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
Calvin Ayre, the founder of Ayre group and a massive BSV proponent has called out the Changpeng Zhao-led exchange for “laundering money for terror groups” as well as “market manipulation”. He added that this accusation was not solely driven by him as, in his opinion, “governments all over the world” were also looking into Binance as they were “bad for the industry”.
His tweet read:
Underlying the aforementioned tweet was an article by BellingCat, titled, “How To Track Illegal Funding Campaigns Via Cryptocurrency” detailing the cryptocurrency fundraising for a terror outfit using cryptocurrency exchanges. The March 26 article highlights the soliciting of Bitcoin by Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, a Palestinian terror organization.
The article identifies a “strong connection” of this sort of fundraising to the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world Binance. In light of this tie, the article states:
“To start, it means that someone or several people are utilizing this exchange [Binance] to send money to Al-Qassam, which is a sanctioned entity in the U.S and EU. Sending money to this group is a very illegal thing to do in places where crypto is popular.”
A recent report by Elliptic Research had pointed out that the Al-Qassam brigade was vying to ensure that BTC donations were untraceable. The funding website of the Hamas terror cell has been generating new digital wallets for every transaction to maintain secrecy and stall regulatory checks.
The report read:
“A single digital wallet can be red-flagged to cryptocurrency exchanges, in theory allowing them to prevent funds moving through their systems to that destination.”
Despite the portal having amassed only 0.6 BTC, or $3,300 and only $7,400 since its inception, lawmakers are worried about the future prospects of such a fundraising mechanism.
The Elliptic Report was also echoed by a report from RAND Corporation the US-based non-profit think tank which found that the use of decentralized currency poses no significant threat from a terror-funding standpoint, at this time. In the future, if the anonymity and security are enhanced, and state-controlled regulation is negated, there could be a potential threat, they cautioned.
It must be noted that Binance has not been one to appease to the regulatory pressure of their home base. They often shifted core operations from country to country to avoid dealing with regulators and central banks, instead opting for self-regulation by partnering, independently, with KYC and risk management companies.
Last week, Calvin Ayre’s Coingeek published an article reporting Binance’s role in “criminal operations” citing several general sources. With no mention of the nature of these “criminal operations” by Ayre, at the time, the BSV spearhead has now specified that “laundering of money to terror groups” and “market manipulation” were the areas of concern.
Binance has since not responded to the accusation and their last interaction with BSV was when the exchange delisted the coin, triggering a delisting landslide. Soon after the initial delisting, Kraken, Shapeshift, Bitforex and a number of crypto-platforms showed the door to Satoshi’s Vision, leading to a 20 percent price decline for the coin.