So far, the pseudo-anonymity offered by cryptocurrencies has proven both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it has been welcomed by the many honest and legitimate actors in the industry as a positive break from modern trends. On the other hand, it has been exploited by various bad actors to conceal illicit activity with greater ease.
Due to its preeminence, Bitcoin (BTC) has been the platform of choice for cryptocurrency transactions – legal and illegal – but that has seemingly changed in recent years. The Tron (TRX) network has overtaken BTC as the blockchain of choice for transactions carried out across the globe, including by the factions of the Iran-backed “Axis of Resistance.”
Recently, organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah have been increasingly using Tron to make their transactions, and, reportedly, the bulk of accounts frozen by Israel in the immediate aftermath of the October 7 attack are on Tron.
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Majority of Tron wallets seized belong to “Axis of Resistance”
The bulk of Tron wallets seized by Israeli authorities throughout 2023 belong to the factions associated with the “Axis of Resistance.” Of the total 87 seizures, 39 allegedly belong to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and another 26 to the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Hamas, which has been using cryptocurrencies as one avenue for raising funds since at least 2019, announced earlier this year that it would no longer use Bitcoin for these purposes. A likely reason behind the change is the increased scrutiny BTC transactions have been under, as well as the comparatively higher costs of transactions.
In a tweet, Justin Sun responded to an article, emphasizing TRON’s decentralized nature, akin to Bitcoin and Ethereum. He highlighted their global operation, commitment to fighting terrorist financing through partnerships, and focus on maintaining decentralization, asset safety, and efficient transactions. Sun concluded by appreciating those contributing to cryptocurrency’s broader adoption.
Broader trend of Tron dominance
While the widespread use of Tron by terrorist organizations is an alarming development, it is also in line with a broader trend observable with regard to the platform. Earlier this month, FInbold reported that Tron is now the most common conduit for stablecoin transactions – between January and August 2023, it accounted for 35% of volume, 37% of transactions, and 49% of active stablecoin addresses.
Tron’s dominance – particularly in relation to Ethereum (ETH) – is most prevalent in countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK but is also remarkably popular in countries with a history of attempting to evade U.S. sanctions, such as Russia and Iran. It is generally held that its popularity largely stems from its stability, speed, and low costs.