NFT

Terror groups may turn to NFTs to raise funds and spread messages: WSJ

The primary identified case of a nonfungible token (NFT) created and shared by a “terrorist sympathizer” has come to mild, elevating considerations that the immutable nature of blockchain tech may assist the unfold of terrorist messages and propaganda. 

In a Sunday article in The Wall Road Journal (WSJ), intelligence consultants stated the NFT might be an indication that Islamic State and different terror teams may be utilizing blockchain expertise to evade sanctions and lift funds for his or her terrorist campaigns.

The NFT in query was reportedly found by Raphael Gluck, co-founder of the United States-based analysis agency Jihadoscope, who discovered the NFT by way of pro-ISIS social-media accounts.

Named IS-NEWS #01, the digital token is claimed to be a picture bearing the Islamic State’s emblem with textual content praising Afghanistan-based Islamic militants for attacking a Taliban place.

Mario Cosby, a former federal intelligence analyst specializing in blockchain currencies, stated the consumer created one other two different NFTs on Aug. 26: one exhibiting an Islamic State fighter educating college students to make explosives and the opposite condemning smoking cigarettes.

A screenshot of the IS-NEWS #01 NFT (left). Supply: The Wall Road Journal

The analysts stated this might be an indication that terrorist teams could also be utilizing the rising expertise to unfold their message and check new funding methods.

“It’s very a lot an experiment […] to search out methods to make content material indestructible,” stated Gluck.

The digital token was reportedly listed on NFT market OpenSea, however the firm shortly took the itemizing down and closed the posters account, citing a “zero-tolerance coverage on inciting hate and violence.”

The trio of NFTs was additionally reportedly current on NFT market Rarible and a number of other others earlier than being taken down. 

Whereas not one of the NFTs seem to have been traded, Cosby says the existence of the tokens is a trigger for concern as a result of “it’s as censorship-proof as you may get,” including:

“There’s not likely something anybody can do to really take this NFT down.”

Safety consultants have beforehand expressed their considerations in regards to the future potential for terrorists to take advantage of rising applied sciences and markets, together with NFTs, to fund assaults.

In February, the U.S. Treasury Division released a examine highlighting the expansion of the marketplace for NFTs as an space of potential concern.

In March, Israeli authorities seized a set of 30 crypto wallets from 12 change accounts linked to Hamas, a militant group based mostly within the Gaza Strip.

Associated: Terrorists nonetheless increase cash by way of crypto, however the influence is proscribed

Final April, Matthew Levitt, director of the Jeanette and Eli Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Close to East Coverage, informed Cointelegraph that whereas crypto has been linked to a number of terror financing circumstances, “it has not but develop into a major technique of terror financing.”

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