The terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is beginning to switch to Monero (XMR) to accept donations from the public.
As reported by blockchain intelligence company, Whitestream, and independently confirmed by Cointelegraph, a news website affiliated with the terrorist organization and the jihadist movement has updated its donations page on June 21 to only accept Monero.
According to the tutorial page published by the website, Monero is a more secure method of payment that cannot be traced. The page then explains how users can buy and send Monero, while including the XMR address.
Previously, the website accepted Bitcoin (BTC) donations since December 2017. According to Whitestream, the organization consolidated the BTC it received into a single address, which currently contains 0.295 BTC worth about $2,700.
The website posts news on the reported “successes” of the organization, which since its ousting from Syria, Iraq and Libya has primarily been operating underground in Egypt’s Sinai region and in Northern Nigeria.
Cryptocurrency still not the preferred method
While many of the regulatory steps taken for cryptocurrencies seek to curtail this exact type of activity, a recent report by Chainalysis debunks the commonly held belief that cryptocurrencies play a significant role in terrorism financing. Amid speculation of ISIS war chests hidden in Bitcoin, Chainalysis said that less than $10,000 were raised for terrorism through crypto, while it is also unlikely that they used cryptocurrencies to store their oil sale proceeds.
In March, a woman was sentenced to 13 years in prison after laundering money for terrorism via Bitcoin, though it is unclear whether the authorities relied on blockchain analysis to catch her.
In December 2019, ISIS reportedly experimented with switching to blockchain-based communication apps.