Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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The primary recognized case of a nonfungible token (NFT) created and shared by a “terrorist sympathizer” has come to gentle, elevating considerations that the immutable nature of blockchain tech might assist the unfold of terrorist messages and propaganda. 

In a Sept. 4 article in The Wall Road Journal (WSJ), intelligence specialists mentioned the NFT might be an indication that Islamic State and different terror teams may be utilizing blockchain know-how 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 U.S.-based analysis agency Jihadoscope, who discovered the NFT by means of pro-ISIS social-media accounts.

Named “IS-NEWS #01” the digital token is alleged 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, mentioned the person created one other two different NFTs on Aug. 26; one displaying 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 mentioned this might be an indication that terrorist teams could also be utilizing the rising know-how to unfold their message and take a look at new funding methods.

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

The digital token was reportedly listed on NFT market OpenSea, however the firm rapidly 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 specialists have beforehand expressed their considerations concerning the future potential for terrorists to use rising applied sciences and markets, together with NFTs, to fund assaults.

In February, the U.S. Treasury Division launched a research 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 trade accounts linked to Hamas, a militant group based mostly within the Gaza Strip.

Associated: Terrorists nonetheless elevate cash by means of crypto, however the influence is restricted

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 instructed Cointelegraph that whereas crypto has been linked to a number of terror financing instances, “it has not but turn out to be a major technique of terror financing.”