Coinbase CLO Paul Grewal Demands Retraction from WSJ Over Misleading Hamas Crypto Funding Report – Coinpedia Fintech News

In a series of compelling tweets, Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase, challenged a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article that made doubting claims regarding Hamas’ use of cryptocurrencies for fundraising. Grewal highlighted the discrepancies and called upon the publication to issue a retraction. His comments raise questions about the role of responsible journalism in shaping public perception, especially in the context of cryptocurrencies, an already controversial subject matter.

“It’s Time for WSJ to Come Clean”

Grewal accused the Wall Street Journal of irresponsible journalism. “In the fog of war, journalistic mistakes happen. But the WSJ’s source just rejected its reporting on illicit financing that alarmed dozens of members of Congress,” he tweeted. Grewal further underscored that law-abiding crypto companies like Coinbase actively collaborate with law enforcement agencies to root out illicit activities.

Cryptocurrency analytics firm Elliptic has also weighed in on the topic. Despite occasional peaks in crypto donations to Hamas, particularly during the May 2021 outbreak of violence in the region, the terrorist group’s public-facing crypto fundraising activities have been relatively insubstantial. For instance, a pro-Hamas news organization, Gaza Now, has raised only $21,000 in cryptocurrency donations since the terrible events of October 7th, and a significant part of that has been frozen due to law enforcement efforts.

Crypto is traceable 

While crypto has often been stigmatized as a tool for illicit financing, its traceability often works against entities like Hamas. Contrary to the cloak-and-dagger image that cryptocurrencies often get painted with, blockchain technology allows for high transparency. The trail left on the blockchain can be followed to link transactions to real-world identities, and centralized crypto services like exchanges can freeze illicitly obtained assets.

Paul Grewal’s tweets also draw attention to the potential fallout of such misleading information. More than a hundred U.S. lawmakers cited the Wall Street Journal article when writing a letter to the White House and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, stoking concerns that uninformed policy decisions could be made based on skewed data.

In addition to Grewal’s insights, Elliptic has been proactive in setting the record straight. The analytics firm has contacted the Wall Street Journal to correct their misinterpretation and has also engaged with the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren to clarify any misconceptions. Elliptic argues that while crypto assets are used for fundraising by terrorist groups, the amounts are minuscule compared to traditional financing routes.

In an era where news can significantly influence public opinion and policy, getting the facts right, especially on nuanced issues like cryptocurrency and its use in illicit activities, is more crucial than ever.

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