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Binance Ends Support for BUSD Stablecoin: What It Means for Users and the Future of Stablecoins

Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has made the decision to end support for its Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin. This move comes after Paxos, the company responsible for minting new BUSD coins, announced that it would be halting its operations. The transition is set to take place on December 15th, and it will have significant implications for users of the BUSD stablecoin. Automatic Conversion to First Digital USD Starting on December 31st, many users' BUSD balances on Binance will be automatically converted into First Digital USD. This conversion will take place seamlessly, and users will not be required to take any action. The transition is designed to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted experience for BUSD users. Implications for BUSD Users While the automatic conversion should minimize any disruption for BUSD users, it is important for them to be aware of the implications of this change. Once their BUSD balances are converted into First Digital US

# U.S. Treasury Imposes Sanctions on On-Chain Wallets Supporting Hamas: A Closer Look

The recent sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on on-chain wallets, particularly targeting financial facilitators and parties supporting Hamas, have once again highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by the cryptocurrency industry in combating illicit activities. One of the entities affected by these sanctions is Buy Cash, a virtual currency and money transfer business in Gaza. The company's domain was registered in 2015 by Ahmed M. Alaqad, a resident of Gaza and the owner of the exchange, who has also been added to OFAC's blacklist.

This is not the first time Buy Cash has faced scrutiny for its involvement in illicit activities. In June 2021, one of the exchange's Bitcoin wallets was frozen by Israel's National Bureau for Counter Terrorist Financing due to its connection to a Hamas fundraising campaign. Additionally, Buy Cash has been used to transfer funds by affiliates of other terrorist groups. The U.S. Treasury explained in its announcement that in September 2019, the exchange received $2,000 in BTC to its wallet from a Turkey-based money services business operator and an al-Qaeda affiliate. Furthermore, two years prior, Buy Cash allowed a registered account to be used by individuals involved in payment for online infrastructure on behalf of ISIS.

The Treasury's sanctions extend beyond Buy Cash and its founder, targeting six individuals tied to Hamas's investment portfolio and two senior Hamas officials. These measures are part of a broader effort to support Israel in its conflict with Hamas following the recent deadly attacks carried out by the Islamist organization against Israeli civilians. In response to these attacks, Israeli police collaborated with cryptocurrency exchange Binance to freeze accounts connected to Hamas on the platform. Tether, the world's largest stablecoin issuer, also announced freezes on crypto addresses associated with terrorism in both Ukraine and Israel earlier this week.

The use of cryptocurrency by Hamas and other terrorist groups to receive donations and facilitate illicit activities is a matter of great concern. The transparency and pseudonymity offered by cryptocurrencies can make it challenging to trace and prevent such transactions. However, efforts by regulatory bodies, law enforcement agencies, and cryptocurrency exchanges to implement stricter compliance measures and enhance the monitoring and analysis of blockchain transactions are crucial in combating these illicit activities.

As the cryptocurrency industry continues to mature, it is imperative that all stakeholders collaborate and work towards developing robust frameworks and standards to prevent the misuse of digital assets. The recent sanctions on Buy Cash and other entities associated with Hamas serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a strong and vigilant stance against illicit activities in the cryptocurrency space. By implementing effective measures and leveraging advanced technologies, the industry can contribute to the global fight against terrorism financing and other illicit activities, ultimately fostering a safer and more secure financial ecosystem for all.


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