, a report by the Anti-Defamation League(ADL), analyzed transactions of about $140,000 connected with 15 extremist organizations or individuals in the United States last year.

The ADL is a New York advocacy group which counters antisemitism. They focused on bitcoin and found that its supporters were using a variety of digital asset platforms to transfer money into the hands of hate-groups. However, there was no evidence that the money had been used directly for illegal actions, such as domestic terror. The review also revealed that the bitcoins received by supporters were often transferred back to the traditional financial system through U.S. bank accounts.

The ADL Center on Extremism’s report on how assets ended up in the hands of white supremacists noted that extremists were increasingly turning to cryptocurrency because they believed it offered anonymity and was impervious to being deplatformed. Extremists benefitted from cryptocurrency platforms’ lenient policies, which allow them to use their services.

The report states that about half of all transactions tracked by ADL were made through the U.S. exchange Kraken. Other platforms included Binance, Coinbase, and others. The largest recipient of bitcoin was the white nationalist publication Counter-Currents.

Read More: Bitcoin Adoption by Far-Right Extremists Leaves a Mark on the Blockchain

The ADL suggests that crypto companies “update [their] policies to expressly prohibit the use (of their cryptocurrency exchanges) to fund hate-related and extremist activities.” The ADL also recommended that regulators limit tokens which aim to protect privacy.

The organization’s report concluded that “continued vigilance is needed in the cryptocurrency and other financial technology space and responsible moderation on the part of the platforms” to combat the financial aspects behind the rise in antisemitism.

reports that crypto tokens are being used for terrorism such as Hamas attacks in Israel have already damaged the reputation of the crypto industry. This study, which focused on a small number of extremists in the United States and only one cryptocurrency used by them, raises concerns about the relationship between financial innovations and extremism.

Exchanges push back

Crypto exchanges, for their part argue that they are fighting illegality and that cryptocurrency transaction are often carried out in plain view – unlike banking.

A Kraken spokesperson stated that the company was disappointed with the ADL’s report, which “did not engage us in any dialog” regarding its Know-Your-Customer policies and anti-money laundering protections.

The spokesperson stated that “Kraken enforces these policies with vigilance and takes proactive steps to ensure that Kraken’s service is not used for money laundering, terror financing or other illicit activities.”

Faryar Shirzad, the Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, responded in a similar way that the company does not tolerate illegal activity of any kind on the Coinbase Exchange or by users of the exchange. He added that “our Terms of Service make this clear.”

Shirzad stated that the U.S. Exchange is subject to “clear anti-money laundering rules and sanctions that are applicable to both fiat and cryptocurrency.” Shirzad said that the U.S. exchange is under “clear rules around anti-money laundering and sanctions that apply to fiat and crypto.”

The report did not make any specific accusations regarding the money used to fund illegal activity.

Extremist groups rely also on the traditional financial systems, including online payments, credit cards, and bank accounts. However, the ADL’s transparency used in their review is not publicly available. However, banning these groups from mainstream financial networks tends to raise concerns about censorship.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., for example, has given a large amount of money anti-hate organizations including the Anti-Defamation League. The banks’ internal review programs for customers with ties to extremist groups are hard to evaluate from the outside.

Nikhilesh De.