North Korea Developing own Cryptocurrency to Circumvent U.S. Sanctions
North Korea is hatching plans to develop its own cryptocurrency. Though the project is in its early stages, the digital currency is being designed to function like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and would enable the nation to circumvent crippling international sanctions, reports VICE on September 18, 2019.
North Korea Fighting Sanctions with Cryptos
In an effort to survive the age-long sanctions imposed on it by the United States and its allies, the highly controversial Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea (DPRK) has started developing a national cryptocurrency.
Per sources close to the matter, the DPRK is yet to reveal the name of its proposed blockchain-based cryptocurrency but has hinted that the digital asset will possess the same features with bitcoin and other cryptos.
In a bid to get the best hands for its proposed crypto project, the nation reportedly organized its first-ever distributed ledger technology (DLT) and cryptocurrency summit earlier in April 2019, bringing together all homegrown blockchain professionals working with foreign firms.
Commenting on North Korea’s crypto ambition, Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spanish-North Korean political activist who doubles as a Special Representative of the Foreign Ministry of North Korea and the organizer of the nation’s cryptocurrency conferences stated that the DPRK is currently in the process of figuring out the tangible assets that would back the proposed cryptocurrency.
“We are in the early stages in the development of the token. We are still studying the goods that will give value to it.”
Cao de Benos also hinted that even though the cryptocurrency comes to life, the North Korean won will still retain its position as the region’s sovereign currency.
Surviving the Sanctions
While the DPRK has constantly been in the news for all the wrong reasons, including cryptocurrency exchange heists, cryptojacking attacks, and others, launching a national digital currency could significantly alleviate the financial burdens brought upon the country by U.S. sanctions, since it already has the expertise to develop an entirely privacy-centric coin that would facilitate trade between it and its allies.
Earlier in March 2019, reports emerged that North Korea had succeeded in amassing up to $670 million in bitcoin and other cryptos through cyberattacks and these funds have reportedly been pumped into its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons project.
To thwart the operations of the highly skilled North Korean hackers, the United States Treasury has imposed fresh sanctions on the notorious Lazarus Group and its two sub-groups, Bluenoroff and Andariel.