North Korea uses cryptocurrency to circumvent US sanctions


Two prominent Washington-based financial experts said North Korea uses cryptocurrency assets like bitcoins to cope with current US sanctions. Because cryptocurrency-based transactions are decentralized and executed through an unregulated blockchain network, the country is still able to do business with the United States discreetly.

In a recent interview reported by CCN, Lourdes Miranda, who currently works as an investigator for financial crimes and Ross Delston, anti-money laundering expert, in particular on terrorist financing, said that Pyongyang is creating its own digital current that works as a bitcoin.

North Korea Use of cryptocurrency

The cryptocurrencies are giving North Korea the much needed privacy when doing business with not only the United States but also other countries. Concisely, the country is giving the DPRK a safer way to circumvent the trade sanctions implemented by President Trump and President Barrack Obama.

According to Lourdes and Ross, North Korea can avoid surveillance by using multiple trades that operate globally, as well as displacement and mixing services that reflect the well-documented cycle of money laundering. Applying these tactics; can successfully avail of the services offered by international financial institutions that have close relations with the United States.

In another interview with The Hill, Priscilla Moriuchi, who worked with the National Security Agency as a Cybersecurity official, said North Korea could earn between $ 15 and $ 200 million from sale and extraction. of cryptocurrencies. Priscilla also went on to say that the country has continued to look for other ways to get their hands on cryptocurrencies or digital currencies through methods like the extraction of Monero and bitcoins. The expert also cited an incident occurred in May this year when the ransom was paid in the form of bitcoins after the famous cyber-attack by WannaCry. A specific cryptocurrency lesson was also commissioned for North Korean students and will begin offering lessons in November of this year.

Impact of North Korea with its cryptocurrency

The Government of North Korea should not use existing digital currencies like Bitcoin and Monero, may decide to create their own currency as it has all the technology and resources necessary to do so easily. Having their own digital currency would allow them to open and manage online accounts in disguise.

A number of researchers who are studying the interest of North Korea in the cryptocurrency sector are of the opinion that the country might decide to create its own network of blockchains in order to change their public record of transactions. North Korea using cryptocurrency and blockchain to alter the registers would make it impossible to leverage financial regulators to know the true source of funds. In addition, the country could also create its own crypto wallet services to support its digital currency.

Final comments

In light of the many opportunities that North Korea can decide to exploit, it is important that the US government and international money laundering agencies have strong ways to monitor cryptocurrency transactions. However, as they seek to regulate the industry, they must ensure that policies do not hinder the growth of the industry or prevent legitimate cryptocurrency traders from investing in digital currencies.

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