North Korea under Kim’s regime is focussed on its only goal of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, thereby threatening world peace and escalating tensions in South-East Asian province.
North Korea has managed to retain it’s position of power in the region by openly developing and testing a nuclear arsenal amidst United Nations regulations. However, the other not so open reserve North Korea is trying to build upon is of the leading cryptocurrency, the Bitcoin. In this article, let’s explore a few possible reasons for the illegitimate nuclear power’s affair with Bitcoin.
We know that Bitcoin is a decentralised form of currency and cannot come under any form of suppression or restriction by any individual or organisation mainly like the United Nations in this case.
So the primary motive behind this would be to overcome the trade restrictions imposed on North Korea by the United Nations and other countries since 2006. These restrictions are mainly imposed on minerals and metals, hoping to act as a roadblock for North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Moreover Bitcoin transactions are anonymous and secure, thereby serving the perfect purpose for North Korea’s possible dealings in the black market for getting hold of the restricted trade items imposed by the other countries. The other possible reason is the humongous growth exhibited by crypto currencies in the recent times.
During the last few months Bitcoin has seen a series of price pumps and dumps with an average return on investment value around 30% which is definitely a dream come true for a financially isolated country such as the North Korea. Plus Bitcoin can be seen as a waxing moon with brighter future prospects.
With the major cryptocurrency exchanges having strengthened regulations for large purchase or trade for bitcoins, in the form of stringent KYC (Know Your Customer) verification for larger withdrawals and with exorbitant expenditure towards military sanctions, legal acquisition of Bitcoins is an arduous task for North Korea.
This leaves North Korea resorting to cyber crime activities to acquire Bitcoins. The past few months have seen three major attacks on South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges by suspected Kim’s cyber army.
One of these attempts was successful leading to loss of around 3800 bitcoins, for an estimated value of around a 15$ million worth and another with leakage of customer data of South Korea’s another prominent crypto currency exchange. Other such instances date back to as early as 2013.
North Korea’s affair with Bitcoins perfectly seems to align with seemingly common characteristics of lack of regulation and anonymity possessed by both. Though North Korea’s mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies seem to perfectly fall in line with the Bitcoin ideology but is not for the right reasons for this nation.