North Korea is reportedly in the early stages of launching its own cryptocurrency.
The nation’s digital currency is being developed in order to bypass US-led economic sanctions.
The plans were reportedly shared by a representative with VICE News.
Kayla Izenman, a researcher at UK-based think tank the Royal United Services Institute, confirms,
“North Korea has shown extensive interest in cryptocurrency, showing expertise in mining, hacking exchanges, [and] cryptojacking.
There is absolutely no doubt that they have the technical expertise to develop and utilize almost any iteration of cryptocurrency.”
The country’s first-ever blockchain conference was held in April 2019.
The digital currency under development will be “more like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies,” according to Alejandro Cao de Benos, a special delegate for the Committee for Cultural Relations for North Korea.
Cao de Benos notes,
“We are still in the very early stages in the creation of [our national cryptocurrency]. Now we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it.”
North Korean hackers have previously been accused of stealing cryptocurrencies from other nations and mining them, in order to circumvent international sanctions.