Cryptocurrency has a new, unexpected taker – North Korea. The country is working on launching its own cryptocurrency, according to Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spanish aristocrat and IT consultant, who serves as the country's liaison in the West.
The currency is expected to move on the lines of the existing and most popular cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, Vice reported on Wednesday. Cao de Benos who works for the Committee of Cultural Relations for the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK) told the publication that the country is getting ready to "dip its toes in the market."
When contacted by Vice, here is how the DPRK embassy responded, "We are not in a position to give you an answer." Which is neither a yes nor a no.
Cao de Benos stated that the country was in the early stages of the creation of a token and is studying the goods that will give value. There is, however, no plan to digitise the North Korean Won. He further claims that "big names" from fields such as education, medicine and finance are working with the country and had participated in a blockchain conference in Pyongyang in April this year. They are reluctant to announce their involvement due to sanctions against the country.
North Korea actually has a crash course available on cryptocurrency at it's the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology,. It was alleged to be involved in cyberattacks last year, on crypto exchanges to fill its coffers.
Cryptocurrency could give DPRK easy access to money due to its high anonymity, difficulty in tracking and easy cash flow. It has become more sophisticated in engaging in cyber attacks, despite regular citizens having a fragile internet connection.
Since the country has been accused of criminal behaviour in the past including human trafficking, drug trade and arms sales, it will definitely be under the scanner of security experts.
If it is successful in doing so, it may actually get out of US control and sanctions and function freely.