According to financial experts in Washington, North Korea is evading United States sanctions by using cryptocurrency. Pyongyang is using the most popular cryptocurrency such as bitcoin as well as creating their own cryptocurrency. They believe this is a preferred tender for terrorist financing and international criminals. The statement made to the Asia Times said this includes North Korea. Cryptocurrency provides the advantage of more ways to circumvent these sanctions for the DPRK.
Multiple international exchanges can be used to shift and mix services. This cycle of money laundering can exploit the financial institutions with international banking relationships in America. One of the former cyber security officials for NSA in Korea is Priscilla Moriuchi. She is selling and mining cryptocurrency and making between $15 and $200 million. She made a statement to the Hill. She said other avenues have been pursued by North Korea to obtain cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency class was also commissioned in November for students in North Korea.
According to a report from the Asia Times, both Delston and Miranda believe cryptocurrency including bitcoin can be used by the government of the country or they may create their own. This would enable North Korea to open accounts online under the mask of a non-adversarial nation. The communications would be anonymous and conceal their usage and location on the internet. For additional information please visit https://www.ccn.com/north-korea-is-using-cryptocurrency-to-evade-u-s-sanctions-experts/.
Researchers also stated North Korea would create their own blockchain. This would enable the altering of public transactions and records to appear as though their sources were legitimate. The country would also have their own cryptocurrency wallets. North Korea could then exchange cryptocurrency for fiat currency undetected. Cryptocurrency could be laundered into the exchanges in Europe. North Korea would be able to obtain United States dollars with no sanctions.
The current status of the cryptocurrency operation in North Korea remains unknown. According to CNN, American rivals including Venezuela, Russia, North Korea and Iran are using cryptocurrency as a counter for the economic pressure of the United States and their allies. A good example is an oil based cryptocurrency announced by Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela. This cryptocurrency was banned in the United States.
President Trump issued an order in May prohibiting American citizens from dealing with, trading or purchasing the petro cryptocurrency. This was due to the actions of the Maduro regime to circumvent the sanctions of the United States with a digital currency. Iran is also working on a cryptocurrency the fiat Rial is backing.