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Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies used by North Korea to evade US Sanctions

Priya

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Source: Unsplash

According to the Asia Times, North Korea has started to adopt cryptocurrencies to evade US sanctions. Reportedly, this was stated by two experts from Washington, Lourdes Miransda, a Financial Crime Investigator and Ross Delston, an attorney specializing in Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism [AML/CFT].

In addition, the experts believe that Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea is on its way to creating their own cryptocurrency along with trading Bitcoin [BTC] and other major coins in the cryptocurrency market at present.

The experts stated that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK] is “no exception” to prefer cryptocurrencies as it is favored by international criminals. They said virtual currencies offer more than one alternative for the DPRK to avoid the sanctions.¬†They said:

“They [DPRK] can do so by using multiple international exchangers, mixing and shifting services – mirroring the money laundering cycle – to exploit international financial institutions that have correspondent banking relationships with the United States.”

They further stated that with their own digital currency, North Korea will be able to create accounts online with the disguise of a “non-adversarial nation” using anonymous communication to conceal the user’s locations and usage on the internet.

When asked whether the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea can use their own blockchain in order to deceive their public record transactions along with creating their own digital currency, experts said that North Korea can use their blockchain to manipulate their public record transactions in order to prove that the transactions are from “legitimate sources”.

The Washington based experts believe that North Korea can also create their own digital wallet services which can be used to trade and store cryptocurrencies in the European digital wallets or any other nations, which are not imposed by the US sanctions.

They said:

“Wallets create both public and private keys for security and privacy purposes. For eg. DPRK could open an online wallet using a Russia-based service, transfer it again into a Greece-based wallet service, all through anonymous communication and using their own blockchain.”

The experts continued to say that the cryptocurrencies mined in North Korea will further be sent to several European wallets. This will be followed by North Korea using the multiple mixing services to conceal the origin of the cryptocurrencies and then exchange them for Bitcoin [BTC].

Succeeding this, they would break down their Bitcoin into multiple portions and again use multiple mixing services to exchange those Bitcoin for other currencies such as Ethereum [ETH] and Litecoin [LTC].

They said:

“Once DPRK mixes and shifts its cryptocurrency, then the final and most important stage of the money laundering cycle is reached – integration – by sending its cryptocurrency into exchanger accounts that have the capability of converting cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies”.

The experts further added through this method they would find a European exchange which has correspondent banking relationships with a US bank.




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Priya is a full-time member of the reporting team at AMBCrypto. She is a finance major with one year of writing experience. She has not held any value in Bitcoin or other currencies.

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