The Korean peninsula is rife with social and political differences ever since the Korean mainland was split between North and South Korea after the Korean War.
According to a report released by The Royal United Services Institute [RUSI], North Korea could target Southeast Asia’s vulnerable crypto-sector.
In the face of universal condemnation and sanctions over its domestic policies and nuclear program, North Korea has had to take extreme measures to raise funds and bypass these sanctions. One of the ways North Korea attempted to do so was through the use of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology.
Cryptocurrencies have, as of now, played a negligible role in North Korea’s fundraising. However, UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts suggests that virtual assets offer North Korea “more ways to evade sanctions given that they are harder to trace”.
According to the report, countries across the Southeast are vulnerable to systematic risks as their regulatory approaches are weak, something North Korea can take advantage of. These systematic risks are based on the fact that Southeast Asia’s digital sector has a lack of coordinated regulations, the report stated.
The WannaCry ransomware attack, where hackers demanded about $300 in Bitcoin within 3 days or $600 within 7 days, was reliably attributed towards North Korea.
The attack indicated that North Korea’s capability to exploit weaknesses was more prominent than previously imagined. If North Korea continued to suffer under the strain of international sanctions, Southeast Asia must prepare for a “sustained security challenge”, the report said.
The report also cited the growing number of crypto-users in the region,
“Because Southeast Asia is also host to a growing number of cryptocurrency businesses and users, countries in the region could prove vulnerable to North Korea’s cryptocurrency-related activity as well.”
Countries in Southeast Asia must undertake risk assessments to identify key vulnerabilities and reduce its vulnerability to cyber-crimes related to cryptocurrency, the report said.
The report continued,
“If carried out with the appropriate urgency and in line with global standards, countries in the region can succeed in making themselves less vulnerable to the risks of North Korean cryptocurrency activity.”
However, the report also noted the fact that Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand were working towards coordinated regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges, under the guidance of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force.
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Basic Attention Token surges by over 6% as Ad Launch nears
The cryptocurrency market appears to be bleeding, however, few altcoins have reported small surges over the past few days, like Basic Attention Token [BAT].
The coin, on April 18 when the entire market was mostly red, surged by over 10% and was trading at $0.3618, its all-time high since July 2018. On April 20, BAT reported a growth of over 6% and was valued at $0.3947, breaking its immediate resistance.
BAT reported a market cap of $493 million and a 24-hour trading volume of $57 million. The coin noted a 6.47% rise in its price over the past day and reported a seven-day surge of 31.20%. BAT continued to register a growth of 1.18% over the past hour.
Crypto-enthusiasts speculate the reason for the surge in prices to be the launch of advertisements on the Brave Browser this month. The BAT token is essentially based on entertainment and can be obtained through a variety of advertising and attention-based services on its platform. According to Twitter user @CryptoNilla,
“They are about to launch ads this month hence the pump.”
BAT was highly traded on ZB.COM exchange as it noted a volume of $8 million via the BAT/USDT pair. The second place was taken by Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange as it reported a trading volume of $7 million via the BAT/BTC pair. IDCM was on the third place with $6 million in volume via the BTA/BTC pair.
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