News > FinTech, Blockchain

North Korea Is Making Its Own Version of Bitcoin

By NexChange
FinTech, Blockchain

The hermit state is reportedly in the early stages of creating its own cryptocurrency, Vice News reports.

The still unnamed cryptocurrency will be “more like bitcoin,” said Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official in charge of Pyongyang’s cryptocurrency conferences. “We are still in the very early stages in the creation of the token,” he added. “Now we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it.”

Creating their own crypto actually makes a lot of sense for North Korea. The country has depended on bitcoin and its ilk to skirt regulations the past several years – so much so that it even partially funded it’s nuclear program through sophisticated cryptocurrency heists.

Recent developments in tracking crypto payments however have made them less attractive for North Korea’s hackers and operators. With their own home-grown cryptocurrency, “Pyongyang would be able to control how it works and who has access to it.”

And they’ll have no problem making it:

“North Korea has shown extensive interest in cryptocurrency, showing expertise in mining, hacking exchanges, cryptojacking, and more,” Kayla Izenman, a research analyst at London-based think tank the Royal United Services Institute, told VICE News. “There is absolutely no doubt that they have the technical expertise to develop and utilize almost any iteration of cryptocurrency, whether that means laundering a previously-established coin such as Bitcoin through foreign unregulated exchanges or creating a nationalized cryptocurrency for themselves.”

All that said:

…while experts believe Pyongyang is capable of building its own cryptocurrency, they’re far from convinced the project will be remotely successful. Case in point: Venezuela’s failed Petro coin, which experts ultimately viewed as a propaganda exercise rather than a sincere effort to build a new monetary system.

Photo: Cheongwadae / Blue House

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