North Korea is reportedly in the early stages of developing a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin (BTC).
According to a Vice News report on Sept. 18, the project is designed to help the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) evade international sanctions and find a way around “the U.S.-dominated global financial system”.
Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official in charge of North Korea’s crypto conferences, said its yet-to-be-named digital currency will be “more like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.” Cao de Benos, who is also a special delegate for the Committee for Cultural Relations for the DPRK, added:
“We are still in the very early stages in the creation of the token. Now we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it […] No plans to digitize the [North Korean] won for now.”
According to Vice, the North Korean Embassy to the United Nations in New York was not willing to confirm or deny his claim. “I am not in a position to give you an answer,” an embassy spokesperson apparently said.
The U.N. Security Council’s North Korea Sanctions Committee said DPRK hackers were targeting foreign banks and crypto exchanges to steal money for funding its weapons of mass destruction program. The committee estimated that the DPRK has netted nearly $2 billion from such activities.
In response, Pyongyang claimed that the U.S. and other hostile forces are spreading slanderous rumors about its intentions and activities.