Opinion: North Korea is actively using cryptocurrency to bypass US sanctions


The North Korean government is ramping up use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions imposed by the US. This claim by the experts in the field of financial analysts from Washington.

Lourdes Miranda and Ross Delston sent a joint response to the request publication Asia Times about the amount of usage of cryptocurrency by the government of North Korea. Miranda is an independent financial analyst and investigator for financial crimes, and Delston, an independent lawyer and expert in money-laundering.

Both experts claim that North Korea has successfully applied and actively trades the cryptocurrency, while also trying to create a national cryptocurrency due to existing limitations imposed on Fiat assets of the country and their turnover:

“International criminals prefer cryptocurrency, and North Korea is no exception. Cryptocurrencies have additional advantage and can be used to bypass U.S. sanctions. North Korea has several international scriptabletype exchanges and mixers for money laundering”.

Miranda and Delston explain the scheme which, they claim, used by the North Korean authorities.

According to the statement of experts, initially, the government hires illegal people, mostly foreigners, who open trading accounts on the international trading platforms. Then the North Korean miners send cryptocurrency to several European cryptocell where they are mixed to deceive and the misrepresentation of systems of AML/KYC. The process concludes with the redemption of bitcoins, the North Korean representatives, who later convert BTC to other popular cryptocurrencies, such as litecoin or Ethereum with the ultimate goal of obfuscation transaction history.

Since the origin of scriptaction hidden, the North Korean government has the opportunity to exchange the “laundered” coins to Fiat in return for getting a dollar to bypass the sanctions, experts concluded.

Miranda and Delston did not specify the approximate volume of transactions and did not disclose his sources.

Earlier, South Korean scientists found that North Korea tried mine bitcoin in the past year, in the period from may to July, but later gave up trying to organize the industrial production of cryptocurrencies in the country.

North Korea also often attacked and breaking cryptocurrency exchanges. Winogradskyi experts say that North Korea stole tens of millions of dollars in bitcoin in the course of hacker attacks on the crypto currency exchange. North Korea is also the main suspect in the hacking of the trading platform Youbit in December last year.

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