North Korea has joined the global race to launch a country-backed cryptocurrency and is planning a version similar to leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin according to a report today by VICE.
Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official in charge of North Korea’s cryptocurrency conferences disclosed to the news agency that the digital currency which is “more like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies,” would be designed to help North Korea subvert sanctions imposed on it by the United States and also boycott a global financial system primarily dominated by America.
Cao de Benos also reported on the progress that North Korea has made on the cryptocurrency so far, saying,
“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.”
Additionally, the top official clarified that the cryptocurrency would not in any way represent a digital version of the North Korean won, pinpointedly saying that there are “no plans to digitize the [North Korean] won for now.”
North Korea Dabbling in Crypto?
While the VICE report goes ahead to mention that the resources and expertise available in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital will be just enough to help the country launch the planned cryptocurrency, this is not the first time that the country is heavily linked with cryptocurrencies.
Earlier this month, Coinfomania reported that North Korea denied an allegation by the United Nations that the country took part in a cyberattack on banks and cryptocurrency exchanges which generated about $2 billion.
In denying the allegations, a spokesperson had said then,
The United States and other hostile forces are now spreading ill-hearted rumors.[…] Such a fabrication by the hostile forces is nothing but a sort of a nasty game aimed at tarnishing the image of our Republic and finding justification for sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK.
Understandably, while there is the possibility that North Korea is not guilty of the crime it was accused of, the fact that the country is now working on its cryptocurrency means they have long had an eye on the emerging form of money like the other U.S sanctioned nations such as Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.
Also, with China reportedly on its way to launching a digital currency, North Korea’s involvement sets the stage for a world where country-backed digital currencies abound, and perhaps the first government Bitcoin-like crypto!
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