North Korea, the country reeling under a totalitarian, militaristic government rule, is in the initial stages of launching its own cryptocurrency, similar to Bitcoin.
According to the news report of Vice News, the cryptocurrency launch will help the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in evading international sanctions and exploring the U.S-dominated global financial arena.
The official in-charge of North Korea’s cryptocurrency-focused conferences, Alejandro Cao de Benos stated to Vice News that the highly anticipated digital currency project would be “more like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.” Cao de Benos also serves as the special delegate for the Committee for Cultural Relations for the DPRK.
Cao de Benos 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.”
Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, has been at upfront in showing support for the cryptocurrencies and blockchain industry. The country recently brought together leaders and experts to give in their inputs in the first-ever blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused conference in April.
In contrary to Alejandro’s statement, North Korea’s U.N Embassy in New York refused to deny or accept Cao de Benos’ claim. An embassy spokesperson said that “I am not in a position to give you an answer,” concerning the crypto launch.
Cryptocurrencies have evolved as a strong payments solution owing to its embedded merits and easy channelization. Where, these digital coins offer anonymity to some extent, their controlling by the regulating authorities is also easily possible. If Pyongyang comes up with its own cryptocurrency, it will be able to maintain control over its functioning, usage, and access.
North Korea recently had to face a lot of criticism when the U.N. Security Council’s North Korea Sanctions Committee claimed that DPRK hackers were involved in the theft in foreign banks and crypto exchanges for funding of weapons and mass destruction projects. The committee stated that the hackers had embezzled nearly $2 billion from illicit activities.
Pyongyang, however, refused to pay heed to such rumors and countered by stating that the U.S and other hostile forces are spreading rumors about the country and its activities.
Where some financial experts are of the view that Pyongyang certainly is capable of launching its own cryptocurrency, others still are doubtful about the same.