North Korea Might Be Quietly Squirreling Away A Fortune From Bitcoin Mania

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Over the last year, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has skyrocketed in value, leading to speculation that the market could collapse at any moment. According to reports, one unexpected source might be reaping the rewards of the Bitcoin boom: North Korea.

According to CNN, North Korea has been engaging in a number of activities related to Bitcoin including outright stealing it from virtual currency exchanges in South Korea in coordinated hacking campaigns. Due to the rising price as well as its untraceable nature, it’s impossible to tell just how much Bitcoin North Korea has been able to amass. Bitcoin is designed to operate outside of banks and governments, another aspect that likely appeals to North Korea as it faces numerous sanctions. Given a large enough stash, the nation could anonymously convert it to cash to use on anything, including its nuclear weapons program.

While North Korea has denied being embroiled in the world of international hacking in the past, the country has publicly embraced Bitcoin. Last month, a Bitcoin expert gave a lecture at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, an institution where many of the North Korean elite study. Experts believe that North Korea is trying to increase the number of its people who understand Bitcoin in order to expand its operations, which could include more hacking attempts on cryptocurrency markets.

(Via CNN)