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Monero mining outpaces Bitcoin in North Korea to circumvent U.S. sanctions

Cryptocurrency

Country dictator, Kim Jong-un

North Korea has expanded its operations in the mining of cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) and has used the activity as a tool to generate revenue and circumvent UN and US sanctions.

According to Recorded Future, between January and November of last year, internet activity in the country also grew 300% compared to 2017. The report, published on Sunday (09), pointed out that mining in Monero has already surpassed even of bitcoin.

According to the study, Recorded Future assessed that North Korea sees cryptocurrencies as a tool for obtaining additional revenue. It also says that the purpose of crypto assets is to transfer funds obtained illegally.

Recorded Future also said that mining in Monero has increased at least tenfold since May last year. He also said that for the past three years they have been focusing on the cybernetic behavior of the North Korean high dome.

This is because XMR mining does not require large equipment as it does the activity to extract bitcoins, for example.

Another point is that the need to import own mining devices is also excluded. This reduces operating costs.

The analysis was done using network traffic (IP) for cryptocurrency mining and published in a report.

The study, carried out by the Insikt Group, was titled 'How North Korea made the Internet a tool for dishonest regimes'.

It is worth remembering that Kim Jong Un's regime suffers harsh economic sanctions imposed by both the United States and the UN and one of the efforts to circumvent these penalties is via cryptocurrency mining.

Monero's technology, in fact, is one of the most complex when it comes to tracking transactions.

North Korea, hackers and monero

Another point is that North Korea allegedly hosts a group of hackers called ‘Lazarus’, which has already stolen more than R $ 2 billion (US $ 500 million) in cryptocurrencies in attacks against exchanges.

In addition, Pyongyang has been blamed for a series of online attacks, mainly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and more than a dozen other countries.

Monero has been used by North Korea since at least August 2017, when hackers involved in attacks with the ‘WannaCry’ malware traded cryptocurrency for bitcoins, Coindesk reported.


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