A representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has revealed to Vice News that the government is in the early stages of developing a proprietary digital currency with the goal of circumnavigating economic sanctions and taking a stand against the “USD dominated global financial system.”
Following the lead of Venezuela, where the oil-backed Petro cryptocurrency was recently introduced, North Korea is looking to develop its own proprietary national cryptocurrency. However, as of now there are apparently “no plans” of digitizing the North Korean Won.
Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official in charge of North Korea’s cryptocurrency conferences, and a special delegate for the Committee for Cultural Relations for the DPRK, said that the still unnamed cryptocurrency will have similarities with “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.” He further added that they are in the “early phase of studying the goods that will give value to [the cryptocurrency].”
Kayla Izenman, a Research Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, opined that North Korea possesses all the necessary technical abilities to “use almost any iteration of cryptocurrency:”
“North Korea has shown extensive interest in cryptocurrency, showing ability in mining, hacking exchanges, cryptojacking, and more. They have the technical ability to develop and use almost any iteration of cryptocurrency, whether that means laundering an established coin such as Bitcoin through foreign unregulated exchanges or creating a nationalized cryptocurrency for themselves.”