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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un   © Reuters
Economy

Is North Korea hacking bitcoin to bypass sanctions?

Researchers link recent attacks with Pyongyang-based hackers

SARA SEKINE, Nikkei staff writer | North Korea

NEW YORK -- With North Korea facing the toughest-ever set of economic sanctions from the international community, it appears the country may be trying to hack bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to obtain much needed funds.

Cybersecurity research companies in the U.S. have reported hacking and mining activity emerging from the reclusive state. Digital, cross-border transactions of cryptocurrency are not subject to the formal banking regulations of any country. If Pyongyang does manage to leverage digital currency transactions to bypass sanctions, it could affect the stance taken by the United Nations in its future dealings with the regime.

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