North Korea is busy creating its own crypto to bypass international sanctions, according to VICE News. The coin will be similar to Bitcoin, though the project is in its very early phase.
However, Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official overseeing North Korea’s crypto conferences, said that the government has no intentions of abandoning fiat currency and digitalize its financial system.
“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,” he said.
North Korea’s Embassy to the United Nations in New York would neither confirm nor deny Cao de Benos’ claim.
“I am not in a position to give you an answer,” an embassy spokesperson said before hanging up.
While the information about the new crypto is yet to be confirmed, some experts believe that North Koreans have the expertise to build and successfully deploy its own digital currency.
Kayla Izenman, a research analyst at London-based think tank the Royal United Services Institute, commented:
“North Korea has shown extensive interest in cryptocurrency, showing expertise in mining, hacking exchanges, cryptojacking, and more.
“There is absolutely no doubt that they have the technical expertise to develop and utilize almost any iteration of cryptocurrency, whether that means laundering a previously-established coin such as Bitcoin through foreign unregulated exchanges or creating a nationalized cryptocurrency for themselves.”
The country has a point in building its own crypto instead of using Bitcoin. The regulators want to control the way it works and who gets access to it. In addition, Bitcoin transactions are not incognito – payments can be tracked quite easily.