North Korea hunts for Bitcoin

North Korea is interested in Bitcoin to mitigate the effect of international sanctions on the economy
14 December 2017   1178

Some experts argue that against the backdrop of global crypto-currency mania, the North Korean regime intends to establish control over a significant number of existing bitcoins through the use of virus-extortionists, thefts and mining. This is reported by the NZ Herald.

It is a fact that North Korea has been attacking virtual currency exchanges. We don't know how much North Korea has stolen so far, but we do know that the police have confirmed the regime's hacking attempts.

Lee Dong-geun

Director, Korea Internet and Security Agency

The rogue state is primarily attracted by the decentralized nature of the crypto-currency, which makes it possible to hide the direction of financial flows and the purpose of their appointment. Many experts believe that the country uses crypto-currencies to mitigate the effect of international sanctions on the economy.

In May of this year, hundreds of thousands of computers around the world were infected with a virus-extortionist WannaCry, which encrypted users' data and demanded a ransom of $ 300 in bitcoin equivalent. The NSA accused North Korean intelligence of carrying out this global attack in order to attract funds.

Shortly after these events, Recorded Future published an analytical report on the mining activity in the DPRK, which was first recorded on May 17. In addition, experts have proved that North Korean "elites" used VPN-networks to make purchases on the Internet for bitcoins.

The scale of the DPRK's mining industry is still unknown, but experts believe that in connection with the Chinese ban on North Korean coal imports, the country can use its provision of "farms" with electricity.

The main blow of North Korean hackers took over the South Korean crypto exchange, in particular - Yapizon.

The spearphishing we have observed in these cases often targets personal email accounts of employees at digital currency exchanges, frequently using tax-themed lures and deploying malware.  

FireEye Security Firm Report

According to various estimates, "department 39" deals not only with gold smuggling and counterfeiting currency, but also owns many restaurants. The report emphasizes that the DPRK acts as a "criminal cartel", so the crypto-currency assets immediately attracted Pyongyang's attention.

This situation has a negative impact on the reputation of bitcoin in particular and the industry as a whole, as it gives financial regulators around the world the opportunity to introduce restraining measures.

Bakkt to Unveil Bitcoin Futures Test Date

Along with date announcement, COO Bakkt believes the platform will attract institutional investors and set new standards for the cryptocurrency market
14 June 2019   237

The Bakkt cryptocurrency platform has named the exact start date for testing Bitcoin futures. The first users will be allowed to test the tool on July 22.

According to Bakkt's Operations Director, Adam White, the platform will attract institutional investors and set new standards for the cryptocurrency market.

White pointed out that the wider distribution of cryptocurrencies, in particular, is hampered by unreliable pricing mechanisms and the likelihood of instantly falling rates.

Along with these problem-solving solutions that are new to digital asset markets, Bakkt also brings all the other features that institutions would expect in a versatile and broadly accessible market, including: block trades; a fee holiday through the end of the year to encourage trading; market maker incentive programs to encourage liquid markets; and integrations with ISVs and regulated brokerage platforms.

Adam White

COO, Bakkt

At Bakkt, two futures contracts will be presented - with daily and monthly settlements. Risk management and the securing mechanism for these contracts will meet the standards of the traditional derivatives market.