North Korea Announces Its Own Cryptocurrency

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Vice reports that North Korea is going to create “its own version of Bitcoin,” and everyone’s losing their minds.

The North Korean government isn’t the first rogue state to turn to cryptocurrency as a means to international settlement – Iran and Venezuela have both used crypto, and Cuba’s looked into it as well.

North Korea’s Sanctions Problem Makes For A Perfect Crypto Use Case

It only makes sense that North Korea – whose government has repeatedly been accused of conducting massive crypto hacks to fund itself – would eventually look at the possibilities of blockchain, and decide that they have needs the technology can fulfill.

Governments like North Korea have to have a way to transact outside of regular financial systems, primarily because they make it their business to be at odds with the lords of business – the United States and her allies.

North Korea considers the US an enemy, and due to its repeated attempts to build a nuclear weapons program, it must survive under strict sanctions.

The communist country’s neighbors in South Korea, by contrast, enjoy a high standard of living and the benefits of international trade.

The cryptocurrency that North Korea is reportedly working on will not be a stablecoin version of the North Korean Won.

Such a token would have little usage, as that currency isn’t widely accepted or even tradeable.

Numerous countries have sum total trade blockades in place against North Korea, making the currency overwhelmingly useless to people around the world.

Not An “e-Won”

This is in contrast to currencies like the US dollar or the Chinese Yuan, which can be used or exchanged most anywhere.

Few details are known about the new North Korea cryptocurrency, much like the country itself or the lives of its citizens.

Reports of its development come from a single source, Alejandro Cao de Benos, who was hired by the North Korean government to run its blockchain conferences, who says the country is definitely working on something of its own token. Cao de Benos is quoted as telling Vice:

“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.”

Vice was unable to acquire any confirmation from another North Korean government source, it should be noted.

However, examining the potential for a cryptocurrency use case, North Korea could go from essentially no banking system to having a fully modern, mobile payment system in place.

However, it’s unclear how such products would play out in an area where the economy works significantly differently.