Monero XMR Privacy Coins Is Used by North Korea to Circumvent Sanctions

By Steven Anderson February 14, 2020 Off
monero XRM north korea

North Korea is working to circumvent sanctions. Sanctions refer to a threatened penalty for disobeying the law or rule.  When it comes to controlling geopolitical challenges like terrorism, governments and multinational bodies tend to impose sanctions.

North Korea has a complex web of organizations, which they make use of to evade sanctions.  In their attempts to circumvent sanctions, they are stepping up the process of mining Monero.

There has been a 10-fold increase in North Korean IP addresses for mining Monero (XMR), according to reports from the US Cybersecurity firm records.

The North Korean regime has been involved in Bitcoin mining activity, but the Monero XMR mining volumes have surpassed that of Bitcoin mined by North Korean IP addresses.

Sydney Ifergan, the crypto expert, tweeted: “Circumventing sanctions with Monero XMR privacy coins by North Korea is not new news. The numbers are interesting to read, though.”

The increase in Monero XMR mining is because the mining can take place in non-specialized machines like traditional computers, thus bringing down the operational costs.  Therefore, there is no need to import mining rigs.

Monero Anonymous Transactions Advantageous

The anonymous transactions by Monero are making it advantageous for North Korea to evade attempts to track funds by the US and the UN Security Council.

The UN Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations focused on ensuring international peace and security. Several countries have imposed sanctions against North Korea.  Most of them are related to the North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program. Of note, United Nations agencies are restrictions in terms of the aid they can provide to North Korea due to sanctions, but they can help with nutrition, health, water, and sanitation.

North Korea makes use of cryptocurrencies as a loose and regulated source of revenue generation to move funds that are generated illegally.

The report states, “We assess that cryptocurrencies are a valuable tool for North Korea as an independent, loosely regulated source of revenue generation, but also as a means for moving and using illicitly obtained funds.”

The report also states that the mining activity is obfuscated with proxy IP addresses. Therefore analysts are not able to determine the share of the XMR hashrate for which North Korea played a major role.

A previous UN study reveals that a part of the North Korean Military are mainly responsible for the mining activity of the regime; however, the actual details of the entity has not been narrowed down. North Korea has been using Monero ever since 2017. During that time, extorted Bitcoinw as exchanged in to Monero.