The collapse of the cryptocurrency market has North Korea in a tizzy. North Korea itself is often reported to be hacking or stealing cryptocurrencies in the world. This crypto is then used as the country’s main source of funding.
Quoting Reuters, Wednesday (6/29/2022), North Korea is said to have devoted its resources to stealing crypto in recent years.
In March, the US Treasury Department noted that the amount of crypto stolen by North Korea reached US$ 615 million. This makes North Korea the biggest threat related to crypto theft.
Now the crypto market is crashing. The sudden drop in crypto value, which began in May, has made it difficult for Pyoyang to cash in on its stolen crypto. This could affect how it plans to fund its weapons program.
North Korea is reportedly testing a number of missiles that the Korea Institute of Defense Analysis in Seoul estimates have cost US$620 million so far this year. It is even ready to resume nuclear tests amid the economic crisis.
The North Korean-owned crypto has declined in value from US$170 million to US$65 million since the beginning of this year. This is because, according to a report by New York-based blockchain analytics company Chainalysis, North Korea has not cashed out its crypto for too long.
For example, one of North Korea’s crypto loot from 2021, which was originally worth tens of millions of dollars, has now plummeted 80% to 85% in just a few weeks. It is now worth less than US$10 million.
North Korea has denied all allegations. A person who answered the phone at the North Korean embassy in London said he could not comment on the crypto market crash because the allegations of cryptocurrency hacking were fake news.
“We didn’t do anything,” said the person, who identified himself only as an embassy diplomat. North Korea’s foreign ministry calls such allegations US propaganda.