North Korea is mining Bitcoin. So what?

The solution to North Korea’s sanction circumvention is not in the hands of big government.


By Mason Mohon | NORTH KOREA

CNBC released a report Wednesday revealing that Bitcoin mining activity has been going on within North Korea. An organization known as Recorded Future discovered that this mining activity has been going on since May 17th. The director of strategic threat development at Recorded Future, Priscilla Moriuchi, came out and made a few statements about the operations to CNBC.

“First is that the activity is sponsored by the state, as a way to generate funds for the regime. The second hypothesis is that it’s an individual user, among this small sliver of leaders and their families who have access to the internet.” -Moriuchi

There is no doubt Bitcoin is being mined in North Korea, and chances are it is being done either by the state itself or individuals within the state. This is further evidenced by the recent sanctions on North Korea by the United Nations security council that capped what North Korea can export to other countries. It is possible that they will attempt to use Bitcoin to circumvent the sanctions, so what should be done?

It is a given that North Korea is a threat, although the seriousness of the threat is unknown. North Korea should not be given this opportunity to circumvent this blockade that is there for a reason, but this is not precedent for any action against Bitcoin. The United States federal government should leave the crypto-world alone and let it run its course.

The solution is not in the hand of big government, but rather it is in the hands of the buyers and sellers of bitcoins themselves. It is important to be knowledgeable as to who you’re buying bitcoin from or selling it to so you don’t accidentally support a dictatorial regime. Be smart, and if you can’t figure out any information about who you’re buying or selling from, it is probably too sketchy to be buying and selling from them in the first place, so just don’t.

Bitcoin is important. It has made waves in the world of finance and made blockchain technology extremely well-known. It is also a way out of victims of dictators in countries such as Venezuela. An article from The Atlantic discussed how families victim to inflation are finding funds in the crypto mining industry. Action against bitcoin with the intent of damaging a dictator in North Korea would be action against the victims of a dictator in Venezuela.

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