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North Korea ‘increasingly’ using cryptocurrency to evade sanctions

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North Korea is increasingly using cryptocurrency to bypass international sanctions and could use it to help fund programmes to build weapons of mass destruction, a report says today.

This form of money, such as Bitcoin, probably only plays a peripheral role in Pyongyang’s fundraising and sanctions-evasion efforts at present, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) paper said.

“However, the sophistication of North Korea’s broader cyber crime operations and its general demand for ongoing financial resources present the risk that its cryptocurrency activity could become a sustained security challenge,” it said.

The scale and scope of North Korean cryptocurrency activity

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