Cryptocurrency crash could cost N.Korea weapons program millions

Cryptocurrency crash could cost N.Korea weapons program millions

The recent market crash has left North Korea with millions of dollars in losses on its stolen digital assets and could affect funding for its weapons program, Reuters reported.

The sanctioned country has unrealized losses on its illicit funds because of the recent crash of the BTC to under $20,000.

Per Chainalysis, old unlaundered cryptocurrencies held by North Korea, is now valued at $65 million, a decline from $170 million. These are funds stolen from hacks between 2017 and 2021.

Nick Carlsen, a analyst at TRM Labs, said that a portion of North Korea's holdings, originally worth tens of millions, have lost about 85% of their value.

According to anonymous government sources in South Korea, this decline could severely derail North Korea's weapons program. The Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul estimates that it has spent $620 million on this program this year.

North Korea has been testing several missiles this year and prioritized its weapons programs. The country has funded missile programs with stolen funds from exchanges, according to available information.

Hackers from North Korea pose a huge threat to the criptocurrency industry. A group of hackers from the country were linked to over 600 million hacks of Axie Infinity's Ronin bridge.

The North Korean government denies any links to criptocurrency hacks, according to the North Korean government.

An unnamed embassy diplomat who answered the North Korean embassy in London phone said the allegations were totally fake news. The information that is publicly available says otherwise. A recent report by Coincub said that North Korea is the leading country in the world for crimes related to criptocurrencies. The US and Russia are in the top three for different reasons.

More than 7,000 hackers have raised more than $1.59 billion for North Korea, according to the Coincub report. DPRK has 15 documented instances of a crime related to cryptocurrencies.

The rate of cryptocurrencies in the country has led the US Treasury Department Brian E. Nelson to call for sanctions on the state. According to him, the North Korean government uses the proceeds of its hacks to create weapons of mass destruction.