Korea Development Bank (KDB) Reports North Korea Tried Mining Bitcoin in 2017

A report has surfaced in North Korea that the country attempted to mine Bitcoin in the summer of 2017.


Yonhap News reported on August 27 that North Korea (DPRK) has tried mining Bitcoin between May and July 2017. The South Korean news outlet cited a report compiled by a research unit from South Korea’s state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB).

North Korea attempted BTC mining on a small scale

The report revealed that the mining attempt by North Korea was conducted on a small scale. It took place between May and July last year and seemed to have failed. However, the reasons for its failure still remains unclear.

The KDB report talked about the interest of North Korea in mining. The report explained that:

North Korea seems interested in the defining “characteristics of cryptocurrencies, including anonymity, difficulties of tracing money and cashability,”

The research unit at KDB went on to further claim that North Korean tech firm Chosun Expo is currently developing a Bitcoin cryptocurrency exchange. This announcement came with no details on the scope and the expected launch of this initiative.

KDB’s research unit has further reported that it conducted interviews with North Korean expatriates. The interviews suggested that most of the people in the country have little knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Its neighbors to the south meanwhile is a leading country in the crypto space.

North Korean hackers attack crypto exchange

Citizens in North Korea might have a limited knowledge of cryptocurrencies due to the media control regulations in the country. However, hackers in the country have ample knowledge on digital currencies.

Last week, North Korean hackers were alleged to have infected a cryptocurrency exchange with a malware that unusually targeted both Windows and macOS systems.

In a report by Kaspersky Lab, the malware made its way into the systems of an unnamed exchange after an employee downloaded a “tainted” app.

Kaspersky believes that the app was designed by a fake developer with fake security certificates in a major operation by North Korean hacker collective Lazarus Group. The report added that the malware aimed to steal cryptocurrency funds.

The developers wanted to ensure that they don’t face a problem with the OS platform. They developed malware to tackle the macOS platform.

Lazarus has mostly targeted South Korean exchanges, with cryptocurrency exchanges like Bithumb, YouBit, and Coinlink all complaining about attacks on their platforms.

North Korea to hold an international crypto conference

Unconfirmed reports from some media outlets in Asia revealed that North Korea is set to hold a blockchain conference in Pyongyang. The event will be held in the capital city over a two-day period starting on the first day of October.

North Korea plans to attract crypto experts from all over the world, who are expected to hold a meeting with officials from the state-run institutions on October 3.

It will be interesting to see the turnout considering that some countries have issued travel bans to North Korea for their own citizens, especially the US.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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