According to a new report, the value of cryptocurrency earnings badly obtained North Korea fell, which could impact its nuclear weapons program. According to a Reuters report, the value of the stolen cryptocurrency from North Korea has plummeted due to the general market crash, which could jeopardize funding for its weapons programs.
The country has been linked to numerous cyber attacks against cryptocurrencies, including the $ 552 million hacking of the Ronin Bridge from the Axie Infinity game in March.
In February, a leaked UN report suggested that North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs were funded by cryptocurrency. The country turned to digital assets amid severe sanctions and as other sources of illicit revenue dwindled during the pandemic.
But the country’s cryptocurrency earnings from the bull run now appear to be severely exhausted, with two unnamed South Korean government sources telling Reuters it could influence how Pyongyang funds its weapons programs.
Global sanctions imposed on North Korea for its nuclear program have made it particularly difficult for the country to access other sources of finance.
At an April event in Washington DC, Eric Penton-Voak of the UN Security Council’s Group of Experts on North Korea said that the cyber activity was “basic”To allow North Korea to evade sanctions for years.
He noted, however, that the country has become adept at finding new ways to circumvent attempts to cut off access to money.
“North Korea is an innovator in seeking new sources of illicit revenue,” he said.
North Korea’s cryptocurrency holdings
While it’s difficult to get exact details, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis told Reuters that North Korea’s previous cryptocurrency holdings, coming from hacks between 2020 and 2021, fell in value from $ 170 million early in the year. year at around $ 65 million at current prices.
Meanwhile, the loot from the attack on the Ronin Network, the Ethereum sidechain used by Axie Infinity, is probably only worth a third of its original value.
The Ethereum stolen in this hack, which could have sold for $ 552 million at the time, would be worth only about $ 230 million today. However, most of the stolen Ethereum was exchanged for Bitcoin, Carlsen told Reuters, making it more difficult to assess the exact extent of the losses.
Today, major cryptocurrencies continue to face extreme volatility. Bitcoin briefly dipped below $ 20,000 early Wednesday morning, while Ethereum dropped nearly 8% and is trading at around $ 1,135, according to coingecko.