A study from cybersecurity firm Recorded Future has found that Monero (XMR) mining activity from North Korean IP addresses has increased at least tenfold since May. Further, it is speculated that a branch of the North Korean military may be participating in Monero (XMR) mining.
The report goes on to detail how North Korea has been involved in large scale cryptocurrency thefts from South Korean crypto exchanges, in addition to being involved with at least one global crypto scam. Also, North Korea has been implicated with cryptojacking, which is basically a computer virus that hijacks as many computers as possible to mine Monero (XMR).
Thus, it seems North Korea is amassing as much cryptocurrency as possible, primarily through criminal activities and mining. The report speculates that North Korea is doing this to circumvent international sanctions.
Indeed, Monero (XMR) is perhaps the best way that North Korea can avoid international sanctions since Monero (XMR) payments are completely stealth and cannot be traced. Further, Monero (XMR) wallets and payments cannot be frozen, seized, or reversed since the network is highly decentralized.
That being said, most crypto exchanges no longer accept Monero (XMR) due to international money laundering regulations, so even though Monero (XMR) is able to circumvent sanctions, it is probably difficult for North Korea to transfer large amounts of money with it. Essentially, whoever is on the other end of a transaction from North Korea would have a hard time cashing out into fiat.
Unfortunately, news like this is bad for Monero’s (XMR) image and has the potential to cause increased Monero (XMR) regulations. That being said, Monero (XMR) is so decentralized and anonymous that it would still function even if it was completely banned. Therefore, Monero (XMR) is here to stay regardless.