In today’s world, we constantly witness a massive transformation of the global economy. The overall wealth is rapidly increasing around the world. Emerging economies in Asia and Africa primarily account for the majority of this growth. Yet, we are past the agricultural or heavy industrial phases and the modern driver of the economy is digital technology.
The past few decades have been absolutely game-changing for the technological industry and its development. Throughout this period, we have witnessed more novelty and innovation in terms of digital technology than ever before. Computers and the internet have taken over the world as the web represents the biggest social platform on earth with billions of people surfing through it each and every day.
The growth of social media and the number of businesses that are present on them made a great impact on revolutionizing the economy. Today, every company, big or small is online with a range of social media accounts. Facebook alone has over 2.4 billion active monthly users, making it by far the most popular social media platform. Yet, Twitter, Instagram, or others also have their audiences of hundreds of millions. In this industry, new trends never stop coming in. For instance, a Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok is now one of the fastest-growing social networks, introduced just a few years ago.
This fast process of digitization has affected almost all industries, including those that seemed to be rather distant from the digital world. One of the prime examples of this process is the financial industry. The sector that kept itself away from technology now is one of the frontrunners in the process of digital adoption. The vast majority of commercial banks offer web or mobile platforms where customers can perform a diverse range of financial operations. Transferring money from one part of the world to another no longer requires leaving the house but rather, it can simply be done through a smartphone or a computer in a matter of minutes.
Another sector that is being heavily digitized is gambling. Casinos have always been undoubtedly some of the most profitable businesses on earth, as well as rather exclusive ones. Thinking of a casino, the vast majority of us would imagine a shining grand venue in Las Vegas or a classy seaside building in Monaco. These and other meccas of gambling remain a hotspot for players and enthusiasts alike. However, digital gambling platforms are gradually the leading niche of the industry. According to representatives from Spinia, a growing number of slot machines pop up around the world each and every day, attracting millions of users.
These casinos often use cryptocurrencies of all types from Bitcoin to less known, newly emerged Altcoins. They ensure that online gambling platforms provide more convenient and safe services when it comes to financial transactions. Interestingly, some of these digital currencies have a rather suspicious reputation for gaining popularity and price through bots. Many reports have tracked them down and ended up with North Korean internet bots. By these bodies on the global web, many coins boost their prices. This is an important discovery, yet, there actually is much more to North Korea’s relationship with this industry.
The crypto revolution
The year 2009 was absolutely unprecedented for the financial industry. This was when the world’s first decentralized blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was introduced. The phenomenon that was not known to the public before caused lots of confusion and made international headlines all across the globe. Yet, Bitcoin failed to find wide success until 2017, when it surpassed the $10,000 price point for the first time.
Today, virtual currencies are more diverse than ever before. Despite the presence of Altcoins, Bitcoin still remains the most widespread and successful virtual currency to date. Laws all around the world are being legislated in order to support crypto transactions and their legal and full use in the economy. Many nations have witnessed that this market can provide tangible economic benefits for many individuals and businesses. Therefore, a soaring number of countries, states, territories, and dependencies are recognizing cryptos as a legit means of finance.
North Korea’s suspicious bond with the crypto market
The nation located in the far East part of Asia is undoubtedly the most secretive, closed, and autonomous dictatorship in the modern world. Officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is one of the poorest countries in the region, particularly in contrast to its neighboring South Korea. Yet, the regime remains closed to the rest of the world with only very few being able to leave or enter the nation.
The dictator Kim Jong-Un is widely regarded as the most dangerous living leader on earth. He portrays himself as a god to citizens of the country while threatening the outside world. One of the most severe threats was made towards the United States, resulting in potentially a detrimental global crisis. And of course, the main factor here is that North Korea holds nuclear weapons which, as a country’s authorities claim, can reach nations across Asia and even parts of the United States.
For a regime that simply does not export or import anything, affording a nuclear arsenal is a subject of luxury. Thus, in an attempt of funding the military dream, Kim Jong-Un funded an unprecedented cyber-attack on commercial banks and crypto platforms, stealing roughly $2 billion from them back in 2019.
According to various sources, the vast majority of this sum was in cryptocurrencies, making it one of the largest single crypto funds in the world. Details are not known amid the discreet character of the country’s regime. Yet, the leaked UN report said that the organization was investigating approximately 35 individual attacks.
The event was succeeded by the statement by Kim Jong-Un, condemning South Korea’s and the United State’s joint military training in the region. Later on, the country launched 4 missiles in less than 2 weeks.
Is North Korea’s participation in the crypto market significant?
As mentioned earlier in the article, no one outside of the country’s leadership is quite sure about the true scale of crypto operations in North Korea. Yet, the sum of over $1 billion is a substantial amount, especially considering that attacks occurred within a short period of time. There could certainly be much more to it but without much proof, it is difficult to say anything regarding the issue.
The late reports about Kim Jong-Un’s health condition resulted in many concerns across the community about its influence on the crypto market. Some experts in the field were alarmed of potentially a major threat the situation posed, in case the real amount of cryptos in the North Korean economy is significantly higher than known. However, the leader’s health condition turned out to be much better than reported as he recently appeared at the public celebration.