North Korea in Early Stages of Building Own Cryptocurrency

According to a Vice News report on Sept. 18, the project is designed to help the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) evade international sanctions and find a way around “the U.S.-dominated global financial system”.

North Korea is reportedly in the early stages of developing a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin (BTC).

Pyongyang trying to evade sanctions

Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official in charge of North Korea’s crypto conferences, said its yet-to-be-named digital currency will be “more like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.” Cao de Benos, who is also a special delegate for the Committee for Cultural Relations for the DPRK, added:

“We are still in the very early stages in the creation of the token. Now we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it … No plans to digitize the North Korean won for now.”

According to Vice, the North Korean Embassy to the United Nations in New York was not willing to confirm or deny his claim. “I am not in a position to give you an answer”, an embassy spokesperson apparently said.

North Korea accuses the United States of spreading rumors

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the U.N. Security Council’s North Korea Sanctions Committee said DPRK hackers were targeting foreign banks and crypto exchanges to steal money for funding its weapons of mass destruction program. The committee estimated that the DPRK has netted nearly $2 billion from such activities.

In response, Pyongyang claimed that the U.S. and other hostile forces are spreading slanderous rumors about its intentions and activities.

No Bank Account Needed to Transfer China’s Upcoming CBDC

Binance Research, the research arm of the major crypto platform Binance, has reported that no bank account will be necessary to use China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Loose coupling and anonymity

Binance Research shared its findings on Aug 28. According to the report, China’s CBDC will be transferable without a bank due to its loosely coupled design. As explained by the researchers, a loosely coupled design refers to a system of components that do not all depend on each other.

The upshot is that users will reportedly be able to transfer the CBDC to one another without needing a bank account. The goals of this design are to provide a degree of user anonymity, promote a CBDC turnover rate equivalent to that of cash and to boost the circulation and internationalization of the renminbi.

Smart contracts?

The report also puts forward that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is considering utilizing smart contracts in their infrastructure, but is hesitant to implement anything that would extend beyond “basic monetary requirements” – a term that has yet to be defined.

According to the report, the PBoC is concerned that if they implement smart contracts that add some sort of value to the CBDC, its offering would become a security instead. This could reduce the digital asset’s usability and impede the PBoC’s goal of internationalizing the RMB.

No plans to launch in November

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, The Global Times claimed that the PBoC had no plans to release its CBDC in November. The PBoC was replying to claims that it was planning to launch its upcoming asset in November, calling rumors of a launch within months to be “inaccurate speculation.”

An anonymous source had previously told Forbes that the tech behind its CBDC was complete and that it could potentially arrive as early as Nov. 11.


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