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North Korea (DPRK) is mining Monero at staggering rates

Dubbed 'The Hermit Kingdom', North Korea, known officially as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has dramatically ramped up its crypto-mining efforts.

According to a report by Recorded Future, the country has rapidly increased its Monero mining operations.

While The DPRK was mining an equal amount of Monero and Bitcoin in the past, it has recently pumped up its numbers quite substantially with increased Monero mining efforts.

"We have observed an at least tenfold increase in Monero mining activity from North Korean IP ranges since May 2019. We believe that Monero’s anonymity and lower processing power requirements likely make Monero more attractive than Bitcoin to North Korean users," - the report states.

Monero is a privacy coin which makes it hard for anyone to observe who or what entity is sending or receiving transactions. It has often and quite still is used for illegal activities, and is widespread with its use on the dark-net.

The report adds that North Korea has been using Monero since at least August of 2017 when Bitcoin proceeds from a cyberattack which swapped to Monero.

It acknowledges the fact that the North Korean military is engaging in cryptocurrency mining, according to a UN report. But it is unsure if the same entity is actually responsible for the mining that is currently being monitored.

"We assess that cryptocurrencies are a valuable tool for North Korea as an independent, loosely regulated source of revenue generation, but also as a means for moving and using illicitly obtained funds," - the report adds.

The DPRK has been thought to be investigating the idea of creating its own digital currency, similar to the way that Japan is considering doing the same.

This is likely beneficial to North Korea in order to avoid sanctions from the US and other nations. Former Ethereum Foundation member Virgil Griffiths, who visited the country recently for a conference, has pleaded innocent to charge that he was conspiring with the DPRK to assist it in avoiding those aforementioned sanctions.

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