Crypto Market Crash Results in Millions in Losses for Funds Stolen by North Korea

Crypto Market Crash Results in Millions in Losses for Funds Stolen by North Korea

North Korea leads the world in crime in the crypto space, with more than 15 documented cases of cyber theft amounting to $1.59 billion in stolen funds. However, the recent volatility of the cryptocurrency market has wiped out millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency stolen by hackers in the country.

The cryptocurrency market crash, which began in May, wiped out hundreds of billions of dollars from the industry, with most crypto assets down more than 70% from their highs. As a result, Most of the cryptocurrency funds stolen by hackers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have also seen significant devaluation.

A report from Coinclub.com indicates that North Korea has deployed 7,000 full-time hackers to raise funds through cyberattacks, ransomware and cryptocurrency protocol hacks.

The Ronin Bridge hack, valued at $600 million at the time, was also linked to the infamous Lazarus ransomware group, which originated in the country. The value of stolen Ether (ETH) has plummeted to $230 million in the current market, a decline of more than 60%.

According to a Chainalysis report, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) had around $170 million in stolen cryptocurrency unlaundered, stemming from 49 hacks over four years. The value of the stolen funds has now been reduced to $63 million.

The Chainalysis report had estimated that the DPRK had some cryptocurrency funds since 2016, indicating that these hackers were not very efficient at laundering the stolen funds. This could be attributed in part to the transparency of blockchain technology, where as soon as a hack occurs, the protocol often coordinates with cryptocurrency exchanges and stablecoin issuers to freeze stolen funds, and even the smallest amount. moved is usually tracked.

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Crypto Market Crash Results in Millions in Losses for Funds Stolen by North Korea

Another cryptocurrency analysis report from CNAS highlighted that the theft is only the first part, as finding brokers to exchange the funds for currency or Bitcoin (BTC) often leaves Pyongyang with only a third of the value of the actual funds stolen.

North Korea is facing multiple sanctions from around the world, making it difficult to trade or transact in the international market, and experts believe this has pushed them to look at cryptocurrencies as an alternative. However, cryptocurrencies make up only a small part of the DPRK’s funds, as most of its capital comes from coal smuggling and clandestine deals with China, Reuters reported.

With the sheer size of stolen funds in the recent past, coupled with the growth of analytical tools and government actions, the DPRK has found it increasingly difficult to legitimize stolen cryptocurrencies.

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