(PatriotWise.com) — The leader of secretive North Korea has been engaging in the theft of cryptocurrency. Last year, the FBI busted Kim Jong Un and his regime as they tried to steal $100 million from California-based crypto company Harmony. The FBI traced the thief back to North Korea with the help of its southern neighbor, a strong US ally.
At a government office in the city of Pangyo, known as South Korea’s Silicon Valley, agents waited for North Korea to move the stolen digital currency into accounts that facilitate the conversion of crypto to established currency. The window was only a few minutes long as that is all it takes to move millions of dollars and even to launder large amounts. However, US and South Korean agents were ready and when North Korea made the move, they pounced.
Thieves stole around $3.8 billion in cryptocurrency last year, and experts believe North Korea pocketed as much as half of that. Observers think Kim Jong Un is stealing funds for his ruthless military ambitions.
President Biden’s administration is said to be aware of the issue and is taking it seriously.
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital monetary system. The “money” does not exist in physical form but is solely electronic. Bitcoin is the original, but many others have been created since, and the technology is used increasingly for digital purchasing. Unfortunately, as its popularity rises, so do instances of theft.
In 2021, hackers stole $600 million – the largest heist to date. Thieves pilfered a currency known as Ether and were urged to give it back. Poly Network, the company controlling the funds, wrote to the hacker, saying, “Law enforcement in any country will regard this as a major economic crime and you will be pursued.”
It worked. The funds were returned within hours.
Last year, insider reports say that instances of theft have gone up. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission said more than 26 million Australian dollars had been stolen in scams involving cryptocurrency in 2020 alone.
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