North Korea (DPRK) appears to be targeting bitcoin (both users and exchanges) as a means to counter the increasing effect of international sanctions. Earlier this month the UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions targeting the country’s primary exports. Dwindling coal exports to China will be particularly severe, and DPRK’s export revenues will likely be slashed by $1 billion.
Recent cyber-attacks against South Korean bitcoin exchanges are now being blamed on North Korea. Radio Free Asia (RFA) — a non-profit East Asian News Agency — has reported that DPRK has already launched three cyber-attacks on bitcoin exchanges in South Korea, and one in Europe. Details, including timings, are sparse — so it is quite possible that the July hack of a Bithumb employee is included, and here attributed to North Korea.