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North Korea eyes Bitcoin amid renewed sanctions

Summary:

  • Hackers from North Korea step up Bitcoin attacks amid renewed sanctions
  • Swiss town is going to accept tax payments in Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin approaches its key technical level

The UN Security Council approved yesterday new sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its latest missile and nuclear tests, though the US scrapped demands such as an oil embargo in order to get both Russia and China on board supporting renewed sanctions. Cutting imports of refined petroleum products and banning textile exports are among them.

Meanwhile, North Korea could eye Bitcoin (BTCUSD on xStation5) as provisional money so that avoid trade restrictions including the above-mentioned sanctions. According to the report from security researcher FireEye, hackers from Kim Jong Un’s regime are increasing their attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea and related sites. They also breached an English-language Bitcoin news website and collected Bitcoin ransom payments from global victims of the malware WannaCry, the report said. It’s worth underlining that North Korean hacking attacks have tended to coincide with rallies seen on the Bitcoin price.

link do file download linkNorth Korea usually steps up its attacks when the Bitcoin price raises. Source: Bloomberg

The North Korean story is just a confirmation that digital currencies are vastly used in crime activity. Having said that, even though the US along with other countries have imposed trade sanctions in order to trim North Korea’s funds, the regime could by-pass such limits thanks to virtual currencies. So, with tightening sanctions and usage of cryptocurrencies broadening, North Korea could only see increasing demand for digital coins. 

Switzerland seems to be one of the most conservative and reasonable country in the world, but it doesn’t disturb to implement quite a groundbreaking decision. Namely, Chiasso, a town in Switzerland, is going to start accepting tax payments in Bitcoin, a move will come into effect since January 1. That said, there are some limits to the scheme, so tax payments (made in BTC) are allowed if they do not exceed 250 CHF (ca. $265). Bruno Arrigoni, the mayor of the town, was to said that Chiasso is recognized internationally as an epicenter of a growing technological and economic growth for both the canton and in Switzerland.

link do file download linkBitcoin has walked a tightrope between a local support zone and a 100MA (an orange line) recently. A breakout of one of the mentioned levels could result in a quicker move. Source: xStation5

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