Crypto-related crimes are rising, and companies should pay more attention to this threat. Moreover, not only individuals but even countries started to use such methods to steal money. One example of how the government turned to crypto comes from the most isolated country in the world. It is not hard to guess the name of this country, North Korea.
As a reminder, the North Korean regime is economically isolated to make it harder for the regime to develop nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, the regime is actively using the crypto industry to generate revenue, mostly by stealing it.
Last year, sanctions experts told the United Nations that North Korea used cyberattacks to pilfer as much as $2 billion from crypto exchanges, etc.
Additionally, the North Koreans become experts when it comes to digital money laundering.
Department of Justice and crypto crimes
The U.S. Department of Justice charged two Chinese nationals, Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong.
Tian and Li helped North Korean hackers to steal around $250 million worth of crypto money. In late 2018, hackers working for the regime stole millions of dollars from an unnamed South Korean exchange.
Furthermore, much of that money, mostly Bitcoin, apparently landed in accounts at different exchanges held by Tian and Li. They converted it into fiat currency.
It is worth mentioning that the use of exchanges to launder stolen cryptocurrency is a growing problem. Last year, criminal entities moved $2.8 billion in Bitcoin to exchanges. In 2018 criminal entities used this method to move around $1 billion.
Additionally, the Department of Justice decided to place their names and 20 of their Bitcoin accounts on a special list. It is a list of foreign individuals and entities that are blocked from doing business in the U.S.
The government also presented a legal document explaining why it wants to seize 113 cryptocurrency accounts associated with money laundering.