A recent report published by Insikt Group found that internet usage in the Hermit Kingdom has grown a great deal. The report shows that in the past three years, internet usage has grown by 300%. During the same period, XMR mining activity in the DPRK has grown a lot.
The report noted that there was a tenfold increase in mining Monero in the country since May 2019. It notes that this increase might be an attempt by the country to avoid crippling international sanctions. This is because Monero has a heavy focus on privacy, which makes it more attractive than Bitcoin.
How they prepared the Report
To create the report, researchers examined internet activity by senior officials in the country using various tools. They analyzed data from January 1, 2019, to November 1, 2019. The internet is quite limited in North Korea, with only the elite allowed to use it. As a result, the crypto mining data is even more significant.
The report concluded that internet usage by the elites was not merely a leisure tool but an important tool for generating revenue. However, the report made it clear that it did not focus on Kwangmyong, which is the domestic intranet of North Korea.
Tenfold Growth in Monero Mining
The crypto findings of this report are quite significant. It concluded that by November 2019, there have been small scale BTC mining taking place in the nation. While crypto mining in North Korea is well known, the report found that the nation seems to have developed a particular interest in XMR. However, they could not determine the hash rate since all activities were proxied behind a single address, which they believe hosts several machines.
The report claims that Monero has been used by the DPRK since, citing the Wannacry ransomware attacks of 2017. They believe that the proceeds of those attacks, which were in BTC were laundered via a mixer and eventually converted into Monero.
The researchers claim that Monero might be a favorite due to its focus on privacy and ease of mining. To mine Monero, you do not need specialized equipment like is the case with BTC.