Can North Korea’s Bitcoin Links Be Used to Justify Chinese Bitcoin Ban?

North Korea is stepping up cryptocurrency attacks as some suggest the country’s threat could form a basis for China to restrict Bitcoin.

As Bloomberg reports Monday, hackers from Kim Jong Un’s regime have increasingly targeted South Korean exchanges, compromising servers and gaining control of a cryptocurrency media outlet.

“We definitely see sanctions being a big lever driving this sort of activity,” Luke McNamara, a researcher at research firm FireEye who revealed the trend told the publication.

“They probably see it as a very low-cost solution to bring in hard cash.”

South Korea has risen to become a huge trading force in Bitcoin and altcoins this year, while at the same time authorities appear to be following China in threatening punishments for ICO-related activities.

China’s ICO lockdown is rumored to soon spread to Bitcoin-to-fiat exchanges, which for already critical mainstream media could lead to suggestions authorities will seek to villainize Bitcoin as justification.

North Korea would provide a convenient scapegoat in this instance, while a full ‘ban on Bitcoin’ from China has been dismissed as impossible throughout the industry.

As far back as last year, Andreas Antonopoulos added to the idea of Bitcoin’s fundamental role in China, stating that mining alone was so ingrained into official corruption that no party had an interest in shutting the practice down.

“The ability to effect change on the ground is mediated by layers and layers of bureaucracy… and the bigger the crisis the easier they are to corrupt,” he commented discussing the likelihood of China exerting a full ban on Bitcoin.

Reeve Collins, Tether co-founder and CEO of BLOCKv, meanwhile told Cointelegraph today that the country’s regulatory approach to ICOs will ultimately strengthen all parties.

“China’s ban is a bellwether for the need for more regulation in the market which we believe will aid the market by helping to ensure only legitimate companies sell tokens. It doesn’t change our strategy for a token sale,” he said.