North Korea Commences Large Scale Bitcoin Mining Operation

Information recently surfaced that someone in North Korea has started mining bitcoin. According to Recorded Future, a threat intelligence company, on May 17 North Korea initiated a rather large mining operation. Prior to this date, there was minimal bitcoin node activity in the country. 

North Korea Commences Large Bitcoin Mining Operation

Also Read: Indian Multi-Industry Survey Shows 97% Awareness of Bitcoin

The website said, “Before that day, there had been virtually no activity to Bitcoin-related sites or nodes, or utilizing Bitcoin-specific ports or protocols. Beginning on May 17, that activity increased exponentially, from nothing to hundreds per day.”

North Korea Wannacry Ransomware Connection

The website explored an intricate theory about why North Korea began mining bitcoin. They made a connection between the bitcoin mining start date and the timeline of the Wannacry ransomware attacks in May. The ransomware effectively encrypted over 75,000 businesses computers worldwide, and then asked for a bitcoin ransom in return for access to the files. North Korea Commences Large Bitcoin Mining Operation

Apparently, North Korea started the bitcoin mining process to produce bitcoin activity within the country, so they can stealthily move bitcoin from the ransomware wallets around while preserving deniability of the attacks, according to Recorded Future.

This notion is not the only theory about the origin of Wannacry, though. According to reports from Financial Times and other media outlets, the Wannacry software is linked to the NSA exploits as well as the Shadow Brokers group. In this sense, there is no immediate, clear connection between North Korea and Wannacry aside from the present analysis by Recorded Future. Nonetheless, someone in North Korea is still leading a large scale bitcoin mining operation.

Who Runs the North Korea Bitcoin Mining Operation

There is still speculation about who is running the operation, but Recorded Future suggests that it is probably government. The website clarified:

It is not clear who is running the North Korean bitcoin mining operations; however, given the relatively small number of computers in North Korea coupled with the limited IP space, it is not likely this computationally intensive activity is occurring outside of state control.

Furthermore, even accessing an Internet connection for common people in North Korea is nigh impossible. The government does not provide access to the worldwide web to many people, unless those individuals are high ranking military or government officials. Most people can only sometimes access the country’s internal intranet, which only has a handful of basic websites. This is another point if why it is probable that State actors in North Korea are running the operation. At this point, no one knows for certain.

Do you believe that North Korean government officials are mining bitcoin? Why do you think they are mining bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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  • Jose

    we should nuke North Korea

    • anon457

      What for mining bitcoin!

    • Russell Spears

      How dare some country we are told to hate, try to mine Bitcoin.

      What really is the problem here….

      • Elizabeth Black

        Every single citizen of North Korea is a slave to the state. If you don’t see a problem, then I can’t help you. We shouldn’t nuke them, though.

        • Russell Spears

          Just because you have access to all the cheap junk slave labor abroad makes does it mean that you’re in a free state.
          If you don’t see this problem then I can’t help you either.

        • Russell Spears

          I guess you could say that North Korea is honest and overt about their citizens unfreedom..

          Where is the United States is dishonest and covert about their citizens on freedom.

          In North Korea you do as you’re told in the United States you are free to do as you’re told

        • Russell Spears

          You may want to look up what happened with Occupy Wall Street and how the state arrested over 7,000 people for exercising their supposed freedoms…

          Just because you drink the Kool-Aid doesn’t mean that the controlling mythology of freedom of speech exist in the United States

          • Hocky Krack

            There is law and rules in every country. NK for example has very strange
            laws. Freedom here means, that you can spread your silly thoughts as
            long as you don’t break governing law and rules of the site. You can’t
            do this in NK. There you could be jailed or even executed for your
            thoughts. See the difference?

          • Russell Spears

            What matters is not that a man is or thinks himself unfree, what matters is that he is actually free!

    • Hocky Krack

      we? who?

    • sjs

      Better get in quick then before they zap you. Kim’s getting closer every day and now that he has Bitcoin – Watch Out!!!! ;-)))

  • bitfur

    owesome now they know the power of crypto , North korea using their nuclear fuel to run the mining rigs to get tons of coins, get on now it will not stop from now on , going for 5000 soon before expectations

    • BenRickert

      Yeah, $5000 BTC!! No matter what the cost or how it gets there. Or how many NK people have to die to get it there!! GO TYRANNY!! Freaking idiot.

      • William Wanklyn

        NK may be a tough state but the USSA is worse. Millions dead to line the nest of D. Rockefeller and his ilk.

        • BenRickert

          BWAHAHAHAHA!! Fucking twit!! You are seriously fucking stupid.

          • Jonathan Jenkins

            Who do you think you are calling him a twit, you don’t even have an argument. You lost when all you had left were insults.

          • BenRickert

            Lost?? What are you 12? Lost what? You seem overly invested in a completely inconsequential chat board. Maybe you should go outside or possibly get a life you laughable clown. “Lost”. Fucking hilarious.

          • Jonathan Jenkins

            You lost the debate, I feel sorry for you ben. You can’t even walk away when you’ve been put down. You don’t even have good insults and the only thing hilarious here are you pathetic attempts to save face, we are all laughing at you buddie 🙂

          • BenRickert

            It’s “Buddy”. I guess toumlst the Internet spelling her. Probably devastated. You impotent, pathetic little twit.

          • Jonathan Jenkins

            Check the Urban Dictionary… Look at this guy, wind him up and watch him go lol.

          • BenRickert

            You’re not vey bright are you? Take a look again at the post. You clearly missed something. Seeing as how your entire existence appears to be centered around these “debates” that you are so invested in on the intraweb. One can only surmise that there is a very lonely woman or man in your life that thought they would be sharing in your affections and interactions in the real world. How disappointed he/she must be, to have come to realize that you’re nothing more than a pathetic, sorry little puke, that has chosen to live out his days propping up his flagging ego, by surfing chat rooms and declaring pyric victories against imaginary opponents. Arguing with you is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how badly you are beaten, you will still strut around the board chirping and shitting all over the place declaring victory. So strut away sad little man. Maybe some day a few drops of testosterone will leak into your system and you’ll break the shackles of your hermaphroditic captivity.

          • Jonathan Jenkins

            Nice story, I don’t have time to read it though : ) tldr.

        • Hocky Krack

          USSA? USSR? NK is strange, sad and corrupt state, but how come tough?

          • William Wanklyn

            Tough because they have suffered tremendous privations and yet survive and have enough hutzpah to tell the rest of us to fuck off.

        • rurerapa

          No country is worse than NK.
          Its one thing to go to war for greedy or obscure reasons as hundreds upon hundreds of countries have done in the past.

          Its quite another to exercise explicit authoritarian control over your own people and have no say in who gets elected at all, not even between two people who may or may not be influenced by third parties.

  • drowninbleach

    Umm, just like everything else, North Korea is a day late and a dollar short. While China shuts down btc mining due to lack of profits, NK decides to power move, lol.

  • The report fails to detail how many nodes and whether its TCP/RPC traffic or mining control or just nodes relaying transactions. I think it is too early to say if NK is mining for coins or just dabbling. The report uses a wiki definition of mining in quotes and is very misleading and lacking in specifics. If they actually mine, I would love to see how quickly they could grow to a PetaHash. And, who knows. Maybe they start a NKpool. Are there any other hostile dictators fostering Bitcoin Mining? I guess there will be many later on, since Banks and their Government Masters keep sanctioning anyone who is said to be dealing with NK. I wonder when that PetaHash day happens if people will care if their Bitcoin had passed through NK. I do not and I welcome additional miners, even from Mars. If KJI of NK sold me a SnoCone, I would still want my change in BTC not a FIAT and then accused of material support. The most obvious reason for attempting to relay transactions in NK for BTC. Someone is buying something.

    • BenRickert

      I bet you’re fine with them using their mining revenue to further accelerate their tyranny against their people and buy more war hardware. You “welcome more miners even from Mars”. that is a seriously ignorant statement. I think you should head over there for that “sno cone”. Soon.

      • What are you going to do with your partially processed NK Bitcoin? No, I am not fine with NK and their tyranny. I think it should have been solved in the 50s where and when it began. I wonder what you would say about your partially processed Chinese Bitcoins…Probably the same emotional statement. Have a snocone, they are delicious. You can choose who you buy it from.

        • Hocky Krack

          China? China has class compared to NK. But how much of cryptocoins are mined by all kinds of crooks really? Is there a way to control it, keep bad guys from mining, I don’t think so. The dark side of decentralisation and anonymity.

          • Agreed. No way to tell. What if NK participates in a legitimate pool? You have to take the good and possibly bad and possibly ugly miners with the whole lot and just concentrate on your own intentions.

          • Golbalview

            Just like cash… Should we ban it too? Globalist are trying to do this.

          • Market participation by communists is “dark and corrupt?” China is DPRK’s enabler.

    • chris p moore

      KJU probably hasn’t heard AlphaBay got shut down by the feds.” What do you mean my AlphaBay order with Ayatollah666 has been cancelled. I need that pointy thing to put bomb on missile.”

      • With the current( #89 )launch you are probably very close to the truth.

  • Robert Fulton

    Maybe there are poor and starving North Koreans trying to get a leg up by mining Bitcoin. Maybe this is about people trying to escape tyranny’s evil clutches. That, after all, is really what Bitcoin is about. Mine Bitcoin, escape NK, start over elsewhere. That is the beauty of crypto. This seems like another tired attempt to equate Bitcoin with evil, when Bitcoin is no more or less evil than any other currency. It is just far more advanced.

    • Hocky Krack

      Sorry to crush your wishful thinking, but as the article tells, common people in NK has absolutely no access to internet. Only top government and military officials can.

      • Robert Fulton

        Sorry to crush your simplistic thinking, but people risk cruel and unusual punishment to circumvent prohibitions and exercise personal freedom all over the world, all the time. It’s childish to think North Koreans are any different in this regard, or any less inventive.

  • M5S Forever

    I previewd this a couple of months ago. I don’t know if it is related to wannacry, what I supposed is that, thanks of bitcoin, North Korea can find a way to increase its incomes of foreign coins or to use bitcoin to escape the embargo.

  • Spencer Rhodes

    Ah, her it is, finally: the flashpoint that will be used by world leaders to usurp the network. You watch this one develop. They’ll call for some system of regulation and licensure for Bitcoin mining operations, so that Bitcoin doesn’t allow nations like DPRNK to circumvent economic sanctions. It’s not like it’s ready to chase down nodes on the web broadcasting a certain protocol, but that’s exactly what they’re going to try to do. There will be movers and shakers within the Bitcoin community who will be falling all over themselves to assist Interpol, IMF, world Bank, etc, in pulling this off in exchange for a guaranteed place within the newly created walled garden of ‘fintech’. I’m looking at YOU segwit2x camp.

  • smd

    The first country to make bitcoin the reserve currency is a bit of a surprise, no? Let’s see how much time they need to overtake the GDP of the southern half.

  • Billy Williams

    korea mining for the money

  • rurerapa

    To be honest, I don’t think the exchanges should even be open to North Korea.
    I’m fine with China because they have SOME degree of freedom and a chance to get out of their current status not to mention that the BTC is probably going to citizens at least who are likely to be unhappy with the government (but before anyone says it, I’m using the term “freedom” to refer to relatively free states where people can actually be relatively happy and informed, so don’t start with that we’re not free shit).

    But with NK, you are just trading with the government, plain and simple. Almost no one else even has a computer over there.
    And NK is fucked up in more ways than just oh they’re tyrannical. No, they’ll blow the fucking world up.

    This is the only exception. My support of crypto is riding on how much of it is going to NK, not just out of sheer morality and the wish to not be fucking nuked (but, yes, also that), but also because this provides a very easy way for regulators to come in and fuck over crypto.

  • PeeDeeRiverPatriot

    Article does not mention the scale of “large scale bitcoin mining” operation. Also, not sure it would be a bad thing; mining % is a regularly tracked metric. Any significant hashpower gains in NK would be easily seen, which would likely be countered by, or incentivize, many mining ops in more developed countries around the world. Currently, China has the largest mining pools and together represent over 60% of the current hashrate. The only true threat for the bitcoin network is 51% attack. And I just don’t see NK ever being that threat.

  • chris p moore

    Kim Jung Goob is gonna be upset when he finds out that these aren’t the tokens you give the cam girls on MFC

    • Dustin Smith


  • Gwen Ives

    Clearly this is the CIA; they have been helping Kim Jong Il, trying to make him look like a threat, because without a boogey man they can pretend to protect us from, there would be no need for all these programs to stop “terrorists” and no way to keep stealing money from everyone “taxes”… so they make these false flag terrorists and then plant stories about bitcoin coming from North Korea… OMG, Lions and Tigers and Bears… OH MY. “it is not clear who is running these bitcoin operations”…..hmmm.. .could it be the same dumbasses that proposed “Operation Northwoods”? Could it all be fake? If you ask who has a motive and who has a the ability to do something like this, government is always at the top of the list.

    • Robert McAlery

      Um yea, the CIA is helping Kim Jong Il. Makes complete sense. Just like they were behind the 911 attacks and the fake moon landings The world needs to know that North Korea is actually a wonderful place to live and that KJI is one of the kindest and most caring individuals on the planet.

      • Gwen Ives

        Uh, yeah it does make sense; it has been proven in US court cases that the CIA was behind most of the major riots in the US, hiring people to start the riots; these are the cases that were discovered so there is no telling what remains undiscovered. That doesn’t matter though, because all you have to look at is there a motive for the US to prop up Kim Jong… yes there are huge motives including keeping power in the US. That doesn’t mean Kim Jong is a kind person, why would you say that? Does he need to be kind if the CIA is helping him? No he could be just like Sadam Hussein who the CIA put into power in Iraq, or be just like Osama Bin Ladin, who the CIA trained and funded… why would that make him kind and caring? As for the 911 “attacks” the “terrorists” got their passports at a known CIA clearing house in Saudi Arabia, building 7 was clearly detonated by explosives, the plane that hit the Pentagon, ( or whatever hit it) , blew up the office where they were supposed to be accounting for a missing trillion dollars, and the owner of the World Trade Center and his daughter and his son, did not show up for work that day, and they normally showed up everyday; the owner had doubled his insurance policy and had wanted to remove the towers but it would have been too costly with all the asbestos; the evidence, the melted steel, was immediately sold for scrap to China.. EVIDENCE! They got rid of the evidence as soon as possible. So yes, Mr Robert McAlery, cheerleader for enslavement or paid dupe of the masters, yes yes yes, the CIA is helping Kim Jong….why wouldn’t they be? Kim Jong couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag without help. That’s why they told McArthur to pull back when he was ready to make Korea whole again… why was he called back? As for the moon “landings”… was there a motive to fake the landings? Yes. Did they fake the landings? Well just check out the first interview with the astronauts, they look like they were being threatened, they weren’t happy, they were scared reading from cue cards.

      • Lo ve

        She will never leave the west and will keep complaining all of her life. Instead she should go to one of those places she loves and see how long she lasts…

  • Lo ve

    Every time I read comments on bitcoin news I see a bunch of bitcoin fanatics, anti government haters who are highed up by the gains they have made with the bitcoin bubble.Just for this I hope that the governments create their own kryptocurrencies and burn to ashes the rest. Something will end up happening.

    • Gwen Ives

      Governments are just gangs of people that rob and control people. You hope gangs of robbers and thieves create their own cryptocurrencies? They don’t nee dto, they have the toilet paper backed by nothing but force known as the US Dollar, which is printed by a private bank, PRIVATE, known under the misleading name, “The Federal Reserve”.. this bank gets interest on every single dollar and also inflates the dollar, both forms of theft. Governments are just people, usually groups of people that have very little skills or value to offer the world, so they decided to enter a life of crime and use theft (taxes) to fund their activities, because no one would pay for them otherwise. What is a government hater? Someone who doesn’t like being robbed and controlled? I would call that a free person. You sound like what Malcom X would describe as a house negro… you are a slave, and you are begging for your masters to keep you and more people enslaved. Bitcoin is freedom from slavery. Why don’t you just send all the money you have to the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers who run the Int’l Bank of Settlements that run all the banks, including “The Fed”. “Lo ve”… what do you love? Enslavement? Sure sounds like it… why don’t you wake up or go kill yourself. You are either a willing dupe of the system, or one of their paid commenters… either way, go get a real job.

      • Lo ve

        Governments have good and bad, but zero government is worse and you know it. You and all your family would not be safe without it. No government means chaos, violence and the Law of the strongest. You complain out hate but you don´t really want to have no government. Our society is getting better and it will keep getting better. It sounds funny to me that you and all the gov haters want anarchy, when you really have no clue of what you are talking about.
        Gov´s will create their own kryptocurrencies to give us a better service while controlling them as well as our taxes to them. Yes, taxes pay for the police hat protect you and your family.

        • Gwen Ives

          Ha spoken like a well trained slave; you have it all backwards; GOVERNMENT means guaranteed violence, guaranteed chaos, guaranteed “law” of the most psychotic; the proof is all around; look at all the millions of people stolen from and in cages because of smoking a plant! Look at ISIS, Al Queada, Sadam Hussein, Osama, the Chicago and Detroit riots all being funded and promote by the CIA; Martin Luther King being assassinated by Hoover and the FBI.. if you feel safe now you shouldn’t.
          You don’t even seem to know how crypto currency works, let alone spell it; crypto currency was built to prevent the big gangs of robbers and thieves (governments) from stealing money in every transaction whenever people want to trade with each other. Taxes are theft; they are money collected at gunpoint, that is theft; no one voluntarily pays taxes; if they did it would be a tax (theft). Police are under NO OBLIGATION to protect anyone; do some research Supreme Court Case Warren Vs. District of Columbia, it is not police job to protect anyone; they are there just to rob people and boss them around. They don’t protect anyone, if you call them, they shoot you instead of the thief, just so they can go home early and get a paid vacation… you must have your head in the sand or be living under a rock not to see this stuff.

          • Lo ve

            You are the product of an easy life in western society. Go to Somalia and see with your eyes what zero government means.

  • Lo ve

    You are and an unhappy woman with psychological issues, this is why you think like that. I will leave you alone in your misery now.

    • Gwen Ives

      “You are and an unhappy woman”? Is that even English? So you want the Dennis Hasterts of the world to have blockchains? Clearly you don’t think at all.

    • Gwen Ives

      What do you “Lo ve”? Slavery? Change your name to “Sla ve”