North Korea is working on building its own cryptocurrency to get around the tough international sanctions.

Development is apparently still in its early stages and follows a similar project from Venezuela, which launched its oil-backed petro token last year – also to avoid U.S.-led sanctions.

In a Wednesday report from Vice, Alejandro Cao de Benos – the official managing North Korea’s cryptocurrency conferences and a special delegate for the nation’s Committee for Cultural Relations – said that the as-yet-unnamed token is expected to be “more like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.”

Like the petro, the new crypto may be pegged to an asset within North Korea. “Now we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it,” Cao de Benos said, adding that there are “no plans” to peg a cryptocurrency to the North Korean won.

As reported, the nation will hold its second blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in February 2020.

North Korea has also been linked with major hacks that stole possibly $2 billion from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges (although the regime denies it).

Such activity suggests that Pyongyang does have the technological expertise to develop its own cryptocurrency.

Vice said the North Korean embassy to the U.N. in New York would neither confirm nor deny the news.

North Korea map image via Shutterstock

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