US Senate Financial Committee Chair Ron Wyden asked the crypto community how to tax cryptocurrencies in an open letter.

US Lawmakers Are Concerned About North Korea’s Use of Crypto

  • North Korea has used funds from the stolen cryptocurrencies to finance its nuclear weapon program.
  • Senator Warren previously raised concerns about the growing relationships between US banks and crypto firms.
  • Warren was part of a group of lawmakers that campaigned for restrictions on privacy coins and crypto mixers in the National Defense Authorization Act in July.

North Korea has relied on cryptocurrencies to cushion the effect of Western sanctions on its economy, and some US lawmakers have called on the White House and Treasury Department to address the situation.

Senators Tim Kaine, Chris Van Hollen, and Elizabeth Warren reportedly asked the Biden administration to provide information on how the United States government was addressing the illegal use of digital assets by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The senator’s letter referenced media sources claiming that North Korean hackers were responsible for stealing more than $3 billion in cryptocurrency since 2018. Sources claim that the stolen funds were used to help finance North Korea’s nuclear weapon program.

The senators wrote in their letter,

That the missile test buildup by Kim Jong Un’s reclusive regime has occurred at the same time as a concerning upswing in crypto heists underscores the severity of the threat. Treasury must act quickly and decisively to crack down on illicit crypto activity and protect our national security.

North Korean-affiliated hackers use different strategies to launder their stolen funds, including crypto mixers. In November 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department added Tornado Cash to its list of sanctioned companies due to concerns that the company was being used to launder illegal crypto gains.

Several US lawmakers, including Senator Warren, have urged the White House to enact policies to curb the illegal use of cryptocurrencies. Warren was part of a group of senators who campaigned for restrictions on privacy coins and crypto mixers in the National Defense Authorization Act in July.

Last month, at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Warren warned that countries using crypto to fund crimes posed a risk to national security. In June, Warren and Senator Van Hollen sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the US Department of Justice to investigate Binance for making several misleading statements to Congress.

At a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee in May 2023, Warren claimed cryptocurrencies played a role in the fentanyl crisis and noted that she would reintroduce the bipartisan Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which would prevent drug traffickers and suppliers from using cryptocurrency to further their illegal activities.

Lawrence Woriji
Lawrence Woriji Verified Author

I have covered some exciting stories in my career as a journalist and find blockchain-related stories very intriguing. I believe Web3 will change the world and want everyone to be a part of it.

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