North Korea firm cranks up crypto social media monitoring: report

North Korean cryptocurrency firm Marine Chain has been increasingly monitoring crypto social media. The company has been cited by the United Nations as one of the tools the North Korean government has used to evade sanctions in recent times.

According to the report, Marine Chain has started following some of the leading names on the blockchain and crypto space on social media. This comes after months of inactivity from the company which describes itself as a blockchain-powered global maritime investment marketplace.

However, the company has been identified by the United Nations Panel of Experts on North Korea as a state-backed venture meant to aid its efforts to circumnavigate sanctions. The panel released a report in October 2018 claiming that the North Korean regime had been behind the company and that it had been nothing but a façade for its money laundering operations.

The report also identified some of the people who had helped North Korea in its quest, led by a Singaporean maritime guru who has been placed under investigations for his role in the company. Captain Jonathan Foong is alleged to be “working for or advising companies in Singapore that have facilitated illicit activity on North Korea’s behalf and that have dealings with UN-sanctioned entities.”

A report by cyber-security firm Recorded Future also linked Marine Chain to Kim Jong-un’s regime. Part of the report stated, “These connections to Marine Chain Platform mark the first time this vast and illicit network has utilized cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology to raise funds for the Kim regime.”

Marine Chain’s recent crypto social media interest highlights a growing need by the North Korean government to gather information on cryptos. It also comes just weeks after Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith was arrested for allegedly educating the regime on how to use cryptos to evade sanctions.

As CoinGeek reported, Griffith had attended a blockchain conference in Pyongyang earlier this year without getting the proper authorization from the U.S. government. He’s also alleged to have been in contact with high-ranking government officials, with the evasion of sanction using cryptos being one of the things he educated them on. Griffith has since been released from jail pending his trial.

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