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North Korea loots enough crypto to fund almost half of military budget

North Korea loots enough crypto to fund almost half of military budget
Last year was a big one for North Korean hackers. Credit: Rita Fortunato

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North Korean hackers reportedly stole enough crypto in 2022 to account for almost half of the country’s military budget, Jack Dorsey leads seed funding for decentralised Bitcoin miner OCEAN, and Hong Kong and Singapore are benefiting from increased VC investment. Read on!

Pyongyang loots half military budget of crypto

North Korean hackers stole enough crypto in 2022 to account for almost half of its military budget for the year, Cointelegraph reported, citing research by independent threat intelligence platform Recorded Future.

A report by Recorded Future said that North Korea has stolen about $3 billion in cryptocurrency since 2017, more than half of it in the past year.

“North Korean threat actors were accused of stealing an estimated $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2022 alone, a sum equivalent to approximately 5% of North Korea’s economy or 45% of its military budget,” Recorded Future said.

Jack Dorsey Leads OCEAN Funding Round

Mummolin raised $6.2 million in seed funding for its new initiative, OCEAN, which aims to decentralise Bitcoin mining, CryptoPotato reported. Jack Dorsey led the round.

Mummolin co-founder Luke Dashjr said: “We are launching as the most transparent pool and also the only non-custodial pool where miners are the recipients of new block rewards directly from Bitcoin.”

Dorsey added: “Our contribution to OCEAN comes out of a deep respect for their mission.”

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Hong Kong, Singapore attract VC investment

More than 11% of global VC funding in blockchain and crypto went to Hong Kong and Singapore ventures in 2023, a significant increase from 2% in 2021, Crypto.News reported, citing research by capital market intelligence platform PitchBook.

Analysis by PitchBook attributed much of the increase to the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and the bankruptcies that followed, which resulted in strategy revisions at many US-based crypto firms, the report said.

Arbitrum DAO votes to fund projects

The Arbitrum DAO voted to distribute 21.1 million tokens worth $23.5 million to projects that were approved for grants but hadn’t received them because of an initial budget limited to 50 million tokens, The Block reported.

While 29 projects were initially funded, another 26 will now receive backing, the biggest being Gains Network at $5 million.

SoFi Technologies exiting crypto business

Online banking platform SoFi Technologies is leaving the crypto business, and gave its customers the option of closing their accounts or migrating to crypto exchange and wallet provider Blockchain.com, Reuters reported.

The San Francisco-based company said it will end crypto services on December 19.

Bloomberg said SoFi was leaving crypto amid banking regulators increasing their scrutiny of the sector.

What we’re reading around the web

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Franklin Templeton’s Jenny Johnson on Bitcoin ETFs, investing in crypto, and how her firm is harnessing the blockchainFortune