North Korea could pose a threat to countries across Southeast Asia as it looks to exploit cryptocurrency exchanges due to gaps in regulatory frameworks, according to a new report.

The research from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) finds that as North Korea continues to circumvent international sanctions, it’s turning its attention to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Due to the proximity of Southeast Asia to North Korea, this makes it vulnerable to the nation’s cryptocurrency activity.

“Since Southeast Asia also features a nascent but burgeoning cryptocurrency industry, local law enforcement agencies will likely require further knowledge and resources to ensure that they can successfully respond to cryptocurrency-related criminal activity over time should the local cryptocurrency industry continue to grow in scale,” the report reads.

Cryptocurrency in Southeast Asia

Specifically, the research evaluates Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, with the use of…

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