The United States is imposing sanctions on the virtual currency mixer Blender.io (Blender), which is used by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to support its cyber-enabled illicit activities and money-laundering of stolen virtual currency funds. In an attempt to evade robust U.S. and UN sanctions, the DPRK has resorted to theft of funds from virtual currency exchanges and blockchain-related companies to generate revenue for its unlawful weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs. Blender is a platform that has enabled DPRK malicious cyber actors to mix illicit virtual currency with anonymous virtual currency to facilitate money laundering, including part of the proceeds of the nearly $620 million theft from Sky Mavis in March.
The United States remains committed to seeking diplomacy with the DPRK and calls on the DPRK to engage in dialogue. At the same time, we will continue to address the DPRK’s unlawful cyber activities, as well as violations of UN Security Council resolutions.
For more information about today’s designations, please see the Department of the Treasury’s press release.