Blockchain industry experts are expected to attend North Korea’s first international blockchain conference in Pyongyang and even engage in dialogue with local business officials, according to unofficial sources.
Get Ready to Fly to Pyongyang
Planning to attend the next International Blockchain Conference? Fasten your seat belt as you will be flying to North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang. Last Saturday, August 25, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that North Korea would be hosting a two-day international blockchain conference starting October 1. Nevertheless, Yonhap cited the US-based radio broadcast service Radio Free Asia (RFA) as the source of this news, thus it remains unconfirmed at press time.
The RFA report said that experts from the blockchain sphere are expected to attend this conference. On the day after event October 3, these experts are expected to hold talks with North Korean business officials.
An anonymous security expert told RFA that this is an attempt by North Korea to “show off” its technological prowess. Though if true, it’s unlikely this event will change the image of the reclusive nation into a blockchain hub.
North Korea Mined Bitcoin
Another report from Yonhap shows that North Korea tried a hand at crypto mining, albeit on a small scale. Citing local media reports, the research arm of South Korea’s state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) notes that North Korea may have unsuccessfully tried mining bitcoin between May and July, last year.
The report from the research unit also claims that Chosun Expo, a North Korean technology firm, has been working on a market-exchange platform for bitcoin. As a whole, North Korea is showing some interest in defining “characteristics of cryptocurrencies, including anonymity, difficulties of tracing money and cashability,” it notes.
At the same time, there is little awareness among the ordinary citizens of North Korea about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as the country has insulated itself from the world. Therefore, it is safe to assume that any technological development and bitcoin mining operations are likely to be directly controlled by the state.
Over the last year, North Korea has been in the cryptocurrency headlines for all the wrong reasons, however. Last year, North Korea began targetting South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchanges while attempting to steal bitcoins and other cryptocurrency funds from the exchange wallets. Additionally, the country’s notorious hacker group Lazarus has been accused several times of cryptocurrency phishing attacks on its neighboring countries to steal digital assets.
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