In a first for the blockchain community, top minds from the blockchain industry will head to North Korea, as it hosts its first international blockchain conference. The hermit kingdom is best known for its attacks on South Korean crypto exchanges, along with its WannaCry malware that infected thousands of government computers in the UK back in 2017. Most recently, Kaspersky labs discovered that a North Korean hacking group had infiltrated a western crypto exchange with malware designed to target Mac and Windows simultaneously. Dubbed ‘AppleJeus’, this new batch of malware could put a damper on the country’s first blockchain conference.
The Kingdom’s First Steps into the Blockchain World
Since Trump and Kim Jong Un met earlier this year, North Korea has begun to change in order to be accepted and acknowledged by the western world. It appears that the country is relishing in this new-found freedom and wants to put its name on the blockchain map. The kingdom’s first blockchain conference will span two days, kicking off on October 1st, with it planning to play host to the top minds from the industry.
Attempting to Turn a Corner
While North Korea is looking to clean up its reputation, it will not be an overnight turnaround. The fact that its tourism industry is severely underdeveloped and multiple countries have banned citizens from entering the controversial country creates problems. These two factors could prove a sticking point for the country’s first blockchain conference. In addition to a possible lack of venue space and visitors, the blockchain industry doesn’t look too favorably on North Korea following its spate of attacks on crypto exchanges.
North Korea is looking to shake off its reputation and show the world it can be a legitimate part of the blockchain industry moving forward. However, it will take a lot of convincing to make some nations come around and warm-up to the oppressive nation.
Crypto to Bypass Sanctions
North Korea is probably looking to bypass UN sanctions by using cryptos – which is something a number of other countries are also trying to do. The kingdom looks set to follow Venezuela and Iran in creating its own cryptocurrency, or simply using Bitcoin in order to sell and purchase goods from other countries. Venezuela’s economy has been destroyed by sanctions, causing its citizens to turn to Bitcoin and Dash. Closer to North Korea is Iran, another country stricken by sanctions. It is looking to create its own government-backed cryptocurrency in order to bypass sanctions and save its economy.
North Korea is well known for stealing cryptos from South Korean crypto exchanges, meaning it most likely has a significant hoard of Bitcoins. There are also rumors that it has been mining BTC in small-scale operations. However, the current difficulty level, equipment required, and the fact that there are frequent power outages in the country mean that the level of BTC mined is likely to be minimal.
North Korea’s Controversial Conference
As far as blockchain conferences go, we think we will give this one a miss. If you can only go to one blockchain conference this year, CoinsBank is hosting a blockchain cruise of a lifetime – boasting some of the biggest names in the industry such as Charlie Lee, John McAfee, and Roger Ver. Conferences are a great way for a country to get on the blockchain map, but North Korea might find its own conference to be a tough sell.