Reports in August that North Korea was considering hosting a cryptocurrency summit at some time in the future have materialized, with Pyongyang’s latest press release confirming April 2019 as all systems go.
According to the official website of the DPRK, the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference is set for 18 to 25 April 2019, when, as the site indicates:
“International experts in the blockchain and crypto industry will gather for the first time in Pyongyang to share their knowledge and vision, establish connections and discuss business opportunities.”
The conference will be open to the international community with a few exceptions, notably South Korean nationals and those from Japan and Israel.
North Korea to date has gained little more than negative notoriety in the industry. Until now, Pyongyang’s only connection with the industry is one of alleged hackings and attempted theft from South Korean exchanges, apart from the announcement by Koryo Tours in April that they had released a travel industry coin for exclusive use in the DPRK tourist sector. Also, in the past, North Korea has been accused of utilizing the power of cryptocurrency to circumvent international sanctions, particularly using cryptocurrency as a payment system to transact money worldwide.
The event, much longer than suggested earlier in August, will last for eight days, somewhat of a record for blockchain and cryptocurrency conferences; it seems as though the government in Pyongyang is out to impress the international community in that it can put on a show to rival the rest of the world, particularly the US.
Guests will be also escorted through several locations of “national interest” during their stay, including the Great People’s Study House, Museum of the Korean War, Pyongyang University of Foreign Languages, Kaeson, the border between North and South Korea, and a beer factory, a venue which will clearly lighten the itinerary somewhat.
For those wishing to cover the event, its probably advisable to remain at home, as no journalists are permitted entry.
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