North Korea Crypto Conference Is ‘an Int’l Success’, New Event Coming
The people behind North Korea’s “first ever international” cryptocurrency and blockchain conference have claimed their event has been a success – and are already planning a bigger and better conference for the “near future.”
ZDNet Korea reports that the country’s capital is currently hosting the event, named the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference.
The event began on April 18 and concludes tomorrow. Organizers say 100 participants from countries all over the world paid 3,300 euros for ticket packages, which included a two-day conference and three days of guided sightseeing. However, there are no other sources that would confirm how successful the event is.
Not quite everyone was invited to the party, however – journalists were denied access, as were citizens of Japan, South Korea and Israel.
The organizers said that they are so satisfied with the event that they are already planning “a second, much bigger conference in the near future.”
As previously reported, the event (originally slated for September-October 2018) was arranged in conjunction with the Korean Friendship Association (KFA), a Spain-based group that promotes pro-North Korean government causes.
Alejandro Cao de Benes, president of the KFA, and Christopher Emms, the CEO of Malta-based blockchain company TokenKey, are said to be the main organizers of the event.
The KFA said that the North has already forged international blockchain and cryptocurrency “links” at the conference. It also said Pyongyang would “develop exchange projects and foster technical collaboration with the rest of the world.”
“The event is to show that it will use cryptocurrencies if the United States does not move forward in bilateral negotiations and excludes the North from the dollar economy,” an unnamed ''expert" was quoted as saying by news outlet Business Korea.
Numerous international defense and cybersecurity experts – including South Korean government agencies – have accused the North of carrying out a series of hacks on Seoul- and Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchanges. Some have claimed that raids on the likes of South Korea’s Bithumb and Japan’s Coincheck may have originated in North Korea.
Experts also claim Pyongyang has put together a “team of elite hackers” that drains millions of dollars’ worth of funds from overseas exchanges – using the tokens to fund missile programs and other military incentives.