North Korea showcases its blockchain know-how

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There is always plenty of crypto and blockchain-related news coming out of South Korea, but we don’t often hear so much about its neighbour North Korea, perhaps because the mainstream news is so fixed on discussing its nuclear capabilities.

Still, as one might expect from the regime, it is keen to demonstrate its technological know-how and support for blockchain by holding its second conference on the subject, which follows hot on the heels of its previous conference in August.

Somewhat surprisingly, Pyongyang has announced that cryptocurrency and blockchain experts from all over the world will be attending the Pyongyang Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Conference, which will apparently last for a week. And, according to British newspaper The Independent experts will be given a tour of the country. This certainly is a remarkable move given that it is extremely difficult to get into North Korea and it doesn’t usually allow anyone to see what is going on there. For €3,300 (£2,900), conference delegates will be receive an all-inclusive stay in North Korea, together with activities like skating, bowling, shooting and shopping, and they will get a tour of the Daedonggang Beer Factory.

A website promoting the event says: “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.” However, if you are a citizen of Israel, Japan or South Korea, or a journalist from any country, you won’t be allowed to attend. The promotion website isn’t too subtle in its warning to the media; it states: “Any mass printed propaganda or digital/printed material against the dignity of the Republic is not allowed.”

The conference will be held in the Pyongyang Science and Technology Complex from 18th to 25th April 2019. However, with journalists blocked from the conference, we will have to rely on reports from delegates for inside information, or the official state press releases, which are sure to say it was a resounding success.

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