North Korea, which is believed to finance weapons of mass destruction using cryptocurrencies, is holding its second blockchain and cryptocurrency conference next February.
The first conference took place on April 2019 which attracted around 100 people. Declaring it a success by North Koreans, a larger second conference was promised and is scheduled to take place on February 2020.
Sponsored by the Spanish Korean Friendship Association, this 2020 event will be organized by North’s Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. According to the official website of this conference, the “top ten market cap cryptocurrencies” are providing assistance on the technical side. Though the meaning of this statement is unclear from their website.
As was done in the previous conference, the restrictions are liberalized this time as well. The citizens of the U.S. are welcomed again and digital devices are brought in for the conference. The conference will also provide access to the internet.
The conference will be held on the 24th and 25th of February at the Pyongyang Science and Technology Complex. It is a bizarre atom shaped structure that was opened in 2016 by Kim Jong-un. It is expected that private business meeting will be arranged on the 26th.
North Korea has been previously accused of stealing and using about $2 billion worth in cryptocurrencies for supporting its weapons development. Phishing was identified as a way to hack into user accounts and targets were the Japanese and South Korean Exchanges.
It is a general concern that the boundaryless nature of the cryptos will allow North Korea to get around the international restrictions on finance and trade exchanges.
In addition, it is believed that there may be another propaganda for holding this conference. While promoting crypto advance in North Korea, it could also be about sending a warning to the west.
Another reason for holding a conference in North Korea is a way to boost its tourism. The 2020 crypto event includes an extensive itinerary with everything from the tour of Tower of Juche Idea to a two day trip for skiing.