After several months of deliberating, N. Korea finally seems to be warming up to the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
According to a report by the Korea Development Bank (KDB), a South Korean government-owned policy bank that manages and finances major industrial projects in the country, Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, is now looking explore into the cryptocurrency mining space. The report also suggested that Pyongyang intends to create a Bitcoin exchange platform in the near future.
This report comes on the backdrop of news about a North Korean IT company, Chosun Expo being granted permission by the North Korean government to create an exchange. The report reckons that Pyongyang has a major interest in taking up cryptocurrencies for various reasons. The major reason being that cryptocurrencies have become attractive due to the fact that they can be hard to trace, anonymous, and easy to cash. In fact, various media outlets in South Korea have intimated that Pyongyang has been on a constant attempt to create a cryptocurrency mining centre since early summer this year.
However, the report also suggests that the populous of North Korea might not be well acquainted with all matters cryptocurrency. According to recent interviews done with defectors, matters related to cryptocurrencies are never discussed north of the 38th Parallel.
An international blockchain conference
Yet, North Korea appears ready to give their first international blockchain conference in Pyongyang later this year around October. The conference dubbed the ‘Korean International Blockchain Conference’ will see international experts give lectures for over two days.
According to the organizers of the conference, one of the speakers that have been confirmed to speak at the conference is Christopher Emms, the CEO of TokenKey, a Malta-based blockchain company. Mr. Emms also operates an advisor to SkyCoin, the Shanghai-based company.
Tensions between the South and North?
It will be interesting to see how recent news escalates in the next few weeks, especially considering there have been counter-accusations between the South and the North, with the South accusing the North of intimidating exchanges based in Seoul like Bithumb, the market leading South Korean exchange.