The ever-controversial North Korea, particularly ridiculed by the crypto community is making strides to position itself as an innovative and crypto-friendly nation. According to the report by Radio Free Asia, who quoted South Korean news agency Yonhap, the communist regime is planning to host an international conference focused on virtual currencies and distributed ledger technology.
The event will be held in the capital city of Pyongyang over a two-day period, starting on the 1st of October. The hermit kingdom plans to attract crypto experts from all over the world, who are expected to hold a meeting with officials from the state-run institutions on October 3rd.
It is still unclear how the organizers hope to pull this off, as the country’s laughable tourism industry has recently been a subject of numerous documentaries. In addition, a number of countries have issued travel bans to North Korea for their own citizens. According to US Department of State, “Individuals cannot use a U.S. passport to travel to, in, or through North Korea without a special validation due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals.“
An unnamed security expert has told the radio station that the conference is yet another attempt by the sanctions-hit country to show off its technological capabilities.
Korea Development Bank, a state-run entity of the South Korean government has recently claimed to have discovered a crypto mining operation run by the North Korean authorities. The report agreed with earlier speculations that the totalitarian regime is likely eyeing digital currencies as a possible way to evade sanctions, which were recently increased by the US President Donald Trump as well as other global leaders.
The North Korean hackers have been often blamed for using illicit means to acquire digital coins. Back in February, South Korean intelligence informed the parliament that state-sponsored hackers from across the border had stolen billions of won in digital currencies from the country’s crypto exchanges. Private information of both exchanges and their customers was leaked during the attacks.
Back in 2017, a former NSA digital security expert claimed that North Korea managed to obtain at least 11,000 BTC through mining and hacking throughout the year, which was worth over $200 million at the time. North Korea is also associated with the infamous Lazarus Group, a cybercrime gang, responsible for attacks on numerous South Korean exchanges, including a probe on Bithumb, which resulted in compromised personal data of more than 30,000 users.
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