Back when cryptocurrencies were invented, no one could have predicted the growth the digital currency would experience in the years that followed suit. Bitcoin which received a lot of skepticism back in 2009 now has a large market capitalization of 114.05 billion USD!
The fact that cryptocurrencies are slowly becoming mainstream is evident from the number of crypto conferences that are springing up. North Korea is the latest country to jump on the bandwagon. It has announced its intention to hold an international crypto conference in April 2019.
What we know so far
North Korea recently announced that it would be holding its first international blockchain conference. Blockchain and cryptocurrency will also be accompanied by various other activities, which will range from bowling to a tour of a beer factory.
According to the event’s website, the event will be called “Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference.” It will be conducted in the capital of North Korea and will be a seven-day event whereby attendees will be taken through a tour of the country as well. Those who wish to participate in the event can do so for a fee of £2,900. This amount includes all expenses of the seven-day trip. There will be international experts on board who will be using the platform to relay information about different cryptocurrencies and blockchain advancements.
While international delegates are allowed to attend the conference, some countries are banned from attending the event. This includes Israel, South Korea, and Japan. As of now, it is believed that journalists cannot participate in the event.
Why is the conference important?
This international conference is a big step for both North Korea and the blockchain sector. Here are a few reasons why this crypto conference is crucial.
It can be an excellent platform for networking
The conference will have international experts on board. Crypto enthusiasts from all over the world are encouraged to participate in it. This means that for seven days, all crypto lovers will be with one another. This will give individuals an ample amount of time to network with one another. In the world of businesses, networking is critical. The more people you know, the better. After all, this ensures that whenever you are in a tight spot, you have someone you can turn to. This international conference is crucial because of the networking opportunity it offers.
Opportunity for budding crypto entrepreneurs
Even though investment in crypto technology and businesses are slowly increasing, it is still quite low. Getting investors to pool their resources in blockchain technology can be tricky since it isn’t mainstream yet. However, since this international conference will be full of pure crypto enthusiasts, pitching your fresh business idea would be easier. If one knows how to sell an idea, the global event can be a great place to build partnerships.
It marks the end of isolation for North Korea
This is the first international conference that North Korea is hosting. Previously, the country was known for its reclusive nature. This conference marks the first time North Korea has opened its state for international delegates. Its increasing interest in blockchain is also evident from this move. For a country that is heavily sanctioned by the rest of the world, this move can help the country in alleviating the effects of the sanction. This is because blockchain is a massively decentralized technology that transcends regulations and borders.
It has experts on board
One of the organizers behind the event is Chris Emms. He is a very popular expert in the crypto world. He has been working as a blockchain business advisor for quite a while along with being a blockchain regulatory advisor. He is also a part of UK’s all-party parliamentary group of Blockchain. While who exactly would be speaking on the conference is something that hasn’t been disclosed yet, one can assume that they will be highly relevant to the field considering the credentials of the organizer. Therefore, one can expect to get awareness about the crypto world via the conference. The insights gained from it can be fruitful for investors and blockchain-based businesses alike.
It takes the focus away from the negative crypto related news of North Korea
This isn’t the first time North Korea is making headlines in the crypto world. Instead, it has actually been causing quite a lot of buzz in the past few months. However, it has been doing so for all the wrong reasons. There have been several reports about how North Korea was using hackers to generate high revenue in the industry. Additionally, a cybersecurity firm also revealed that it discovered North Korea created malware that targets Monero. This digital currency is being used to increase revenue to a server of Kim II Sung University.
This conference can be the turning point for the country’s image. If it does it correctly, it can slowly shed the negative image it has created for itself. However, the fact that journalist and mass media is not allowed to report the event can cause hurdle in doing so and can compromise the benefits associated with the conference.
It is a symbolic tussle with South Korea
One cannot deny the growth South Korea is experiencing in the blockchain industry. Instead, many are predicting that the country is poised to become a crypto powerhouse in the near future. The numbers are also in favor of this prediction. For instance, 33% of the current adult population of the country has invested in the technology. Even 22.7% of their youth population are highly active in crypto spaces. Two of South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchanges are among the top 25 of the world. The market capitalization of their blockchain market increased from 20.1 billion to 52.4 billion between 2016 and 2017. An international conference was also conducted by the country to further establish its rank in the crypto world.
With South Korea faring so well in the crypto world, the fact that North Korea too is increasing its interest in the field is important. Why? Because it is symbolic of their longstanding equation.
A significant step for the cryptocurrency industry
Finally, this international conference is important because of what it means for the global cryptocurrency sector. This conference, along with the various others that are happening from time to time, showcase that slowly the world is accepting and investing in blockchain technology. If this trend was to continue, we could expect blockchain solutions to be successfully implemented in different industries.
But, will it pay off?
A lot of people are wondering whether the benefits being associated with the conference will indeed be realized. After all, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding security. Would international delegates be willing to come to the country given that North Korea isn’t exactly known for the right reasons when it comes to dealing with foreigners? Whether this guarantee is enough for international delegates to attend the event is something only time will tell.
Let’s see if North Korea’s international crypto conference will be able to attract international delegates or not. Even if it doesn’t, it is an important step for both the country and the crypto world.