North Korea to Hold International Blockchain Conference in October, Report Claims

  • A new report suggests North Korea is set to hold an international blockchain conference in October.
  • Per experts cited in the report, the recluse nation is organizing it to "show off" technological capabilities.

A recently published report suggests North Korea is set to hold a blockchain-related conference in the beginning of October, in a move that experts believe is being made to “show off” technological capabilities.

According to the Stratis Times, citing a report from US-based media outlet Radio Free Asia, the hermit country is set to invite experts in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies from all over the world to attend the event, which will reportedly last two days and begin on October 1.

The conference’s attendees, per the report, will meet North Korean business officials on October 3. Notably, this would require changes in international policies as Kim Jong-un’s regime has an underdeveloped tourism industry, as visiting the country is somewhat restricted.

Countries like the US have banned their citizens from visiting the country over security issues and international sanctions that’ve recently hit the recluse nation. According to security experts the news outlet cited, the conference is being organized to “show off its capabilities regarding such technologies.”

North Korea, as CryptoGlobe covered, is often seen as a bad actor in the cryptocurrency space, as some analysts believe Kim Jong-un employs hackers to steal bitcoin from other nations to fund the regime.

Earlier this year South Korea accused the country of stealing over $530 million from its cryptocurrency exchanges in a series of attacks. At the time, North Korea was blamed for hacking the popular Bithumb exchange, a little-known local exchange called Coinus, and more.

Kim Byung-kee, a South Korean parliament member, noted the regime’s hackers were hitting South Korea cryptocurrency exchanges with phishing campaigns to gain access. He said:

North Korea sent emails that could hack into cryptocurrency exchanges and their customers’ private information and stole (cryptocurrency) worth billions of won.

In March, former NSA officer Priscilla Moriuchi claimed North Korean hackers could’ve netted the regime over $200 million worth of cryptocurrency last year, in an effort to dilute the impact of international sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear and missiles program.

Per Moriuchi, the hackers could have been able to steal an estimated 11,000 BTC at press time worth about $74.2 million, through a “cyber army.”

Blockchain Wallet Integrates BitPay Support for User-Friendly Transactions

  • Blockchain Wallet announces the integration of BitPay into their existing service. 
  • Emphasis on allowing for "user-friendly" transactions and payments. 

Popular cryptocurrency firm Blockchain.com, which operates the Blockchjain wallet, has announced integration of payment processor BitPay

Blockchain Wallet Adds BitPay Support

In an update, Blockchain Wallet confirmed its new partnership with BitPay, which will allow for the direct spending of user bitcoin in an effort to increase the ease of crypto-based payments.

The press release states that BitPay has been “seamlessly” integrated into the existing Blockchain Wallet framework, which clients can use to make payments directly from their application. 

According to the announcement,

As the largest global crypto payments provider, BitPay and has processed more than $2.8 billion from merchants and B2B customers since 2011.

The press release continues, 

We’re excited to see this new addition connect our Wallet users to the world of merchants that accept Bitcoin (and soon other cryptos) as a payment method — one of the key ways to interact with and grow the digital asset ecosystem.

The emphasis on payments shows the direction that Blockchain Wallet imagines for the future of crypto. While the platform has created a secure cryptocurrency wallet for users to retain simultaneous control over their funds and private keys, user-friendly transactions and spending has continued to be a work in progress. 

BitPay has emerged as one of the more successful payment platforms in crypto, with a focus on establishing a relationship with merchants to accept bitcoin. The partnership with Blockchain Wallet, with its reported 41 million userbase, could go a long way in spurring greater use for bitcoin outside of a store of value asset or token for price speculation.