As North Korea makes preparation to hold once again cryptocurrency conference, the United Nations warns that attending it would constitute a sanctions violation. The report was published by Reuters earlier today, January 15th, and it comes only a week after the indictment of US citizen and Ethereum Foundation researcher, Virgil Griffith.
As some may remember, Griffith was charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Power Act. He traveled to North Korea in April 2019 to attend a crypto conference and deliver a presentation on how to use cryptocurrencies, as well as the advantages of blockchain technology.
According to the US government, his efforts may have helped North Korea with finding a way to avoid sanctions, which may eventually result in the country once again becoming a threat to the nations of the world.
Prosecutors in Griffith’s case also noted that he advised US citizens to attend the conference that North Korea will hold in 2020, which is why the UN decided to issue an official warning against it.
Why is North Korea considered a threat?
North Korea is ready and willing to accept individuals from any country, with the exception of Israel, Japan, and of course — South Korea. It even added that visitors’ passports won’t be stamped. Instead, visitors will receive a separate paper visa, meaning that they will be able to hide their presence in the country.
However, as mentioned — sanctions experts from the UN advise everyone not to attend the conference. North Korea has been under sanctions for well over a decade, ever since it became clear that their nuclear and ballistic missile programs are a real threat, back in 2006.
Further, sanctions oblige countries to avoid providing any technical training, financial transactions, services, advice, or any other type of assistance to North Korea and its people. Anything that could help the country avoid sanctions or contribute to its weapons programs is strictly prohibited.
Since cryptocurrencies cannot be affected by the world’s governments due to their decentralized and borderless nature, their use could lead to North Korea actually managing to avoid sanctions. Anyone caught helping the country learn more about them would be violating the sanctions.