North Korean engagement with bitcoin and cryptocurrency appears to be ever growing, with recent reports indicating that university students are now able to access courses on cryptocurrency in the Hermit Kingdom.
Pyongyang University’s Cryptocurrency Course
Reports indicate that Pyongyang University, which is perceived to be the breeding ground for North Korea’s hackers by much of the international community, is now offering courses on cryptocurrencies.
Despite mounting accusations that the North Korean administration has been actively stealing and mining bitcoins, the existence of the course is being cited as “the first hard evidence” of North Korea’s increasing fascination with cryptocurrency by media. Priscilla Moriuchi, director of strategic threat development at CIA and Google-backed security intelligence firm, Recorded Future, has stated that “There should be no mistaking this course as a benevolent academic exchange; everything in North Korea is carefully evaluated and managed by the regime.”
Earlier this month, Federico Tenga, founder of bitcoin startup, Chainside, visited Pyongyang with the purpose of teaching over three dozen of the country’s top students about bitcoin and blockchain technology. The visit was arranged after Tenga contacted the sole foreign-funded school in North Korea, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, offering to give a presentation on bitcoin at an upcoming finance conference scheduled to take place on the campus. The conference, however, was canceled following President Donald Trump’s ban on U.S. citizens traveling to the Hermit Kingdom, leading to Pyongyang University contacting Mr. Tenga to invite him to teach the cryptocurrency course on campus…