NBA legend Dennis Rodman tweeted on June 11, 2018 that he had arrived in Singapore, a day ahead of an summit between the United States and North Korea. He posted a picture of himself in a Potcoin t-shirt, because the cryptocurrency is funding his trip. Of course.
Just arrived to Singapore for the Historical Summit! Looking forward to @POTUS having incredible success that the whole world will benefit by. Thank you @potcoin for supporting my mission! #Peace #Love #HistoricalSummit #Singapore #PresidentTrump #MarshallKimJongUn pic.twitter.com/XNDsyBjLv8
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) June 11, 2018
But is Rodman gate-crashing or is he supposed to be there? The summit has gone from weird to weirder since the moment it was first planned. First, the firey back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un prompted Trump to call off the June 12 summit. Then, the meeting was back on, with Singapore set as a destination. Then rumors persisted that Rodman intended to attend the summit. Adding to the confusion, at a June 7, 2018 press conference, Trump denied the rumor, saying of Rodman, “I like him. He’s a nice guy. No, he was not invited.” (Related: What is North Korea's Role in Bitcoin?) If he wasn't invited, then why is he there? Did Kim, whom Rodman previously described as "a friend for life," issue the invitation? Hard to say for sure.
What we do know is that PotCoin, an obscure cryptocurrency focused on marijuana sales, funded Rodman's participation. Crypto enthusiasts on social media had much to say on the matter.
Thanks to Dennis Rodman, Trump & Kim Jung Un could become friends & who knows... Maybe #Potcoin becomes the national currency of North Korea.
At this point in world politics nothing would surprise me!
— Bitcoin Dood (Not Giving Away ETH) (@BitcoinDood) June 5, 2018
PotCoin and Rodman
PotCoin, a cryptocurrency founded in Canada in 2014 with the aim of providing pot dispensaries and growers with access to banking services they wouldn't otherwise receive because of federal regulations, has confirmed that it is in discussion with Rodman to sponsor the trip. PotCoin spokesman Shawn Perez explained that the "PotCoin team as a community has been incredibly supportive of Rodman's peace mission from the beginning. We're thrilled to see how the political climate has improved between North Korea and the U.S. since he became involved."
This is not the first time that PotCoin has sponsored Rodman's travel to North Korea. In 2017, the company supported his trip, and Rodman wore a PotCoin t-shirt and baseball cap during a portion of his visit.
Rodman to Continue Involvement
Rodman has confirmed through an agent that he intends to travel to Singapore to take part in the summit between North Korean and U.S. leaders, suggesting that he will be there to provide "moral support," according to the Washington Post. Rodman has visited North Korea numerous times since 2013 and has had multiple meetings with Kim Jong Un. Rodman's agent Chris Volo suggested that there were a few logistical issues remaining to be set before Rodman's trip to Singapore could be confirmed.
However, government officials are not so sure about Rodman's involvement. A State Department spokesman confirmed that Rodman is not a part of the official U.S. delegation, saying that he's "not a representative" of the government in this case. Center for the National Interest Asia expert Harry Kazianis offered words of caution, indicating that "the simple fact is this summit could decide the fate of U.S.-North Korea relations for a generation, and turning this meeting into some sort of a publicity stunt [with Rodman's involvement] would be a real shame."
PotCoin previously saw the price of its token spike when Rodman visited North Korea in 2017. It's likely that the company would see a dramatic rise in publicity should it successfully sponsor Rodman's participation in the historic meeting between the U.S. and the isolated Asian country in this case.