Deconomy brings together leaders of the blockchain space—and even critics of said space—for talks and panel discussions related to cryptography, p2p networks, blockchain technologies, economics, philosophy and business. This year’s edition, held in Seoul on Apr. 4-5 (following an official kickoff networking event at ICON HQ the evening of Apr. 3), boasted crypto-luminaries such as Vitalik Buterin, Andreas Antonopoulos, Phil Zimmermann, Joseph Lubin, Emin Gun Sirer and an impeccably dressed Jeffrey Tucker. A couple of Korean politicos were on hand too, including Won Hee-ryong, the famously crypto-friendly governor of the island-province of Jeju-do, and Min Byung-doo, a ruling party lawmaker, head of the parliamentary National Policy Committee and noted proponent of easing national restrictions on blockchain.

The conference certainly had its moments.

The highlight of the two-day event was the much-anticipated bout between Ethereum co-founder Buterin and economist Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini, one of cryptocurrency’s fiercest critics. The two didn’t disappoint, engaging in a spirited debate on the fundamental value of cryptocurrency and its sustainability. This writer did not see the discussion, but the post-fight wrap-up suggests that it ended in a draw (see Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer’s take here). The Block ran a summary of the debate, including Roubini’s skepticism of cryptocurrency’s offer on anonymity and his doubts regarding decentralization.

Privacy was a major theme, particularly on the second day. Speaking on Friday morning, encryption pioneer Phil Zimmerman expressed concern that China might not only perfect social surveillance technology, but also export it to regimes and leaders looking to get a potentially permanent edge over their opposition. Zimmerman also took part in the final event of the gathering, a panel discussion on privacy with Vitalik Buterin and Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, CEO at zCash, during which he dropped the only F-bomb of the day when he cautioned listeners, “When the NSA tells you to get ready for quantum computing, you’d better f*cking getting ready for quantum computing.”

Words to live by.

Also in the Korean blockchain space…