Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith accused of helping North Korea evade sanctions

A Week That Started With a Roar Ends With a Whimper As Bitcoin Falls Back to $7300

He showed photos of his trip and said he would like to attend the same conference next year.

"Griffith provided highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions", said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of NY.

Others in the cryptocurrency community weren't as sympathetic to Griffith, with many criticizing him for knowingly breaking the law.

Renowned trial attorney Brian Klein has revealed he will represent Virgil Griffith, the developer recently arrested for participating in a blockchain conference in North Korea.

According to the complaint, Griffith reached out to the U.S. State Department but his permission was denied due to economic sanctions against North Korea. Griffith was released on an $800,000 bond, which his parents and sister agreed to secure with their homes as collateral.

Earlier this year, Griffith made public statements asking for advice on renouncing his US citizenship.

"We can not allow anyone to evade sanctions, because the consequences of North Korea obtaining funding, technology, and information to further its desire to build nuclear weapons put the world at risk", said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr.

Prosecutors say another person involved in the alleged conspiracy was to be brought to NY and arrested.

Of these three events, the most significant for the crypto market seems to be the arrest of USA citizen Virgil Griffith, who works as a research scientist for the Ethereum Foundation. However, Griffith's tweet from earlier this year seems to back the Foundation's statement.

After the conference, Griffith began formulating plans to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrency between North and South Korea, despite knowing that assisting with that exchange would violate sanctions. It was a consensual interview and he talked about his presentation titled "Blockchain and Peace" with the agent. When the person who received the message asked whether the transaction would be a violation of US sanctions, Griffith allegedly responded, "It is".

That said, Buterin also tempers his statements by saying that Griffith is a "friend of his" and that "this whole thing has nothing to do with the Ethereum Foundation". Griffith is known for working on a foundation that supports the Ethereum cryptocurrency.



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