US arrests Ethereum developer for aiding North Korea

by Blocks99

4 months ago

Authorities in the US have announced the arrest of Virgil Griffith, who had worked for the Ethereum Foundation, on charges of showing North Koreans how to evade sanctions with blockchain technology.

A complaint authored by the FBI says Griffith attended North Korea’s Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in April 2019, although he had been denied permission to do so. He allegedly traveled to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) via China. The complaint charges Griffith with violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. It claims, “At the DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference, GRIFFITH and other attendees discussed how blockchain and cryptocurrency technology could be used by the DPRK to launder money and evade sanctions, and how the DPRK could use these technologies to achieve independence from the global banking system.” It goes on to allege that after the conference, Griffith worked on plans to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrency between North and South Korea.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York says Griffith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday November 29. He is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles court today, November 30.

(Source: US Department of Justice)

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