Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Pleads Guilty to Violating North Korean Sanctions





Virgil Griffith Ethereum developer backed down and plead guilty to violation U.S. sanctions on North Korea by giving a presentation on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies at an April 2019 crypto conference in the rogue state, this happened after hours a jury was empanelled to hear his case.

Griffith's September 27 guilty plea to one count of violating the international Emergency Economic Powers Act carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years, according to a statement by Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Griffith is schedules to be sentenced on January 18, 2022.

The Ethereum Foundation's former head of special projects was arrested at Los Angeles international  Airport on Thanksgiving Day 2019 after his presentation at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference was reported on by an FBI agent.

His presentation had been vetted by North Korean officials. The U.S. Attorney's statement said:

"Griffith and his co-conspirators provided instruction on how the Democratic People's Republic of Korea could use blockchain and cryptocurrency technology to launder moneyand evade sanctions. It focused on how blockchain technology such as 'smart contracts' could be used to benefit the DPRK, including in nuclear weapons negotiations with the United States."

After the conference ended, Griffith a U.S. citizen who lived in Singapore "pursued plans to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrency between the DPRK and South Korea, despite knowing that  assisting with such and exchange would violate sanctions," the release added. Read more



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