January 29, 2023

Ethereum developer arrested for helping North Korea get around sanctions

Ethereum developer arrested for helping North Korea get around sanctions

New York City Attorney's Office announced the arrest of Ethereum Foundation developer Virgil Griffith, accusing him of violating the US sanctions and cooperation law with North Korea.

The prosecutor’s statement said that the developerhelped the DPRK to circumvent the bans by providing technical advice and recommendations on the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain. According to prosecutors, he provided expert advice, knowing that this information could be used by the government to launder money and would jeopardize the pressure measures established Congress.

The FBI and prosecutors cite the fact that in AprilIn 2019, Griffith attended a blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in Pyongyang, despite a U.S. Department of State ban, telling how North Korea could use these tools to circumvent economic sanctions. He is also suspected of having facilitated the exchange of digital assets between the DPRK and South Korea after the event.

As a result, the ethereum developer was accused ofconspiracy to violate the Law on International Extraordinary Economic Powers. The maximum penalty for this may be imprisonment for up to 20 years.

Recall that after a cryptoconference,Pyongyang reiterated plans to develop a digital currency secured by material wealth, which would allow the DPRK to operate freely outside the global financial system.