Feds Arrest Programmer for Giving Cryptocurrency Talk in North Korea

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

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

The FBI arrested and criminally charged a Singapore-based USA digital currency specialist for allegedly assisting North Korea to use cryptocurrency and blockchain technology "to evade sanctions and launder money". Despite that, he went there earlier this year and gave a technical talk at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference.

If convicted, the 36-year-old man, U.S. citizen and resident of Singapore, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Can an American's comments about cryptocurrency violate his country's sanctions against North Korea?

An American man has been arrested for allegedly trying to help the North Korean government evade US economic sanctions by using blockchain technology.

Griffith is specifically charged in connection with the IEEPA as a result of an Executive Order 13466 of June 26, 2008, "Continuing Certain Restrictions With Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals" and enforced under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). But, he defended his colleague and claims it would be wrong to take the convenient path of throwing Virgil under the bus.

"Geopolitical open-mindedness is a *virtue*", Vitalik Buterin tweeted on Sunday.

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Buterin went on to say that it is important to know the point of view of people and countries other than one's own. The world would be better if more people on all sides did that. This is especially interesting considering that Griffith works with the Ethereum Foundation. He said his virtue of paid off in the past in multiple contexts. "I do not assume what Virgil did gave DRPK any type of actual assist in doing something unhealthy". "He delivered a presentation based on publicly available info about open-source software. There was no freakish hackery 'superior tutoring, '" he wrote.

The Virgil Griffith story continues to make media headlines. Buterin stated that, along with the excellent character that Griffith possessed, the information that he released at the event is considered to be public knowledge. He'd also be strongly against it.

Buterin became staunch in his defence of Griffith, nonetheless, posting a series of six tweets. He also says that any official step taken in favor of Virgil will highlight the "strength" of the United States of America and not the weakness.

Eventually, Vitalik tweets that the U.S. should focus on "genuine corruption" rather than following the programmers speaking about something that is already public.

The magazine's editor, who uses the pen name Emmanuel Goldstein, said on Twitter that what Mr. Griffith had completed - explaining the belief of cryptocurrency - used to be no longer a crime.

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