Wednesday, 11 December, 2019

Ethereum Researcher to be released from jail after getting new legal representation

Ethereum Ethereum
Deanna Wagner | 03 December, 2019, 22:11

At the same time, an Italian man who allegedly attended the same cryptocurrency in North Korea has said the charges against Griffith are exaggerated, CoinDesk reports.

Virgil Griffith, the Ethereum ETH developer arrested last week after allegedly traveling to North Korea to give a talk on cryptocurrency, will be released from prison pending trial after a judge ruled there was enough evidence to move a case against him. Griffith did research at several respected institutions, including Stanford University and the Santa Fe Institute, and now works at Ethereum Foundation, a research arm of the ethereum cryptocurrency, according to a curriculum vitae Griffith posted online. But according to the Justice Department, he also taught attendees at an April conference in North Korea how to use cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to launder money and bypass United States sanctions. "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".

The DOJ also said Griffith announced his intention to renounce his USA citizenship and had been researching how to purchase citizenship from other countries. Both the U.S. government, and members of the Ethereum Foundation, warned him against attending.

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.

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"Geopolitical open-mindedness is a virtue".

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". However, Griffith's tweet from earlier this year seems to back the Foundation's statement. "We dispute the untested allegations in the criminal complaint, and Virgil looks forward to his day in court, when the full story can come out", Klein shared the news on Twitter and Linkedin. Then he reportedly invited other U.S. citizens to travel to the country as well to attend the conference in the coming years.

Griffith's presentation at the cryptocurrency conference had been approved by North Korean officials and focused on how blockchain technology, including a "smart contract", could be used to benefit the North.

In particular, he allegedly provided services to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea) without obtaining approval from the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control.