FBI arrests Ethereum Foundation official on suspicion of aiding North Korea
The FBI arrested the Ethereum Foundation’s particular initiatives director nowadays at Los Angeles International Airport, alleging that he assisted the North Korean regime in devising a workaround for US sanctions the usage of the Ethereum blockchain.
Investigators say that all the way through a go back and forth to North Korea previous this yr, Virgil Griffith “provided highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions.”
“In allegedly doing so, Griffith jeopardized the sanctions that both Congress and the president have enacted to place maximum pressure on North Korea’s dangerous regime,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated in a commentary.
Griffith allegedly defied the United States executive and attended the Pyongyang Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Conference in February. There, North Korean officers mentioned the chance of a sovereign virtual foreign money, as smartly to be able to use Ethereum “smart contracts” to expand an extra-judicial court docket gadget.
“We cannot 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,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.
Wills Bentley de Vogeleare, a chum of Griffith’s, stated that he believed the feds have been overreacting. Griffith, he stated, “wasn’t there to teach them about how to get around sanctions but teach them about Ethereum, just like he’s done at many similar conferences around the world.”
Griffith will likely be arraigned in federal court docket court docket later nowadays. If convicted, the crime carries a most sentence of 20 years.