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Ethereum Developer Connected with North Korea Released

2 min read
Ethereum

An Ethereum developer who was arrested recently has been released by U.S authorities. Virgil Griffith was arrested for his participation in a blockchain conference in North Korea. However, as revealed by his new lawyer on Twitter, he has been released pending trial.

Brian Klein, the renowned U.S lawyer revealed the development on Twitter. He stated that Griffith disputes the allegations against him and pledged to fight for him during his trial. He also hinted at there being a bigger story than what the U.S Department of Justice (DoJ) let on.

Klein is not new to crypto. He represented Block.one in its lawsuit. Block.one is the company behind the development of EOS cryptocurrency. The U.S Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) accused the company of conducting an unregistered ICO. Block.one raised $4.1 billion in its ICO, the biggest yet in the crypto industry. However, it got away by only paying $24 million. Klein was behind the settlement. He’s certainly the guy Griffith wants in his corner.

The Controversy

As we reported, the Ethereum developer was arrested recently when he landed in Los Angeles. The DoJ accused him of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”). This Act prohibits Americans from engaging in any business with North Korea without permission from the state.

Moreover, the DoJ accuses him of helping the North Korean government to use cryptos to evade sanctions. The regime has been the recipient of sanctions from most major powers led by the U.S. Cryptos would enable the regime to transact with the world without worrying about these sanctions.

Griffith has received support from several people. Those who have defended him believe that he was exercising his freedom of speech. Additionally, the information he relayed is already available on the internet anyway.

Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder, is one of the people supporting Griffith in his legal woes. Buterin took to Twitter to express his solidarity with Griffith. He urged his followers to sign an online petition on Change.org urging for Griffith’s release.

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Cryptomute | 2020