Ethereum researcher pleads guilty to helping North Korea avoid US sanctions via blockchain

Ethereum cryptocurrency researcher Virgil Griffith has pleaded guilty to helping North Korea avoid US sanctions. Using blockchain technology, Smith taught the country to sidestep the United States’ restrictions.

Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith helped North Korea

Reported by Bloomberg, the Ethereum Foundation researcher was arrested in 2019 after attending a Pyongyang blockchain conference. Griffith was charged with “providing technical blockchain information to the regime of dictator Kim Jong Un “.

US authorities believed that Griffith was using blockchain to help North Korea launder money. Additionally, the techniques taught to the region’s government would help them avoid United States sanctions.

Griffith was taken into federal custody in July. The researcher was denied bail due to a surge in the value of his cryptocurrency. With his crypto increasing in value, U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel believed he had “the means and incentive to flee.”

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How long will Virgil Griffith be in prison for?

Griffith officially admitted to “one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act”. Under normal circumstances, this would see the researcher penalised with a maximum of 20 years in prison. However, Griffith’s actual sentence will be far less.

The crypto researcher will be in jail for as long as 78 months — 6-and-a-half years. Additionally, Griffith could be out of jail in as little as 63 months — 5-and-a-quarter years.

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