Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith was arrested on Thursday by the FBI for attending a blockchain conference in North Korea. The contrary fact is that the ETH price remains unaffected by the news.
Griffith who is a US citizen and currently a resident of Singapore was arrested for giving a presentation on crypto and blockchain technologies and how the technology can be used for evading sanctions. The information was classified by the US government as highly technical and could be used for evading sanctions and money laundering.
The conference was attended by senior government officials and other persons of relevance. In the sessions, he was asked highly technical questions on the uses of cryptocurrency and smart contracts. He was even asked how it can be used to do transactions with south Korea which was a clear violation of economic sanctions. According to the United Nations, North Korea is one of the leading countries when it comes to cryptocurrencies and has a value of over $650 million.
The arrest followed the violation of measures that were set up by the US Congress on North Korea’s dangerous regime. The arrest did not find Griffith unawares as he was given several warnings against going for the conference. Maybe that explains why he was denied a visa to go to North Korea earlier in the year.
His arrest was on November 28th at the Los Angeles International airport. According to the FBI in charge, North Korea is putting the world at risk with its nuclear weapons and thus cannot be allowed to evade sanctions.
The main charge against him is because he violated the IEEPA which is a big crime punishable with 20 years in jail. It is only upon trial that the judge will determine Griffith’s sentence. According to Griffith’s judge, he will be released after certain conditions are met. The prosecutors were also given a 7-day stay to appeal.
There is a lot of support for the Ethereum researcher from the Ethereum community. Currently, several Ethereum developers such as Vitalik Buterin are planning to start a petition in support to release Griffith.
Effect on ETH price
Contrary to expectation, the value of Ethereum remains unfazed. That means the news has not harmed Ethereum investors. The current price of Ethereum is $149
According to Nick Carter who is the co-founder of Castle Island Ventures, there are still chances of a raging war between cryptocurrencies and traditional regulation, especially where sanctions have been imposed. Likely, the war won’t end soon.
Image by Meng Weng Wong from Wikipedia