Cryptocurrency News

Ethereum’s Virgil Griffith Faces up to 78 Months in Prison on North Korea Conspiracy Charge

By October 4, 2021 No Comments

Ethereum developer, Virgil Griffith has pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and is currently awaiting sentencing that will take place in January 2022. Griffith was arrested after giving a presentation about blockchain technology at a North Korean conference in 2019. 

Key takeaways:

  • Although the prosecution and Griffith’s legal defense were preparing for a trial, in an unexpected turn of events, Griffith has pleaded guilty to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
  • By entering a plea deal, the Ethereum developer is looking at 63 to 78 months in prison. The jury will carry out the sentencing procedure at the start of next year.
  • The exact details of what the Ethereum developer shared during the North Korean conference is not public knowledge. Some legal analysts familiar with the case, however, have pointed out that most of what Griffith shared during the conference is widely available and can’t be considered as insider information. 
  • According to South China Morning Post, Griffith started providing cryptocurrency mining services to North Korean individuals in 2018 and, having done so, violated the US sanctions on the isolated Asian country.
  • While out on a bail, Griffith used his Coinbase funds in order to cover his legal expenses, which the prosecution deemed was a breach of the terms of his bail agreements. Griffith was reprimanded and jailed in Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is infamous for its harsh living conditions.
  • Griffith’s legal representative, Brian Klein, said that his client is “deeply remorseful” about the whole ordeal. Klein added that Griffith has “many wonderful qualities”, and that he should not be defined by this one mistake.