Vitalik Buterin Supports Arrested Ethereum Researcher Virgil Griffith: Agrees to Petition For His Release

Cryptocurrency by Sal Miah  | 4 months ago
Ethereum, Vitalik, ETH
2 min read

On 29 Nov, the US Department of Justice announced the arrest of Virgil Griffith. According to U.S Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, Virgil Griffith allegedly provided North Korea with highly sensitive information that could be used by the Republic to bypass sanctions and launder money.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers added, “Despite receiving warnings not to go, Griffith allegedly traveled to one of the United States’ foremost adversaries, North Korea, where he taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions.  By this complaint, we begin the process of seeking justice for such conduct.”

From the accusations, Virgil’s actions are considered dangerous and against international efforts to limit the power of the dangerous regime.

Buterin Defends Griffiths

Vitalik Buterin, in a series of tweets, came out defending Mr. Griffith.

He also agreed to sign a petition to free Virgil Griffith.

After mentioning the conflict of interest with his opinion on the matter, Vitalik Buterin outlines why he thinks Virgil must be freed as soon as possible.

In his tweets, the Ethereum co-founder argues that whatever information Virgil passed to the North Korean government is public knowledge that can easily be accessed by simple searches.

He also argued that it might be time for the world to embrace “geopolitical open-mindedness” to avoid such troubles. His tweet seems to suggest that by Virgil going to North Korea, he was ready to listen to their side of the story after years of being called a dangerous regime.

Virgil’s arrest has generated numerous discussions online. Hopefully, his arrest will lead to a better understanding between blockchain and the rule of law.


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