Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin supported the arrested Ethereum Foundation researcher Virgil Griffith and volunteered to sign a petition in his defense.

The FBI and the Southern District of New York prosecutor arrested Griffith, accusing him of violating US sanctions laws and ties to the DPRK.

Buterin said he refuses “to take the convenient path” and blame Griffith, because “that would be wrong.”

He also noted that Griffith’s trip to the DPRK was a completely personal initiative of the developer himself and “this whole thing has nothing to do with EF.”

The creator of Ethereum called Griffith’s intentions a virtue, noting his “geopolitical open-mindedness.”

I don’t think what Virgil did gave DRPK any kind of real help in doing anything bad. He *delivered a presentation based on publicly available info about open-source software*. There was no weird hackery “advanced tutoring.

Vitalik Buterin

Co-creator, Ethereum

Finally, the founder of Ethereum called on US authorities to focus on genuine corruption, not “going after programmers delivering speeches parroting public information”.

Griffith’s defense petition was proposed by the creator of platforms Enrico Talin.

Do anyone honestly think, that there is something Virgil Griffith said about the blockchain at the conference that was not already available on the internet?

Enrico Talin


In April 2019, Griffith attended a blockchain conference in Pyongyang, at which he allegedly told representatives of the DPRK about how to use cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions and make cross-border transfers. However, he did not receive special permits from the US Department of Justice and the Office of the Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to visit North Korea and provide any services or goods.

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