On Friday, the federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York announced criminal charges against a cryptocurrency researcher for allegedly introducing cryptocurrencies in North Korea, according tomedia reports. Virgil Griffith, 36, is a special project fellow at the Ethereum Foundation, which helps lead the development of blockchain technology in Ethereum.
Federal investigators say Griffith attended a blockchain conference in North Korea in April, where he discussed how blockchain technology would benefit North Korea, and a discussion about how blockchain technology could be used to evade economic sanctions.
But In an interview, Mr Griffiths insisted that what appeared in his report could be found online.
New York state prosecutors say Griffith applied to the State Department for permission to travel to North Korea for the meeting but was refused. Griffith chose to use another piece of paper as a visa instead of putting a document on his U.S. passport. In this way Griffith avoided leaving actual evidence of his trip to North Korea on his U.S. passport.
On August 13, Griffith posted a photo on Twitter of his North Korean visa, which showed him being issued on April 17.
It was not immediately clear whether Griffith’s attendance at the North Korean meeting was sponsored by the Ethereum Foundation.
Griffith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday and appeared in federal court the next afternoon.