- The creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, took a stand on the events that led to the arrest of one of his developers.
- Virgil Griffith was arrested for traveling to North Korea and allegedly giving the government information on how to evade U.S. sanctions.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has expressed his position on the recent arrest of Virgil Griffith. Buterin made a number of statements through his Twitter account. He refers to the arrested developer as his friend and reveals that many people advised him not to make the trip to the Asian country.
Virgil Griffith was arrested in Los Angeles, United States, last Thursday after making a trip to North Korea to participate in a conference on blockchain technology.
Buterins position on the arrested developer
Vitalik Buterin is one of the most active and sometimes controversial members of the crypto community. Therefore, his reaction to Virgil Griffith’s arrest was highly anticipated. Yesterday, the creator of Ethereum finally referred to Griffith’s arrest to express his support.
He referred to the developer as his friend and stated that he is ready to sign a petition that would call for his immediate release from U.S. authorities. In addition, Buterin made sure to emphasize that the Ethereum Foundation is not involved in any way with Griffith’s trip, trying to avoid possible legal implications in the future.
Prefacing with two points. [i]Conflict-of-interest disclosure: Virgil is my friend, [ii]this whole thing has nothing to do with EF. EF paid nothing and offered no assistance; it was Virgil’s personal trip that many counseled against.
Buterin went on to say that it is important to know the point of view of people and countries other than one’s own. According to the creator of Ethereum, Griffith’s journey was not motivated by economic ends and his intention was only to share public knowledge about blockchain technology:
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*.
Buterin said he expects U.S. authorities to reconsider their position.
6. So I hope USA shows strength rather than weakness and focuses on genuine and harmful corruption that it and all countries struggle with rather than going after programmers delivering speeches parroting public information.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 1, 2019
The reason for the arrest of Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith
Griffith, as reported by CNF, was arrested on November 28. The main reason was his unauthorized trip to North Korea. There the Ethereum developer spoke at a conference about blockchain. However, the United States has prohibited all its citizens from using their passports to travel to North Korea. Only those who have applied for a permit and special conditions are allowed to go to North Korea.
Due to his knowledge and expertise in blockchain technology, Griffith case is of special interest. He’s accused of sharing knowledge with North Korea to efficiently evade U.S. economic sanctions. In this context, it is also important to note that North Korea is a close ally of China. The Asian giant seems to be paving the way for the adoption of its digital coin, the Digital Yuan. The currency issued by the Central Bank of China will be launched next year.
If the accusations against Griffith are confirmed, North Korea could benefit from the knowledge. North Korea has seen its economy severely hit by the U.S. Treasury Department’s economic sanctions and has a constant search for ways to help it evade them.
The price of Ethereum stands at $151 USD and has had a slight recovery (0.49%) in the last 24 hours. It remains to be seen if the recent events will have any implications for the performance of the Ethereum or for the activities carried out by the Ethereum Foundation.