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  • Writer's pictureMichael Paulyn

In The News: American Ethereum Developer Jailed for Trying to Help North Koreans

Recently, in the news, an American court handed a sentence to former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith. A five-year and three-month prison sentence with a hefty $100,000 fine for trying to conspire to work with the North Korean regime so they could harness the power of cryptocurrencies and skirt around international sanctions.

Damian Williams, US Attorney, said, "There is no question North Korea poses a national security threat to our nation. The regime has shown consistently that it will stop at nothing to ignore our laws for its benefit."

Griffith, a renowned Ethereum developer, pleaded guilty to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to give technical advice to the DPRK regarding digital currencies and strategies to get around all economic restrictions.

It's common knowledge that North Korea uses cryptocurrencies to fund its military projects and is usually responsible for pulling some of the most massive heists. One is the Lazarus Group, North Korea's state-backed cyber military department, which made off with $400 million in digital currencies in 2021 alone, with no signs of slowing down.

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