Attorneys representing the United States government filed a memorandum against the dismissal of the charges against Virgil Griffith. A former Ethereum Foundation researcher accused of conspiring against the sanctions imposed by the United States on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPKR, because of its English acronym.
According to court records filed in the southern borough of New York on November 19, Prosecutors referred to Griffith’s October 22 argument that the charges against him were dismissed as “pointless”. Citing an American citizen who provided nuclear secrets to scientists in the isolated nation, the legal team claimed that the former Ethereum Foundation researcher did a service to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea:
“A simple hypothesis reveals the absurdity of Griffith’s position. According to Griffith’s logic, that is [Reglamento de Sanciones contra Corea del Norte] would allow an American physicist to travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and explain the science behind nuclear weapons to a conference of North Korean physicists, as long as the science can be found on the Internet, receives no fee and the regime’s desire to build nuclear weapons was not economic. “
The United States District Court in January accused Griffith of conspiring against the International Emergency Economic Powers Act after a presentation at a North Korean conference in April. The speech reportedly contained information that North Korean agents could use to bypass economic sanctions using cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Federal agencies claim that Griffith knew the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was specifically interested in methods of avoiding sanctions through blockchain. They claim Griffith sent a text message to an employee stating that he planned to facilitate the 1 Ether (ETH) transaction “between North and South Korea” as he knew it would violate sanctions.
Griffith argues that his presentation It was a “very general speech based on publicly available information” that received no fee and had “no economic benefit”. Therefore, he claims that the charge is unfounded and that his speech is protected by the first amendment.
But still, The memorandum said Griffith admitted he “explained” “concepts” about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to conference attendees during his interviews with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in May and November And some North Koreans have likely gained a better understanding of how blockchain technology can be used to evade sanctions.
The proceedings against Griffith are still ongoing. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is available on a $ 1 million loan.