Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was sentenced to prison and fined US$100,000 for violating international sanctions against North Korea by speaking at a cryptocurrency conference in the Hermit Kingdom in April 2019.
See related article: North Korea hacked US$400M of crypto in 2021, says Chainalysis
- At the conference, Griffith explained blockchain technology’s use in money laundering to evade sanctions, and its benefits in nuclear arms negotiations with the U.S.
- Violations against the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) can carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
- Prosecutors reduced Griffith’s sentence to between 63 and 78 months after the developer pleaded guilty in September to one charge of conspiracy to violate international sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
- DPRK has been allegedly funding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs with proceeds from cyberattacks on crypto exchanges, Reuters reported citing the United Nations.
- Blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis said that North Korean hackers stole almost US$400 million worth of crypto in 2021.
See related article: North Korea refutes crypto hack allegation, claims the US made it up