Ethereum Foundation seems to have cut off all connections with Virgil Griffith after he was arrested for delivering a presentation in North Korea.
Virgil Griffith arrested and isolated by colleagues
Reportedly, Virgil Griffith conducted a presentation in North Korea about blockchain technology and how it can assist North Korea in evading US sanctions. Now the United States has arrested the researcher from Ethereum Foundation. Virgil has become the world’s first blockchain researcher to be arrested.
FBI special agent claimed that Virgil also discussed various other things with North Korea, including plans about trade between the two Korean nations. Virgil discussed plans for facilitating trade between the two countries through crypto assets as the flow of such assets in and out of North Korea is contrary to sanctions.
FBI’s assistant Director-in-charge William Sweeney claimed that Virgil was aware that his acts were “against the law.” He then added that it was “egregious” to see a US citizen helping its adversary.
Now Ethereum Foundation is claiming that it had nothing to do with Virgil’s visit to North Korea. The company has revealed that it is aware of the charges made against Virgil but claims it was not “represented in the events outlined by the Department’s filing.”
However, Virgil’s visit to North Korea was made public through a bunch of Twitter posts that announced his visits. Apparently, Vitalik Buterin also commented on one of those posts telling him to “enjoy.” While the original post has been deleted and it remains unclear what it said or who deleted it.
Virgil Griffith is one of the most senior researchers at the Foundation, so it is unlikely that the company was unaware of his visit. Now the company is not even trying to cover for their employee but rather throwing him under the bus.