Virgil Griffith brilliantly announced his illegal trip to North Kore on Twitter
Ethereum,  People,  Politics

Virgil Griffith free on bail

The former Ethereum developer has been released from custody, a full 10 days after a judge ordered him released on $1 million bail

Virgil Griffith, the former head of special projects for the Ethereum Foundation, has been freed from custody, 10 days after an order to release him on $1 million bail was handed down.

Griffith was arrested in late November in Los Angeles. He was charged with violating sanctions, following a trip to North Korea in April to deliver a lecture on cryptocurrency and blockchain at a conference in Pyongyang. Prosecutors say he assisted the rogue regime in using cryptocurrency to bypass sanctions.

Inner City Press posted an image of the bond on Twitter. It was signed by Griffith today, along with the Deputy Clerk of Court and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle A. Wirshba.

Sure his people are starving, but does that mean Kim Jong-un should go on a diet?
Sure his people are starving, but does that mean Kim Jong-un should go on a diet?

On Dec. 30, Judge Vernon Broderick of the Southern District of New York ordered that Griffith be set free on bail pending trial. To satisfy the hefty bail, Griffith’s sister and his parents had to put up their homes. However, Griffith still needed to wait for the approval of his co-signers and the posting of properties as collateral. 

According to Inner City Press, the release form shows that Griffith’s parents signed the security for the bond on Jan. 6. It is not clear why he was held an additional three days beyond that. 

On Jan. 7, Griffith was formally indicted on conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from exporting goods, services, or technology to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea without approval from the Treasury Department.

After reading over the transcripts from the bail hearing, Attorney Stephen Palley noted on Twitter that the government said that it is only looking at a one- to two-year sentence for Griffith, not the maximum 20 years he faces.

Griffith, a U.S. citizen who resided in Singapore up until his arrest, is due to head to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he will live with his parents in the house put up for his bail while he awaits his trial.

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Amy Castor has more than 20 years' experience in journalism. Her work on crypto and blockchain has appeared in consumer and trade publications throughout the U.S., including CoinDesk, Forbes, Bitcoin Magazine, and The Block.