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Ethereum research scientist Virgil Griffith denied bail in North Korea case

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Yogita Khatri
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Ethereum research scientist Virgil Griffith, who was arrested last month for allegedly assisting North Korea in learning more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, has been denied bail.

Inner City Press reported the news Thursday, saying that the judge denied bail, citing Griffith’s text messages to his parents about renouncing his U.S. citizenship and setting up a money laundering business in North Korea.

Griffith’s lawyer Brian Klein did not respond to The Block’s requests for comment by press time. We will update this story if we hear back.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, the agency under the Department of Justice responsible for the custody of incarcerated individuals, also shows that Griffith is still locked up.

Source: The Federal Bureau of Prisons
At the time of his arrest last month, U.S. authorities alleged that Griffith traveled to North Korea in April to present at the "Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference," despite the U.S. Department of State denying his permission to travel to the country. Griffith allegedly discussed how North Korea “could use blockchain and cryptocurrency technology to launder money and evade sanctions."

Griffith has been charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.