Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Butrein in a series of tweets revealed that Virgil Griffith was counseled against for his visit to North Korea, but it was his personal visit and Ethereum Foundation was not part of it. Vitalik said that he refuses to take the convenient path of throwing Griffith under the bus.
Vitalik signs petition to free Griffith.
Virgil Griffith was arrested for visiting North Korea and allegedly helping them to avoid US sanctions using blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Vitalik wrote that Griffith is his friend, and the whole thing has nothing to do with Ethereum Foundation. He added that it was Virgil’s personal trip that many had counseled against.
According to Vitalik, Virgil did an admirable thing by going to a group of people that one has been trained since childhood to believe is an enemy, and hear out what they have to say.
3. I don't think what Virgil did gave DRPK any kind of real help in doing anything bad. He *delivered a presentation based on publicly available info about open-source software*. There was no weird hackery "advanced tutoring".
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 1, 2019
Virgil gave a presentation on publicly available information about open-source software.
Ethereum co-founder also mentioned that what Griffith did was not a crime as he only delivered a presentation based on publicly available information about open-source software. However, Vitalik also condemned the violations of human rights in the Kim Jong-Un regime, as said, that is one of the major factors why he has no interest in visiting the country.
The arrest of Virgil Griffith has sparked outrage in the crypto community as his arrest seemed a far too strict step from the US authorities. Currently, Griffith is in custody, and if convicted, he might face prison time of up to 20 years.