Developer faces prison time for giving blockchain talk in North Korea


The prominent hacker and Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was arrested by the US government Friday after he spoke at an April conference on blockchain technologies in North Korea. The US government considers his presentation to be a transfer of technology—and therefore a violation of US sanctions.

But Griffith's defenders, including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, describe the arrest as a massive overreaction. Griffith worked for the Ethereum Foundation, and Buterin called him a friend.

Seeing as how the US is still technically at war with North Korea, and seeing as how the guy sought out permission from the US State Department ahead of time and was denied permission to enter North Korea, he deserves whatever punishment will be doled out. Just because we don't agree with a set of rules does not mean we can knowingly circumvent them without consequences.