An Ethereum developer, Virgil Griffith, made it to the headlines after being indicted over his trip to North Korea. While the dev was released on bail recently awaiting trial, he found his way back into prison for accessing his Coinbase account.
The globe is well aware of North Korea’s repressive government. Griffith was arrested back in November 2019 for formulating a presentation on the use of cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain tech. Several believe that he was trying to carry this presentation out in order to deceive sanctions. Virgil Griffith was, however, granted bail and was set to be tried in court in September 2021.
The bail included an array of terms that Griffith had to abide by. One of the most prominent orders included the prohibition of internet use. Not only did the Ethereum researcher break this rule, but he also went on to check his Coinbase account, which alerted the officials.
Virgil Griffith to await trial in jail
Back in May, Virgil Griffith reportedly checked his Ethereum assets in his Coinbase account. Trying to defend himself, Griffith suggested that he was trying to get in touch with Coinbase and request the crypto exchange to take his account down. He stated,
“I’m going to need the [two-factor authentication] removed as the FBI took my devices away.”
U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel and the prosecutors involved in the case were quick enough to notice that Griffith had violated his bail terms by contacting Coinbase. Therefore, the Ethereum researcher would be spending the next two months in jail.
While his trial is all set for 21 September, he could face up to 20 years in prison if things didn’t work in his favor.
Additionally, the defense lawyers involved in the case noted that Griffith accessed his Coinbase account only after his family discussed the same with his counsel.