As US FBI recently arrested Virgil Griffith for allegedly aiding the North Koreans to use crypto-blockchain to evade sanctions, Vitalik Buterin is finally stepping up to sign the “Free Virgil Griffith” petition.
The co-creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is a strong public figure to talk about Virgil’s arrest. Buterin provided few reasoning on why he thinks Virgil shouldn’t be called wrongdoer. He claims that the Ethereum foundation has nothing to do with his trip to North Korean; it was his personal trip. Buterin said in his series of tweet,
Geopolitical open-mindedness is a *virtue*. It’s *admirable* to go to a group of people that one has been trained since childhood to believe is a Maximum Evil Enemy, and hear out what they have to say.”
Ethereum founder added,
“the virtue of his has paid off in multiple other contexts; improved relations with Ethereum Classic, Hyperledger, and others.”
He firmly believed that Virgil didn’t provide DPRK any kind of real help in doing anything terrible – instead, his view is that Virgil simply delivered a presentation based on “publicly available info about open-source software.” Furthermore, there was no advanced tutoring that Virgil shared, said Buterin.
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
More so, his view was that Virgil hadn’t made any personal gain from the trip. Buterin went on to say that if there were any indication of Virgil doing wrong by attending the conference, he would have reacted much strongly against it.
Crypto community: This is an odd take from Vitalik
Although Buterin shared his opinion on why he believed the FBI should free Virgil, the community remained skeptical. A Medium user on a blog commented that “Public knowledge isn’t the issue, Virgil taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions, and this is the issue.”
Despite Buterin’s six-point reasoning tweets, the earlier reports witnessed how Griffith broke federal law. The fact is that all travelers are expected to receive permission before flying to the troubled counties like DPRK, and it was earlier reported that Virgil traveled to North Korea despite knowing the fact that Washington has banned country’s citizens from visiting DPRK regime since 2017.
This being said, Buterin didn’t discuss anything about such prohibition, instead, he concludes his reasoning by stating;
So I hope the USA shows strength rather than weakness and focuses on genuine and harmful corruption that it and all countries struggle with rather than going after programmers delivering speeches parroting public information.
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