Imprisoned Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Faces 10-year Export Privilege Bar

Griffith is without export privileges until April 12, 2032


CC7/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith, who is currently serving five years in prison, received a 10-year-long export privilege bar, according to the Department of Commerce.

Griffith, even after he is released from prison, “may not directly or indirectly participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology…exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations.”

Essentially, Griffith faces a bar on his export privileges as a US citizen.

“Based upon my review of the record, including Griffith’s submission, and consultations with BIS’s Office of Exporter Services, including its Director, and the facts available to BIS, I have decided to deny Griffith’s export privileges under the Regulations for a period of ten years from the date of Griffith’s conviction,” John Sonderman, the director of the Office of Export Enforcement, said

The order is in effect until April 12, 2032.

Last year, Griffith was sentenced to 63 months in prison – or five years – after he pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The act bars US citizens from exporting goods, services or technology to countries such as North Korea without a license from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

He also paid a $100,000 fine as part of his sentencing. 

In 2018, Griffith put together plans to provide services in North Korea, he developed and funded cryptocurrency infrastructure with the alleged knowledge that North Korea could then use the technology to bypass US sanctions. 

“Watching Ukraine sanctions has shown me their value. I have been cured of my stubborn arrogance, and my obsession with North Korea. My career has been damaged. I’m sorry,” Griffith said in court last year.

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