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.

Get the day’s top crypto news and insights delivered to your email every evening. Subscribe to Blockworks’ free newsletter now.

Want alpha sent directly to your inbox? Get degen trade ideas, governance updates, token performance, can’t-miss tweets and more from Blockworks Research’s Daily Debrief.

Can’t wait? Get our news the fastest way possible. Join us on Telegram and follow us on Google News.


upcoming event

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Digital Asset Summit (DAS) is returning March 2024. This year’s event will be held in our nation’s capital, where industry leaders, policymakers, and institutional experts will come together to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency. […]

upcoming event

MON - WED, SEPT. 11 - 13, 2023

2022 was a meme.Skeptics danced, believers believed.Eventually, newcomers turned away, drained of liquidity and hope.Now, the tide is shifting and it’s time to rebuild. Permissionless II is the brainchild of Blockworks and Bankless. It’s not just a conference, but a call […]

recent research

Cosmos Hub: ATOM Economic Zone


Replicated Security, the Hub’s Validation-as-a-Service offering that went live in March, is the first step in bringing value accrual to ATOM stakers.



OP holders might not be feeling very optimistic with the rollup’s token unlock schedule now in effect


Two lords are pushing for the government to ensure that the Bank of England could not implement “Britcoin” without legislative backing


This is the second fee switch proposal that failed to pass a community vote


This partnership comes as Nike released its first NFT collection, Our Force 1, this month


The weaknesses of large language models like ChatGPT are “too great to use reliably for security,” OpenZeppelin’s machine learning lead says


Giddy will now enable users to spend their yield on real-world goods and services