Ethereum Developer Faces Up To 6.5 Years In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Conspiracy Charges

Ethereum Developer Faces Up To 6.5 Years In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Conspiracy Charges

Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith is facing up to 6.5 years jail term, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy. The developer had allegedly taken a trip to North Korea back in 2019, to aid them in using Eth to bypass United States sanctions.

The developer has also previously featured on the American show King of the Nerds, a show where competitors face challenges that test their intellect, ingenuity, skills, and pop-culture prowess. 

It is important to note that Virgil faces only a single charge of “conspiracy to violate” sanctions laws — that is, he is accused of trying to help North Korea, not actually helping. That means the prosecution does not need to prove any tangible results of any specific action.”  he asserts.

Lot of Scores to Settle With The Law

Ethan Lou, the journalist covering the case tweeted some important updates on the matter. He revealed that a trial was set for 9:30 a.m at the Southern District of New York courthouse. Moments after, he noted that the developer could face 20 years in jail.

The prosecution needed to prove that the developer set out to help North Korea. The journalist also explained that it was important for the jurors to like Virgil because the case seems highly subjective. He soon pleaded guilty in what Lou calls a “surprise development.” The judge will sentence on the 13th January of 2022.


The Defence had also wanted the lawyer’s testimony in order to show that Virgil may have tried to look for legal advice and that he did not totally try to assist North Korea. On the other hand, the lawyer who is based in Singapore had problems traveling as a result of the global pandemic.

Virgil also revealed that he was depressed and was very expressive with his emotions after the court session. 

As the journalist wrote, “Virgil was quite emotional. Deep sighs sometimes when he spoke. Unclear what new development caused this guilty plea. The paperwork was signed only yesterday. One possible reason is the barring the remote testimony of an Ethereum Foundation lawyer.”  

During the past two months, Virgil has been looking to gain access to his Coinbase account in order to pay his lawyers. His financial position was not the most promising initially as access had initially not been granted. However, recent updates have shown that funds can now be released to Virgil’s lawyers.