Ethereum Dev Arrested For Sharing Crypto Expertise with North Koreans

Michael LaVere

United States authorities have arrested American Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith for sharing his expertise in crypto at a conference in North Korea. 

On November 29, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced that Griffith had been arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport on Thanksgiving Day.

Griffith, who (according to his LinkedIn profile) is a resident of Singapore and has been working for the Ethereum Foundation as a research scientist since 2016, was charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and using his knowledge of crypto to assist North Korea in evading sanctions. 

According to the press release, Griffith allegedly traveled to North Korea in order to deliver a presentation and technical expertise on using “cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions.”

US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated,:

“As alleged, Virgil Griffith provided highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions.”

He continued:

“Despite receiving warnings not to go, Griffith allegedly traveled to one of the United States’ foremost adversaries, North Korea, where he taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions.”

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Ethereum Was Behind 85% of Dapps' $12 Billion Volume in Q2 2020

The total transaction volumes of decentralized applications (dapps) in the cryptocurrency space hit $12 billion in the second quarter of this year, rising by $4.5 billion compared to the first quarter. Etheruem dapps accounted for 85% of the volume.

According to DappRadar’s Industry Review report, there are more than 70,000 active wallets across 13 different blockchains interacting with the cryptocurrency space. The top blockchains were EOS, TRON, and Ethereum, with the latter representing $10.2 billion of the $12 billion volume seen in Q2.

Ethereum’s large transaction volume was partly fuelled by Compound and the launch of the COMP token, which led to a “yield farming” trend, in which users were interacting with the protocol as much as possible to receive COMP tokens. Compound saw $1.2 billion move through it.

The yield farming trend saw Ethereum gas prices and transaction fees increase, which according to the report did not stop Ethereum dapps from thriving in general. It did, however, contribute to an 80% drop quarter-on-quarter for ETH gaming dapps, as high gas prices are “killing” their activities on the cryptocurrency’s network.

Despite Ethereum’s growth, EOS and TRON (TRX) dapps have also seen their activity increase in the second quarter of the year. According to the report in only three months, TRON’s transaction volumes on decentralized applications surged by over 17,200%.

The rise was largely attributed to Oikos.cash, a TRON-based version of the Compound lending protocol.  While TRON’s DeFi growth has been notably, DappRadar pointed out that most dapps on its blockchain are still in the “gambling” and “high risk” categories.

The EOS blockchain has still been enduring the effects of the EIDOS token airdrop, which put the network into “congestion mode.” The airdrop clogged the network and as a result, from 2019 to 2020 wallet activity on decentralized applications dropped 53%.

So far this year, $1.9 billion have been transacted on decentralized applications using the EOS blockchain, thanks to two dapps: Crypto Dynasty and Upland. DappRadar’s report also shows that two other blockchains are growing thanks to gambling dapps: WAX and ThunderCore.

Featured image via Pixabay.