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American programmer faces criminal charge for teaching N.Korea bypass sanctions using Crypto currency

A US programmer is known as “Roman poet” has been criminally charged for traveling to North Korea to teach cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to bypass crushing economic sanctions, the US Department of Justice announced Friday.

Virgil Griffith, the 36-year-old creator of WikiScanner, a publicly searchable database that traced the origins of anonymous Wikipedia edits, is charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The act prohibits citizens from exporting goods, services or technology to North Korea without approval from the Treasury Department.

In April of this year, Griffith gave a presentation called “Blockchain and Peace” at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, despite the fact that the State Department had denied him permission to travel to North Korea, according to the federal complaint.


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