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Vitalik Buterin Joins Petition To Free Arrested Blockchain Developer

The co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin joins a new petition and declares his solidarity with Virgil Griffith, who is the American citizen that was arrested for his blockchain activities in North Korea.

A tweet by Buterin shows that the ETH founder shared a link to a blog post penned by the blockchain firm CEO Enrico Talin, which appeared directly to Buterin to start a petition that will support Griffith’s release.

Let’s not have another Aaron Swartz martyr in our hands,” Talin had written while referring to the hacker and political activist who killed himself in 2013 ahead of the high-profile federal trial.

Our blockchain news before showed details on Griffith, who is a 36-year old US citizen living in Singapore – and who was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport on November 29 and is now set to be charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Vitalik Buterin joins the petition and wants to release Griffith from North Korea’s jail.

Additionally, the US Department of Justice accused the miner of providing “highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions.”

While Vitalik Buterin joins the petition to release Griffith, he also prefaced his arguments by disclosing a “conflict of interest” insofar as Griffith, vouching that he is a friend of him. Buterin also underscored that the Ethereum foundation had provided no assistance to his trip and wasn’t affiliated with the personal decision that Griffith made.

“Geopolitical open-mindedness is a *virtue*. It’s *admirable* to go to a group of people that one has been trained since childhood to believe is a Maximum Evil Enemy, and hear out what they have to say. The world would be better if more people on all sides did that,” Buterin wrote.

The co-founder of Ethereum further stated that he does not believe that Griffith gave the DPRK “any kind of real help in doing anything bad” but only delivered a presentation based on an open-source software. “There was no weird hackery “advanced tutoring,” he wrote..

As Vitalik Buterin joins the petition, his arguments met a mixed response on Crypto Twitter. Meanwhile, as we previously reported, North Korea is rumored to be in the early stages of developing a cryptocurrency.

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