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US charges blockchain specialist; China designates US nonprofits

Virgil Griffith, an American citizen, was arrested Nov. 30 after speaking on blockchain solutions at the April 2019 Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in North Korea. According to a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) press release,[1] Griffith spoke to roughly 100 attendees about ways blockchain technology could be used to move money and data around the globe undetected. DOJ charged Griffith with a violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act[2] for traveling to the DPRK and passing along information on blockchain solutions that could be used to evade US sanctions and launder money.

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