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Virgil Griffith is an American programmer, known for being the creator of WikiScanner. He has published papers on artificial life and integrated information theory. In developing WikiScanner, Griffith described his mission as “to create minor public-relations disasters for companies and organizations I dislike.” Griffith was arrested in 2019 for giving an Ethereum related presentation in North Korea.
On November 28, 2019, Griffith was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for providing “highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions.” The charges stem from his unsanctioned participation in an April 2019 blockchain and cryptocurrency conference held in Pyongyang, North Korea. During and after the conference, Griffith was alleged to have discussed means through which North Korea could use cryptocurrency to evade economic sanctions.