Virgil Griffith, an Ethereum engineer, has been arrested after reportedly accessing his cryptocurrency account in violation of his bail terms.
Griffith allegedly attempted to access Ether (ETH) assets stored by Coinbase in May, prompting the remand order from United States District Judge P. Kevin Castel. The developer had already been accused of breaking the US sanctions law in North Korea by supporting the Communist government in bypassing restrictions via cryptography.
Ethereum is a decentralised, open-source blockchain that allows users to create smart contracts. The platform's native cryptocurrency is Ether. It is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin. The Ethereum blockchain is the most widely utilised.
Griffith's remand is unclear, however, as to whether he was remanded for violating his release conditions or for some other reason.
The Ethereum Foundation researcher is expected to be imprisoned for the next two months. On Sept. 21, he will stand trial on allegations of conspiring to violate North Korean sanctions, and he risks a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.
Defense attorneys said that the attempt to gain access to Coinbase was done after conferring with his counsel and that his family in Alabama was the one who made the attempt on his behalf.
Griffith was charged and indicted for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act on Jan. 7, 2020, following his detention in November 2019. He was first denied bail, but by the end of December 2019, he had been granted a bond order for $1 million.
After attending a blockchain conference in Pyongyang in April 2019, federal authorities suspect he aided North Korea's efforts to launder money using cryptocurrencies to dodge US sanctions.