A few weeks ago I was released from Lewisburg FPC. I want to thank the hundreds of people who wrote, sent books, money, magazines, and their support. There are no words to describe my appreciation and affection to all of you. Thank you so much.
Currently I’m home in southern Pennsylvania where Courtney and I have relocated temporarily. We will spend the summer months enjoying the outdoors, good food, family, friends and the small things that I missed while I was away, and at the same time transition back into normal life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be back home.
I’m excited to move forward onto new projects and looking forward to seeing what everyone has been working on!
Feel free to reach out if you’d like to say hello!
Quick note: I am still under the same communication requirements established for my incarceration and cannot grant media interviews at this time.
Bitcoin may have indirectly landed me in prison, but it’s still my passion. An alternative global transaction network would give people more control over their finances, allowing them to send money with greater privacy and without having to trust (or pay) a middleman. It would also reduce the time it takes to move money by days. If we could do that, we would be another step closer to bringing millions of people out of poverty by allowing people in local economies to buy and sell to the rest of the world. I’m obsessed with Bitcoin, and I’m going to prison. So of course I wanted to know if I could continue to use Bitcoin on the inside.
Read the full article on VICE
Fantastic article in the NY Observer this morning:
The article was written by Michael Craig but I have no doubt partly written by editor in chief Ken Kurson (full disclosure, Ken is a good friend and I personally look up to him)
There’s an epic battle for the future of money, and the outcome is murky. It might have several winners. It might have no winners. But one thing is crystal clear: The most exciting battle in this long war is taking place in San Francisco, and the town isn’t big enough for both Ripple Labs and Stellar, two of the contenders hoping to replace not just Bitcoin but the almighty dollar.
Im quoted in it about 16 times, and am happy to be apart of this story. Here are some snippets:
Mr. Shrem, a tireless evangelist for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, was the CEO of BitInstant and a founder of the Bitcoin Foundation. He pleaded guilty in September to reduced charges of aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business. Again, is that actually a criminal offense? If it is, with the Wild West stuff going on in crypto in the Mission District, the free spirits leading the crypto revolution had better sock away a few billion of their newly minted coins for legal fees before they, too, are making coffee in the toilet.
Mr. Shrem told The New York Times, “They want a guilty plea on their books, and that’s what they’re going to get. They got a Bitcoiner.” In a colossal show of overkill, the government agencies behind taking down this 5-foot-5, 140-pound menace to society included the DEA, NYPD, Homeland Security, New York State Police, IRS, FBI, BATF, U.S. Secret Service, New York National Guard, Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. Last month, Mr. Shrem wassentenced to two years for “indirectly helping to send $1 million to Silk Road” and is expected to serve half that time.
It’s a long one, but I recommend reading the whole thing!
Former BitInstant CEO and Bitcoin Foundation board member Charlie Shrem was sentenced this afternoon to two years in prison after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Shrem will also serve three years of supervised release in addition to the prison sentence.
Judge Jed Rakoff, who presided over the case, rejected the defense’s plea for probation only, but stopped short of imposing a harsher sentence based on the charges at hand.
Read the rest here: http://www.coindesk.com/charlie-shrem-sentenced-two-years-prison/
This May, I was featured in GQ Magazine about my life and Bitcoin
You can read the full article here: http://www.gq.com/life/tech/201406/bitcoin
I liked Charlie Shrem from the moment we met, with his winning smile and the improbable five-o’clock-next-Tuesday shadow on his chin. There was a nervous, distracted charisma about him. He rarely laughed, but just beneath that serious veneer, he was affable and smart. And distinct from the thousands of words I’d read and heard about Bitcoin, Charlie didn’t drag me through computer code or diagram the cryptographic innovations of the new currency. He didn’t go all A Beautiful Mind on me, because I assured him that I was never gonna comprehend the technical depths of Bitcoin. So, for my benefit, he used big, primary-color analogies, and for the first time, I understood the larger role this new money could have, the niche in the financial market that it had been created to fill. “Bitcoin is two things!” Charlie explained, abruptly raising his voice. “There’s lowercase bitcoin and uppercase Bitcoin. It’s both the currency you send and the means by which you send it. While banks, PayPal, and Western Union are all the things that help move money around the world—the finance system—Bitcoin is both blood and vein. It’s not only the payment system of transfer: It’s also the unit of value being transferred across the system.” He emitted information just like that: in sudden, discrete transmissions, as if signaling from a ship at sea. The entire concept of Bitcoin—the platform upon which Charlie made his millions—had been the brainchild of a programmer (or for all we know, a small group of programmers) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, who first described the Bitcoin concept on a cryptography mailing list in 2008. It wasn’t fleshed out, but the basics had shimmer. Bitcoin would be a peer-to-peer network, Satoshi wrote, in which payments didn’t have to flow through third-party financial institutions. It was based not on trust but on data, such as time stamps, the kind of hard numbers that even the most anarchic libertarian could bank on.
The UpTake: Even while under-house arrest, this bitcoin founder shows that earning a paycheck comes naturally, if you do what you truly love.
A lmost overnight, bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem lost his freedom and his bitcoin exchange company, BitInstant, when he was arrested on charges of money laundering and operating a money transmitting business without a license. Busted in January and released later that month to house arrest on a $1-million-dollar bail, he tells me in a conversation we had yesterday that he quickly started to go stir-crazy.
But not even the government-owned tracker wrapped around his ankle—a device that he has to charge every night, one which I wasn’t allowed to photograph—could keep him out of bitcoin for long. What Shrem ended up doing to keep his sanity—and is still doing, now that he’s allowed to leave his home on a limited basis—is a lesson to any entrepreneur on how to get paid doing what you love, no matter what.
“I told people, I have this ADHD thing where I have to be multi-tasking like five things at the same time, so use my brain for whatever you want,” he told me yesterday at the Magineses Townhouse in Greenwich village, an unmarked building that’s the clubhouse for members of a new exclusive credit card in New York City used by some entrepreneurs. “I’m just trying to help as many people as I can, for bitcoin.”
The 24-year-old founder, who is accused of running an unlicensed money transmitting company and assisting with laundering $1 million in funds that were used on the now-infamous Silk Road black market, provides a marked contrast to a common philosophy in the startup community: you’re only as good as what you charge.
Shrem, who described himself to me as “psychologically unemployable” because he prefers to be his own boss, said that during the first two months of house-arrest he told anyone who would listen that money wasn’t a priority, he just wanted to work, for free at first if necessary.
Read the rest here: http://upstart.bizjournals.com/entrepreneurs/hot-shots/2014/07/09/bitcoin-lessons-from-bitinstant-charlie-shrem.html