An Interview With Charlie Shrem

  • Charles "Charlie" Shrem IV is an American entrepreneur and Bitcoin advocate.
  • In 2011 he co-founded the now-defunct startup company BitInstant and is a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, formerly serving as vice chairman.

"There are interviews where I say that I could very well end up in jail. And my prophecy came true. I did. I am a pioneer at the forefront of this thing. One of the first ten people who even knew what Bitcoin was." – Charlie Shrem I'm a capitalist. I wanted to make money. That's what we did. We just built a company to make us money. I had this Bitcoin celebrity status. I had a party lifestyle. I've also made the mistakes and I've seen the red flags. We are the reasons Bitcoin is where it is today and that's something that will be my legacy and that's something worth fighting for.

Who is Charle Shrem?

My name is Charlie Shrem, I was an early founder and pioneer in the Bitcoin space, it was a very humbling experience being a, you know, multimillionaire to washing dishes for $8 an hour and no tip. Charlie Shrem, he was one of the first entrepreneurs in Bitcoin, he built a real business when a lot of other people were trying to figure out, what can you do with this stuff? And he got in over his head. BitInstant was one of the early Bitcoin companies, it was a way to get Bitcoins in dollars around the world. "30-35% of all Bitcoin transactions were going through our system, the ability to do that was amazing." – Charlie Shrem The tech industry is full of people that want to move fast and break stuff, and you can't do that in fintech. "Charlie Shrem, 24 years old, arrested today and charged with aiding and abetting." – Trish Regan, Street Smart Anchor

What is Charle Shrem Known For?

I allowed and enabled a customer of BitInstant to buy Bitcoin when I knew he was going and reselling these Bitcoins on Silk Road. "Silk Road was that infamous black market drug website often referred to as, essentially, the eBay for drugs." – Trish Regan, Street Smart Anchor "I knew it was illegal, but I don't think I cared enough at the time to stop it. In prison, you become a number. So, no matter how rich or poor you were on the outside, no matter what you did on the outside, you are in khakis and you are a number. I've had a year to reflect and take a break and I am more into Bitcoin and blockchain technology than I ever was." – Charlie Shrem Now he's out. He's paid his debt to society and he's trying new things. "As a software purist, I believe in open source software and I believe that everyone should see all of the code, and that's exactly what Bitcoin is, the mechanisms surrounding Bitcoin prevent unnecessary hyperinflation and the arbitrary printing of money. So it's a true, pure market all built on the blockchain. So blockchain technology is not just money it's a whole new infrastructure. The blockchain is simply a chain of blocks. It's a ledger system where thousands of transactions every second get packaged into a block, but instead of having one company maintain that ledger, that ledger is actually maintained across everyone's computers in real-time. t's decentralized real-time accounting. Bitcoin gives people economic freedom, and that's why it's a super-amazing thing." – Charlie Shrem It has no center of gravity, it has no headquarters, you can't shut it down. The only way you could is to shut off the internet. The story that Charlie Shrem is a part of is the decentralization of finance. Charlie was one of the first people to help that along in the most basic of ways. Helping people get money from Point A to Point B without... without an intermediary.

Where is Charle Shrem Now?

"As the months go by since my release from prison, the tech community, not just the Bitcoin community, but the tech community as a whole, have really embraced me back. The most supportive community in the whole world is the Bitcoin and blockchain community. I have a much bigger appreciation for the small things. We'll be doing something and I'll remember how I couldn't do it before, and I'll be like -- you know, this is freedom." – Charlie Shrem If you look back at the early days of Bitcoin and you look at the people who made a lot of money or that made a name for themselves. Those were people who were a little bit crazy, and you had to have a little bit of vision, and I think crazy people who have a vision that ends up being right aren't called crazy people who have a vision that ended up being right. They're called visionaries.

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