Charlie Shrem, an eminent Bitcoin entrepreneur, reported to a minimum security facility Monday, the 30th of March. After pleading guilty last year to operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, money laundering for Silk Road customers, and failing to report suspicious banking activity, Shrem is only committed to a two year sentence of the 25 year potential sentence.
Shrem is well known for starting BitInstant, and as a founding Bitcoin Foundation board member. Despite resigning from the Bitcoin Foundation in 2014 after his arrest, he has maintained a position of Bitcoin spokesperson while consulting Bitcoin startups and venture capitalists alike. He has also spoken at many conferences, including the Bitcoin 2013 conference and Texas Bitcoin Conference.
While speaking at the latter conference, Shrem compared Bitcoin to the printing press and pursuit of free knowledge. This is particularly notable since his arrest came before the New York Department of Financial Services unveiled BitLicense, a proposed set of regulations for Bitcoin money transmitting services. Many prominent Bitcoin companies such as Coinbase have declared themselves against these regulations.
With the BitLicense comment period now over and many Bitcoin companies standing against the regulations, Charlie Shrem’s staunch words remain applicable as ever.
“There is nothing new under the sun, and history always repeats itself. This isn’t about illegal payments. This is about control over transactional culture and knowledge, because he who controls them, controls the world.”