Bitcoin Profiles: Charlie Shrem

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Charlie Shrem, from BitInstant to Untold Stories, has had a significant impact on the story of bitcoin.

Aug 6 . 4 min read

Bitcoin Profiles features key figures in the story of bitcoin and tells you who they are and what they’ve meant to the world of crypto. Charlie Shrem has had an impact on bitcoin and cryptocurrency since the early days. He remains a prominent voice in crypto, documenting the history of bitcoin through an interview series in his podcast Untold Stories. Give it a listen and follow Shrem on Twitter to hear what he’s up to lately.

Shrem is best known for his impact during the early days of bitcoin. He was an entrepreneur at a young age, founding the now-defunct bitcoin exchange BitInstant along with friend Gareth Nelson. BitInstant was founded in 2011 and ultimately shut down in early 2014.

Charlie Shrem founded bitcoin exchange BitInstant with friend Gareth Nelson in 2011. The exchange was ultimately shut down in January 2014.

Roger Ver, another key figure and early bitcoin investor, made an investment in BitInstant. As did two other notable figures in the history of bitcoin, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, intending to help the exchange scale. During his time with BitInstant, Shrem also became a founding board member of the Bitcoin Foundation.

BitInstant was one of the largest bitcoin exchanges during its operation. The more high profile bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was also in operation for the bulk of the time that BitInstant was. Both exchanges are now defunct for different reasons. In July 2013, several BitInstant customers filed a class-action lawsuit against the exchange.

On July 8th, 2013 several BitInstant customers filed a class action lawsuit against the exchange, claiming that it had falsely represented its services. The plaintiffs specifically stated that the exchange made false claims about the speed of its services and the refunding of fees. BitInstant received a subpoena from the NY Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) during the same week of the filing. NYDFS sought information about the exchange’s operations and the consumer protections it had in place. — According to CoinDesk

The trouble for Shrem and BitInstant didn’t stop there. In early 2014, Shrem was sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money-transmitting business related to the darknet marketplace the Silk Road.

After being released from prison in 2016, Shrem continued to pursue his passion for bitcoin and cryptocurrency. With his past mistakes behind him, he got involved in ventures such as the crypto wallet platform Jaxx, the cryptocurrency Dash, companies like Voyager and Byte Federal, and founded an advisory business called CryptoIQ.

Most recently, Shrem is probably best known for his podcast series Untold Stories.

Most recently, he’s probably best known for his podcast series Untold Stories. There, Shrem interviews other key figures in the story of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, recapping how the space came to be what it is today and what the future holds for crypto.

In a 2019 interview with CoinDesk, Shrem said that “Crypto and bitcoin are my life and legacy.” He’s absolutely right about that.

Shrem was around for the true wild west time of bitcoin. He founded one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world while he was in his early 20s. Not only was bitcoin’s price action extremely volatile during his BitInstant years, but he both witnessed and furthered mainstream adoption at a critical time in the history of bitcoin.

Shrem’s first-hand experience in bitcoin and crypto has put him in a unique position to provide a valuable perspective on the future of crypto.

Crypto and bitcoin are my life and legacy. I had no career before bitcoin, except an electronics startup I had in high school. The reason I love bitcoin and crypto is the same reason why you love a baby you’ve raised. If that child turns bad, you’ll still love it. I have an unconditional love for this industry. Even recently when I’ve started to get burnt out.– Shrem in an interview with CoinDesk

As mentioned above, Untold Stories is where you can regularly find Shrem nowadays. The podcast is an oral history of bitcoin. Similar to Shrem himself, the podcast is unique in the vast array of topics that are covered.

Charlie Shrem still has lots of energy and passion for bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Shrem still has lots of energy and passion for bitcoin and crypto. You can even find him featured in Ben Mezrich’s book Bitcoin Billionaires which tells the story of the Winklevoss twins’ redemption after their Facebook fallout. Keep a lookout for what Shrem does next. He’s always someone to follow for his takes and insights related to bitcoin and beyond. It’s probably also safe to say that most of the cryptocurrency community is glad to still have Shrem involved and interested in crypto.

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