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Bitcoin Evangelist Charlie Shrem Released from Prison

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM

Bitcoin advocate and entrepreneur Charlie Shrem, the founder of bitcoin exchange BitInstant who was arrested in arrested and convicted in 2014 and held in a high-security federal prison camp since March 2015 has now been released from imprisonment.

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem, the former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and founder and CEO of bitcoin exchange BitInstant has been released from prison.

The bitcoin evangelist spent time in a high-security federal prison camp in Pennsylvania since March 30, 2015, after being convicted on charges of money laundering and acting as an unlicensed money transmitter. For those not in the know, CCN.com ran a piece in January 2014, immediately after his arrest that detailed how Charlie Shrem had done nothing wrong.

“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.” wrote Shrem in a public blog post yesterday, the first since his release. A picture of Shrem with his girlfriend Courtney Warner accompanied the post.

Image from Charlie Shrem

The rest of his post read:

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!


Charlie Shrem was arrested in January 2014 at JFK airport in New York, accused of knowingly allowing a user from the now-defunct darknet marketplace Silk Road to trade bitcoin through the now-defunct bitcoin exchange BitInstant, which Shrem founded and was the chief executive of. He was charged with conspiring to sell over $1 million in bitcoins to Silk Road users, and a US district judge ordered him in Manhattan to forfeit $950,000.

The accusation against Shrem, fundamentally, was that he willfully neglected to report unlawful transactions that were conducted through BitIstant by Silk Road user Robert Faiella, aka BTCKing. The latter was sentenced to four years in prison in January 2015.

For his part, Shrem was formally indicted in April 2014, following an unsuccessful plea bargain. Come December 2014, Shrem was sentenced to two years in prison

Shrem was under house arrest for 14 months since the arrest and surrendered himself to Lewisburg Federal Prison Camp in Pennsylvania on March 30, 2015.

Although a free man, Shrem is still subject to certain communication requirements established for his incarceration which prevent him from doing any media interviews at this time.

Featured image from Shutterstock.