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Charlie Shrem: Bitcoin-Altcoin Speed Comparison is Red Herring Argument

Charlie Shrem_ Bitcoin-Altcoin Speed Comparison is Red Herring Argument

Bitcoin Foundation co-founder Charlie Shrem has downplayed the importance of blockchain networks’ competing transactional speed, saying that speed comparisons between Bitcoin and other altcoins are merely “red herrings” in determining network superiority.

A pioneer and advocate of Bitcoin, Shrem insists that Bitcoin’s main points for superiority are its security, decentralization and censorship resistance, believing only Bitcoin has a “censorship-resistant value network”. He believed that payment speed was never a problem since Bitcoin was created at a time that digital payment services like PayPal were already around:

“Transaction speeds when debating bitcoin vs other faux-cryptos is red herring argument. That’s not why we’re here. We’re building a censorship-resistant value network that can never be controlled by a single party.”

Even altcoin supporters from Digibyte agreed that Bitcoin would “always be king”:

15 second block times. < $0.00001 per transaction. Add instant on chain transactions and everything is made much easier for the user and merchant #DGB #UTXO @GetDigiCafe . That’s all. #BTC will always be king, don’t worry

— Devon ($DGB) (@digibytehelper) May 26, 2019

Shrem, who is the host of the Untold Stories podcast, has been a long time supporter of Bitcoin. However, many altcoin competitors use transactional speed as a point of contention, with many altcoins having much faster block times or, in the case of forked coins like Bitcoin Cash, larger blocks to allow more transactions to be confirmed within a block.

However, these tend to be generally less secure, leading to merchants requiring more confirmations before accepting a transaction. For Bitcoin, even 1 confirmation is commonly accepted nowadays.

BitMex Research, for example pointed out that Bitcoin Cash recently has a successful 51% attack on its blockchain:

“Based on our calculations, around 3,392 BCH may have been successfully double spent in an orchestrated transaction reversal. However, the only victim with respect to these double spent coins could have been the original “thief”.”


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Charlie Shrem: Mt Gox Created “Token as Debt”, Not Bitfinex

Charlie Shrem: Mt Gox Created

Bitcoin advocate and founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, Charlie Shrem, has blamed defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox as the instigator of “token as debt”, instead of Bitfinex, the exchange that issued tokens as debt to its customers following its own hack.

In a discussion of Bitcoin related scandals with Bitcoin miner J Maurice on the “Untold Stories” podcast hosted by Shrem, Mt Gox was supposedly able to acquire up to “70-80% market share of all Bitcoin trading globally” due to its popularity, a share which was huge for one centralized exchange to have.

It all fell apart when the exchange was allegedly hacked, resulting in the theft of 850,000 Bitcoins, a case that reverberated within Japan, where the exchange was based, and which until today is still the subject of an ongoing court case with its former owner and former customers.

Shrem pointed out that there were only two options to get Bitcoin on the exchange, the actual Bitcoin itself and the “Mt Gox Bitcoin” which he said “were these fake Bitcoins that you could trade in Mt Gox’s system”. According to him it was “essentially Bitcoin which couldn’t be removed from Mt.Gox before it imploded”.

It was this that ultimately created its own token as debt, even before Bitfinex made that claim. It was noted before:

“Mt Gox had this feature where you could internally transfer Bitcoins between Mt.Gox accounts and Josh Jones (a creditor at Mt Gox) had created this system on top of that so that you can send your balance to his accounts and then that would be your os that will be your Bitcoin builder exchange balance, you would have Gox BTC at that time which you could trade for real BTC.”

On 2 August 2016, Bitfinex suffered a hack that cost them of 119,756 Bitcoins. Them issued “Recovery Rights Tokens” as debt to customers, traded as BFX tokens. It claims to have paid off those debts in full less than a year later.


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Winklevoss Twins Ordered to Pay Legal Costs for Shrem Case

Winklevoss Twins Ordered to Pay Legal Costs for Shrem Case

Bitcoin entrepreneurs and Gemini founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have been ordered to pay USD 45,000 in legal costs in an ongoing case from 2013 against convicted BitInstant owner Charlie Shrem.

The payment relates to a lengthy court case in which the Winklevoss twins had instigated an investigation and asset freeze on Shrem concerning money owed to the brothers from a Bitcoin trade deal at the time.

The sum amounting to BTC 5,000 was allegedly not returned to the twins as it should have been; cryptocurrency which the Winklevoss brothers accused Shrem of spending on himself. A judge at the Court of the Southern District of New York has now ruled twice in favor of Shrem in the case over the past three months. As a result, Shrem is to receive around USD 45,000 in legal costs.

Shrem, now best known for his part in a money laundering scheme connected to the Silk Road black market, was sentenced to two years in jail in 2014. The Bitcoin entrepreneur who formerly ran his own Bitcoin exchange BitInstant was forced to resign from the board which oversaw the company at the time.

He pleaded guilty then, allowing users of Silk Road to anonymously exchange cash for Bitcoins, working with a cohort Robert Faiella of Florida. The transactions were fulfilled to the tune of USD 1 million dollars using Shrem’s exchange.

The case between the twins and Shrem over the disputed BTC 5,000 continues.


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Winklevoss Twins Sue Charlie Shrem for 5,000 Bitcoins

In the latest development of a long-standing feud between the Winklevoss twins and founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation Charlie Shrem, a newly-unsealed lawsuit reportedly has the former suing Shrem for funds of over BTC 5,000.

Shrem got out of prison in 2016, after pleading guilty in 2014 to selling Bitcoin to people who intended to buy drugs on Silk Road. Shrem was one of the earliest Bitcoin millionaires before becoming one of the earliest Bitcoin felons.

Apparently, Shrem played a critical role in making the Winklevoss twins wealthy. He helped get them interested in the crypto space and they gave him USD 750,000 which he converted to Bitcoin for them. However, there was a payment of USD 250,000 in September 2012 where Shrem only delivered BTC 15,120 worth USD 189,000 at the time. If this is true, then Shrem still owes the twins BTC 5,000. Due to Bitcoin’s price rise, the USD 61,000 of missing Bitcoin has become a much more serious USD 32 million.

The twins believe Shrem used the Bitcoin for himself and say they have hired an investigator who found proof that the missing Bitcoins were sent to Coinbase and Xapo. Further, Shrem owes USD 950,000 of restitution for his court case.

Shrem’s lawyer denies any wrongdoing. Further, in the event of Shrem losing the case, it remains to be seen if the judge orders USD 61,000 to be paid, the fiat discrepancy at the time of the transaction, or the Bitcoin value at the time.

Sources have reported that the overseeing judge seems to have taken the side of the Winklevoss twins for now, agreeing to freeze Shrem’s Xapo and Coinbase wallets.


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Charlie Shrem Says Hold Your Bitcoins for At Least 5 Years

Crypto expert Charlie Shrem spoke at the MoneyShow conference in San Francisco, saying that people investing in crypto and Bitcoin should hold it for at least five years.  Shrem specifically says, “Pick something in the top 10 or 20, and look at those, learn about them, and take a stake in them. Any crypto you’re going to buy, hold for five years. Say, I’m going to lock this, and this money is locked for five years. There’s a high probability you’ll come out ahead in five years, because usually, these bull and bear markets go in two-year cycles.”

Crypto and Bitcoin are the most volatile major asset class, with fluctuations of 10% in a single day being common, and downward movements of 90% in a year quite possible, as has been seen during this 2018 bear market and past bear markets.

Even though crypto and Bitcoin have bad bear markets, the general trend is that there is a major Bitcoin rally every two to three years that brings Bitcoin to new record highs, often an order of magnitude higher than the previous record high. Therefore, if an investor listens to Shrem and not touch their Bitcoins or crypto for 5 years, they stand to gain if historical patterns hold.

Shrem is one of the earliest adopters of Bitcoin. He started investing in 2011, was one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation in 2012, and started the BitInstant exchange which handled 30% of all Bitcoin volume by 2013. BitInstant got investments from Roger Ver, aka Bitcoin Jesus, and the Winklevoss Twins. However, he was charged for selling USD 1 million of Bitcoins to someone who used the Bitcoins to buy drugs on the Silk Road, and spent over a year in prison and was forced to forfeit USD 950,000 to the court.

Despite all of this, Shrem continues to be a major Bitcoin advocate and is now running which offers crypto investment advice and resources. He believes the proliferation of over 1,600 different cryptos is a good thing, and Bitcoin will always be king regardless.

He says, “These 1,600 coins are doing the guerrilla marketing. They’re doing that on-the-pavement work that crypto used to do in the early days. It’s getting people in — it’s getting people intrigued… Bitcoin will always be that ‘daddy’, that long-term gold that everyone has a huge amount in. You will see over time that the transaction volume of Bitcoin will go down because people are going to see it more as a store of value knowing that if that one fails, they all fail. But it’s definitely fun to have other projects like Steem to experiment with and see what they’re all about.”


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Bitcoin Price Set to Overtake All Time High Says Senior Analyst

A senior analyst at leading social trading network eToro has announced that he sees Bitcoin overtaking its all-time high of $20,000 with “absolute certainty”

Mati Greenspan, who is also a well-known bitcoin expert, told the UK’s Sunday Express that bitcoin’s January retracement was “a temporary swerve” and feels certain the trend will now be upward for the digital currency. Although he describes himself as, “not a fortune teller or anything like that,” Greenspan  suggested that “Whenever the price moves and jumps into a new order of magnitude, we need to see some sort of retracement on that.”

According to CNN, this is not the first time that analysts have compared the recent slump to the drop in 2014 when bitcoin dropped by 80% in value and then failed to recover for over a year. The market is now considerably different from its position over three years ago with a daily global trading volume of $30 million.

Greenspan is not alone in his views regarding the figure, providing that bitcoin can continue its trading volume, but some investors and analysts see the 20k target happening sooner. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz, and Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead, along with other investors, see bitcoin surpassing its all-time high by the end of 2018.

The market may have benefited recently from the frequent announcements made by well-known investors about to embrace cryptocurrency trading. Also, banks beginning to express a more favorable interest in the market, such as Goldman Sachs announcement to offer bitcoin futures trading on behalf of its customers, does have an impact as well.

Goldman Sachs has said that it has no plans to initially buy and sell Bitcoin itself, but a team is looking into the possibility, provided it can gain regulatory approval and then work out a plan for eliminating risk.

In the last few days, Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem has tweeted that May 2018 will be the “last time” bitcoin costs less than $10,000.

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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.


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Bitcoin for Prison

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

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So, I’m going to prison. Reflections from Bitcoins’ first felon

(Below I’ve details some ways to get in touch while I’m inside, please do not hesitate to do so. I look forward to everything! )

I’ve been dreading writing this blog post, and since I’ve written it, it’s been sitting as draft for a few weeks.

Never the less, it’s time I get on with it.

46044187-best-place-prisons-lewisburg (1)On March 30th, I’ll be self surrendering to Lewisburg Federal Prison Camp in Pennsylvania. It’s been a long hard fight, from getting arrested at JFK airport while landing home, to solitary confinement and being under house arrest the for the past 14 months. When the government indicted me and requested 30 years, I kept my head up with the help of friends, family, and the Bitcoin community. While some distanced themselves, most stood by and fought. I owe my life to those people. Of course I don’t look for sympathy, I did the crime and I will do the time. They say those who stand by you in the bad times, deserve to be with you in the good times. Good times are coming and I look forward to it. I also want to thank those select few in the SDNY District Court and NYSPT for treating me with dignity and respect.


18896-1sz9qf2Of course, no year is wasted in Bitcoin and I’ve made the best of house arrest. From consulting for Payza, and others to piloting Bitcoin payments at Holidy Inn Hotels and other companies. I’ve made many speeches, some over skype and some in person. I even had a ShremBot take my place! I’ve met with dozens of VC’s and offered free advice to hundreds of companies, got to spend time with friends, throw parties and enjoy time with the love of my life. Making the best of house arrest requires some creativity, like hiring a Jazz Duo to serenade us on Valentines Day (bonus points because I even got to pay in Bitcoin)



Overall I’m content with my relatively short sentence and ready to move on.

Lewisburg Camp seems like a nice place, it offers outstanding recreational facilities including a walking track; a basketball court; softball fields and exercise equipment.

I will have access to limited email, mail and the ability to speak to the outside world while I’m inside. Here are a few ways to get in touch.

While inside, I’d love emails, letters, books, and magazines! Everything helps.

In Liberty,

Charlie Shrem



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Things you can buy with Bitcoin: A jazz duo at your apartment on Valentines Day

Being under house arrest has its advantages and disadvantages. I have a direct line to the DOJ and US Marshals on my right ankle and if I were to be in trouble they’d come running.

2015-01-07 14.15.56

On the other hand, being stuck home on Valentines day can be annoying, so coming up with ideas other than the usual dinner and a movie requires some creativity. Further, I’m always up to the challenge of trying to pay in Bitcoin!

I contacted the folks at on Friday to see if they can help. After finding the perfect duo to serenade my girlfriend and I, they asked me to pay via Venmo.

Venmo is instant and free only if you add a bank account. I tried doing this but an error told me there would be a 2-4 day delay for them to verify my account.

No problem, they have a credit card option but when I tried adding mine, the notification said there is a 3% fee for me. Renting a private musical act is not cheap, and 3% added fee is pretty damn high.

I sent them an email and explained that by accepting Bitcoin via there is no fee and no currency risk if they instantly sell the BTC. I explained that unlike what they read in the press, Bitcoin is 2 things. Bitcoin is a global, instant and free payment system while bitcoin is a unit of value (notice the capitalization differences)

After a few back and forth emails they were set up with Coinbase and emailed me an invoice which I promptly paid. By chance they hadn’t sold their BTC yet and with an overnight price bump they made an extra $20.

2015-02-14 19.45.53


Around 7pm a trombone and melodica duo showed up at my FiDi apartment and serenaded with:

– My Girl, The Temptations
– John Legend, All of Me
– Nat King Cole, I Love You For Sentimental Reasons
Thanks again to the folks at for making this happen!



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