Charlie Shrem, Bitcoin trader, start-upper and entrepreneur, was sentenced to two-years in prison for having indirectly helped people swap their fiat-money into Bitcoins and use them on the closed down Silk Road, which dealt with illegal drugs and other substances.
The first silk road was closed down in 2013 by the FBI, where they confiscated millions worth of Bitcoins as well as gathered intelligence towards who were behind the site. Not long after Silk Road version 2.0 opened up and continued in the same way that the original did, but it was for the first Silk Road that Shrem got convicted.
Shrem had traded $1 million worth of money for Bitcoins on the site, which he has to forfeit to the US government and also go to prison for two years, despite not having done anything illegally per se in the case, as he didn’t deal any drugs nor bought them.
The Judge was not impressed with Shrem in the case, saying that he wasn’t a kid who made a mistake, but that he had gone into the trading on Silk Road with excitement and helped Robert Faiella create the exchange on the site.
Shrem has been a popular face in the Bitcoin community, having always been a good advocate for the cryptocurrency and also had a spot in the Bitcoin Foundation’s board – A spot he has now resigned from. Shrem was looking at 57 months in prison, but got it down to 24 months as he still managed to convince the judge that he was interested in the Bitcoins and not in Silk Road itself.