Bitcoin is back in the headlines again this week, but for all the wrong reasons. It surfaced yesterday that two operators of bitcoin exchange Coin.mx were being charged by US prosecutors for working without a money transmission license.
This is by no means the first time characters associated to bitcoin have had a brush with the law – the space has certainly witnessed more than its fair share of scams, hacks and deception.
With this in mind, let’s take a trip down memory lane and remind ourselves of some of the more high-profile bitcoin-related court cases.
1. Charlie Shrem: bitcoin’s ‘first’ felon
Back in August 2014, bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.
The former CEO of bitcoin exchange BitInstant violated anti-money laundering duties in his dealings with Robert Faiella, who supplied $1m in digital currency to people buying drugs on the now defunct Silk Road marketplace.
As part of his plea, Shrem agreed to forfeit $950,000 to the US government.
Having been sentenced in December last year, Shrem is currently serving a two-year prison term in Lewisburg Federal Prison Camp, a minimum security prison in