Charlie Shrem Does AMA from Federal Prison in Pennsylvania

Almost a year ago, Bitcoin advocate, entrepreneur, former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and the founder of the Bitcoin exchange Bitinstant, Charlie Shrem was sentenced to two years in prison for indirectly helping to send $1 million in the digital currency to the Internet black-market bazaar Silk Road.

“I screwed up. The bitcoin community, they’re scared and there is no money laundering going on any more. They’re terrified. Bitcoin is my baby, it’s my whole world and my whole life, it’s what I was put on this earth to do. I need to be out there. If your honor grants me that, I can be out there in the world, making sure that people don’t do the same stupid things that I did,” said Mr. Shrem to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.

“[Shrem] was knowingly, willfully, and to some extent excitedly, even passionately involved in activity that he knew was a serious violation of the law and that was promoting the evil business of trafficking in drugs,” Judge Rakoff commented.

However, Shrem stays in touch with the community and helds an AMA from Lewisburg Federal Prison Camp in Pennsylvania. He wrote at

Hi Everyone,

I’m Charlie Shrem, Bitcoin pioneer, founder of Bitinstant, and currently serving time in federal prison for “operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering conspiracy and willfully failing to file suspicious activity reports with banking authorities.”

Formal Complaint

I’ll be conducting this AMA using the federal prison email system.

The system automatically delays incoming and outgoing messages by 90 minutes, so the absolute earliest I can reply to each question would be three hours.

I will be at my computer answering these questions every weekday from 1:30 – 3:30pm EST, and nearly all day on the weekends.

Obviously I’m not writing all of this directly myself, but direct quotes

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