Shrem was charged in January following an investigation into Silk Road
Technology always seems to lead us in some dark corners while also showing us the light to future. When we first heard about the bitcoin, we were genuinely impressed with the idea but at the same time we had been expecting something of this sort to happen sooner or later. Charlie Shrem, an outspoken supporter of bitcoins, has been sentenced to prison for years on Friday.
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He is accused of indirectly helping to send $1 million in the digital currency to the Internet black-market bazaar Silk Road. Apart from serving his time in prison, the former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation has also been ordered by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan to forfeit $950,000 after pleading guilty in September. This was for being involved in aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmitting business.
According to judge Rakoff, Shrem can’t be thought of as "some kid making a one-time mistake," but he has "excitedly" been participating in a novel crime involving bitcoins that contributed to drugs sales. He further said that "The very innovativeness of it made it a danger to controlling drug trafficking.” He is now ordered to serve five years in prison and the court's probation office had recommended a 57-month term. In an argument for the probation, his lawyer has been saying that the bitcoin community has already received the message loud and clear.
"No one is doing this anymore," Shrem told Rakoff. "There's no more money laundering. They're terrified." The bitcoin evangelist has been charged back in January when an investigation was carried out into Silk Road which an online marketplace that accepted bitcoin for illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services which have been seized by the US authorities since October 2013.
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