Did Charlie get lucky or is this the missing 5,000 Bitcoins ($32 million)? – This is the question on both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and other crypto-enthusiasts minds. Could this be luck or scam?
Charlie Shrem, Bitcoin’s first felon, was the mentor of the Winklevoss twins in the early days of cryptocurrency. Being a big shot in cryptocurrency at the time, Tyler and Cameron looked up to him for guidance in a field they intend to dive in. This reputation made them seek the help of Mr. Shrem in the purchase of $750,000 worth of Bitcoin.
Well, your guess is as good as mine – the partnership didn’t go as planned.
A month later, the supposed crypto-mentor (Charlie Shrem) delivered some part of the deal leaving out over 5,000 Bitcoins unaccounted for. The twin brothers tried on several counts to get the missing Bitcoins back but their efforts were without success. With frustration over the suspected scam, they got their so-called mentor to sign that he owes them 5,000 Bitcoins. Fortunately for the twins and unfortunately for Mr. Shrem, he appended his signature.
Yes, fortunately for the twins because that is admissible in court as proof. On the other hand, it is unfortunate for Mr. Shrem because there is no denying it now.
Back to the story – owing to this bridge of trust and a vote of no confidence in the managerial skill of Mr. Shrem – the twins parted ways with him and had nothing to do with him until recently. Fast forward a few years later, Mr. Charlie Shrem was sentenced to one-year imprisonment for willing aiding the purchase of drug online using Bitcoins. This made him Bitcoin’s first felon.
Upon completion of his jail time, he was discharged from prison in 2016. Mr. Shrem came out a changed man and he has been struggling to maintain a good reputation as a law abiding citizen since then.
This hasn’t been an easy battle so far as Mr. Shrem has been involved in two crypto-related ventures that couldn’t pull through with their promises; hence they had to return the invested money to the investors. And things aren’t getting any easier as the Winklevoss twins (who, in the meantime, became prominent crypto figures) have decided to revisit the old ‘missing Bitcoins’ case because they suspect that Mr. Shrem had willfully withheld the missing Bitcoins to sell at a later date and that suspicion is backed by the fact that Mr. Shrem admitted to having nothing on him in 2016 when he got out of prison but has recently bought two powerboats, two Maseratis, and different real estate (among which is a $2 million house in Florida).
How did he get such amount of money? Could it be luck or the 5,000 missing Bitcoins? This is the question we expect the court to dig into during the case.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shrem, who has been trying to pick up from where he left since 2016, now has a new venture by the name Crypto.IQ, which is holding a conference this month in Las Vegas. With his already-tinted reputation at stake, Charlie Shrem is prepared to defend his newly acquired wealth with whatever evidence possible.
It could be luck after all. We have seen underdogs come back to win the race but this is a ridiculously long shot for someone who came out from prison with nothing and hasn’t made much success crypto-wise since then. But what do I know! Let the court decide!