Legal Troubles Barely Subdue a Bitcoin Evangelist’s Sermons

charlie-shrem07 Feb 2014 / NY Times – A few weeks before his arrest at Kennedy Airport, Charles Shrem was standing behind the Manhattan bar he invested in with some of his Bitcoin fortune, buzzing about his big plans for the virtual currency and himself.

With the frenetic pace of a sports announcer, Mr. Shrem, the co-founder of a popular website where Bitcoins could be bought using dollars, jumped between his idea for a Bitcoin debit card; his recent conversations with the owners of a private jet company who wanted to take payment in Bitcoin; his goal of unifying the country’s money transfer laws; and his travel plans to just about every corner of the world, including the trip to Amsterdam he was returning from when he was arrested last week.

“Bitcoin really allows you to have such a global life — it allows you to be able to move anywhere within days if you want to,” the scruffily bearded Mr. Shrem said, standing in front of the sign announcing that the bar, EVR, would accept Bitcoin.

These days, though, Mr. Shrem’s exploits in Bitcoin have him restricted to his parents’ home in Brooklyn, where he awaits trial on federal charges that he smoothed the way for drug transactions online. Mr. Shrem was also accused of buying marijuana himself. He has pleaded not guilty…. Read more

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