BITCOIN Exchange CEO ARRESTED for Money Laundering SILK ROAD Drug Site

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BITCOIN Exchange CEO ARRESTED for Money Laundering SILK ROAD Drug Site

Charlie Shrem, a prominent member of the Bitcoin community who was arrested for money laundering yesterday, has resigned his position as vice chairman of the virtual currency trade organization The Bitcoin Foundation.

Shrem is accused of supporting an illicit Bitcoin exchange for users of Silk Road, the underground marketplace best known for illegal drugs. Shrems company, BitInstant, provided temporary credit in order to speed up transactions in the virtual currency, which can take up to a few days using other services. The criminal complaint, filed in a New York federal court, alleges that Shrem knowingly sold bitcoins to Robert Faiella, who then sold them at a markup on the Silk Road forums.

It has been mutually decided that Charlie Shrem resign from the Board of Directors, effective immediately.

As a foundation, we need to remain focused on our core mission to standardize, protect, and promote the Bitcoin core protocol, director Jon Matonis said in a statement. While Charlie has contributed a great deal of personal effort and resources to enhance the adoption of Bitcoin worldwide, a prolonged legal dispute would inevitably detract from advancing that core mission. Therefore, in order to focus on his pending trial, it has been mutually decided that Charlie Shrem resign from the Board of Directors, effective immediately. The Board accepted that resignation today.

Shrem was a frequent public speaker on the subject of Bitcoin, coordinated a Manhattan meetup of Bitcoin enthusiasts, and owns a bar in Midtown Manhattan that accepts the virtual currency. He and Faiella are being charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years. Shrem is also being charged with one count of willful failure to file a suspicious activity report, which carries an additional five years.

New York plans to create regulations that will guide virtual currency firms that operate in the state, possibly requiring them to hold a BitLicense, the states top banking regulator said Tuesday, one day after a major arrest in the bitcoin universe.

Benjamin Lawsky, New Yorks Superintendent of Financial Services, said such regulatory guidelines would seek to bar misconduct like money laundering while not cornering in booming cryptocurrency technology. His comments came during the start of hearings this week – organized by the New York Department of Financial Services – on the future of online currencies.

When Ron Paul invited me to testify in Congress in 2012 on the topic of parallel currencies, the idea was still perceived as rather eccentric. I pointed out that most people in the world were already using multiple currencies, usually a domestic junk fiat currency such as the Peruvian nuevo sol, and an international currency like the dollar or euro.
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Since then, Bitcoin has awakened people worldwide to the fact that Ron Paul and I have known for years: that governments dont have a monopoly on currency creation, and that you can have a great many non-government currencies if you want.
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Bitcoin has already led to a phalanx of imitators: at last count, there were 83 crypto-currencies in the Bitcoin model. One of them is even called RonPaulCoin. Some people are already experimenting with grafting the Bitcoin platform to gold, producing an independent gold-based currency.

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