Following Arrest, BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem Resigns From Bitcoin Foundation

The foundation where Shrem served as vice chairman said a prolonged trial would detract from its mission to improve Bitcoin adoption.

Following Arrest, BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem Resigns From Bitcoin Foundation
[Image: Flickr user antanacoins]

The day after BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem was arrested on money-laundering charges, the 24-year-old has resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation, where he was a founding member and had served as vice chairman since 2012.

On Monday, authorities arrested Shrem at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City in connection with a scheme that involved the selling of $1 million in Bitcoins on Silk Road, an online black market for illegal drugs, with 52-year-old Robert Faiella from Cape Coral, Fla. Shrem, who claims to have a net worth of $6 million, is currently under house arrest on $1 million bond. Jinyoung Englund, Bitcoin Foundation’s director of public affairs, said Shrem submitted his letter of resignation to the board of directors Tuesday morning.

“As a foundation, we need to remain focused on our core mission to standardize, protect, and promote the Bitcoin core protocol,” said Bitcoin Foundation executive director Jon Matonis in a statement provided to Fast Company. “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, effectively immediately. The Board accepted that resignation today.”

The foundation emphasizes that the indictment isn’t a lob at the virtual currency or its greater community and that it will continue to work on standardizing tech infrastructure to facilitate Bitcoin’s adoption.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.