Joel: Momma always said crypto’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get, and today, we’re not sure what we gonna get as we invite Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem to the show. Bubba, what can you do with Shrem?
Travis: You can barbecue Shrem, boil Shrem, broil Shrem, bake Shrem, sautee Shrem. There’s a Shrem kebabs. Shrem Creole, Shrem Gumbo, Pan Fried Shrem, deep fried Shrem. Stir Fried Shrem. There’s pineapple Shrem, lemon Shrem, coconut Shrem, pepper Shrem, Shrem soup, Shrem stew, Shrem salad, Shrem and potatoes, Shrem Burger, Shrem sandwich, and you can even imprison Shrem.
Joel: Well that’s a lot of ways to Shrem. You can even talk to one like we gonna to do today, Bubba.
Travis: I reckon we can on episode 150 of the Bad Crypto Podcast.
Joel: And welcome to the Shrem crypto pod… Wait, I mean the Bad Crypto Podcast because you could Shrem a podcast too.
Travis: The bad Shremto podcast?
Joel: So many ways to Shrem, and we’ve got Charlie Shrem for you today. Charlie is the founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, has been in the crypto space since 2011. Has some incredible stories to tell about the early days of Crypto, doing time in prison and how he is now adding value to the crypto community. This is a great interview and he is. He’s a lot of fun.
Travis: Yeah. And you know, he had had one of the largest exchanges crypto exchanges at the time and regulation sort of thwarted him because of one bad player, one of his 30,000 customers did something bad, and he got blamed for it and total bummer deal that happened to him. But this is a great interview today with Charlie Shrem. Really had the pleasure of doing that. And this is a monumental episode guys. This is episode 150 of our regular show. So on those, on those big fifties. And on those 100th episodes, we want to make sure we’re bringing you some serious thunder, and who better than Charlie Shrem to come on and tell you his epic tale…
Joel: His tale of crypto woe.
Joel: It’s gonna be great interview. Also, before we get started into that, wanna give a shout out to our sponsors. You guys know that we are not financial advisors, never have been, never would be, but there are people in the space that do give advice about ICOs and blockchain development, and that’s where our sponsor new alchemy comes in. Hopefully by now you’ve checked them out at These guys are a blockchain strategy and technology group specializing in ICO services. They’ve got strategic partnerships with a FINRA-licensed broker dealer in Toro Capital. They work with those guys to offer integrated solutions for blockchain securities in Toro’s technology-enabled investment bank and broker dealer services combined with new alchemy’s blockchain technology in advisory services is game changing for companies wanting to issue tokens in a regulated securities environment to get the website, please go check them out.
Travis: And now let’s check Charlie Shrem out.
Joel: You know, Bitcoin is just not that old. I mean, when you think about Bitcoin where it’s less than 10, it’s not even double digits yet in its age. This thing is not even an adolescent, and yet there are people who we would consider the elders of the crypto world, people that got started really early, and we are privileged to have one with us today. One such pioneer, Charlie Shrem. His actual name is Charles Shrem the IV. That’s the fourth. He’s an American entrepreneur. He is a Bitcoin advocate, and he’s a convicted felon. That’s from the Wikipedia. He started BitInstant, which was one of the top exchanges back in 2011 and in December 2014, he got two years in prison for aiding and abetting in the Silk Road debacle, and he is now out and about. He is a, he’s director of business at community development with Jaxx, those wallet people, and he has a crypto advisory called Crypto.IQ, and he’s here right now. Charlie Shrem. How you doing Charlie?
Charlie: Good. How are you?
Joel: We are good. Thanks for for joining us on Bad Crypto. We do appreciate it.
Charlie: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Joel: So let’s, let’s set the wayback machine way back because you were in Bitcoin very early. How did you first become aware of this cryptocurrency thing and get involved?
Charlie: Well, it was a dark and stormy night in Brooklyn, New York.
Joel: Do we need to add sound effects here?
Charlie: And I think it was around 2, 3 in the morning, and I was hanging out. This was around 2011, early 2011. I was hanging out in my local IRC chat rooms that I frequently frequented.
Joel: This is like film noir — and a dame walked in.
Charlie: For my social capacities in the skills in the IRC chat rooms. For those that don’t know, that’s the internet relay chat for those weirdos who, who didn’t like to go in other messengers, they’re back in the day stuff. And IRC is making a comeback. IRC is definitely going to come back one of these days like Tamagotchis and jean jackets .
Anyway, so I was in a chat room and someone came in there, and we were chatting and you know, someone mentioned this Bitcoin thing, and I forgot it. I don’t know who it was, and it just kind of created a conversation with just the six or seven of us, and he’s like, download this software or whatever, and I ran it on the computer, which you should never download software from an IRC chat room. And I was like, alright, so what’s, what’s the big deal about this? This is just like a downloadable version of PayPal. And he explained to me that instead of PayPal and maintaining like the database in the ledger when he sent me, he sent me like 20 or 30,000, Bitcoin just as a test, which is a lot of money now instead of, instead of updating just on like a central ledger and updated on the, you know, I opened up the data file and I opened up the actual blockchain. I ran a local block explorer. And not only that, an update on my block explorer in my database, local one on my computer, real time. Not only did update on his but updated on the other guys’ in the chat room, all theirs. They don’t update it on theirs. So it was like, whoa, like this is, this is a database that one person can’t control or change. So it’s kind of like, look in the future there’s so many different applications of this. And I immediately fell down the rabbit hole of Bitcoin.
Travis: Definitely quite a rabbit hole. I mean I jumped on back in. I found out about it from some message board as well. I’m a, I live in Kansas City as somebody talked about it and I downloaded the whole thing as well, and then it just ran on my laptop. It’s like it almost killed my laptop, and then I mined a block and I thought that was pretty cool. But then like, then my computer crashed out. I threw it threw my computer away, got all my files off except my Bitcoin. But, so early on experiences, like it’s really cool, but like, wow, this is really interesting. But blockchain hadn’t hit me yet. I didn’t fully understand that
Charlie: Bitcoin cool part. It wasn’t really blockchain. But back then when you ran, when you ran, I forgot what, when you run Bitcoin-QT, which was what it was when you ran that you were actually mining too. Nowadays the mining I think is turned off by default because you can’t really mine on your computer anymore. In fact when you download the software, you’re mining on your computer.
Travis: You were mentioning how the Bitcoin mining equipment was separate from the.
Charlie: So what I was saying is, like when you downloaded the software back then we downloaded the, that was available on You were also mining by default. Nowadays, that doesn’t happen anymore. So you were running, you would say like every few minutes your balance will go up by like a few Bitcoin because. And you could join the mining pool back then, like I remember like Alice coin or whatever. And I was mining like 15, 20 Bitcoins a day.
Travis: That’s amazing. And then you started out getting like 20 or 30,000 from that random dude. I was like, Nah,
Charlie: I threw it away. I don’t even know what happened to that.
Travis: That’s so crazy. So, so tell us a little bit about BitInstant. So you, you were, you were in Bitcoins that hey, this is really interesting, and I know that Bitcoin up at one time, you know, managed upwards of 30 percent of all Bitcoin transactions. So like that’s like way more than Binance. That’s way more than, you know, a Genesis with the… I mean that’s crazy.
Charlie: So what happened was there was only one place to really buy Bitcoin back then there was Mt. Gox that was the only place to like buy any significant amount of Bitcoin. And it was difficult because you have to wire money to their bank account in, in Japan and most people didn’t want to do that and the time delay was like a week or two and your banks wouldn’t be pissed off at you were wiring money. And so it stemmed from me wanting to buy Bitcoin, but why don’t we make like a little service? And it wasn’t supposed to be a company at the time. I was in college, and I had another startup that I was running. It was like a side project and a side project was let’s start this project where we could do and we literally called it fast Mt. Gox that was the original name, BitInstant was fast. Mt. Gox pay or something like that. Yeah, fast. Mt. Gox pay. The whole concept was I’ll send a wire transfer to Mt. Gox for like 10 grand and you can deposit money into my bank account here. And then the script it automatically transfered the money from my Mt. Gox account to your Mt. Gox account. And I take three percent fee.
Travis: Nice deal. And you guys, you managed a lot of transactions.
Charlie: Well, so it grew, it grew very quickly. We hit capital and realize there’s a huge demand for people that wanted to buy a Bitcoin. So the 10,000 a month didn’t cut it. We’re doing 10,000 a day almost. So we raised money, venture capital twice, but eventually BitInstant came to life as being like the first retail exchange, kind of like pre coinbase where people can buy Bitcoin within a few minutes.
Travis: You had a physical location. Right. Didn’t you have like a place there in New York.
Charlie: We had an office but most people would actually. We had to deal with all the banks and we have deals with Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade, where all those locations have MoneyGram and Western Union and you could, you could walk in deposit money at the MoneyGram and instantly, literally within like five minutes you’d have your Bitcoin. We were in over10,000 locations in the US.
Travis: That was really impressive to be doing that at such an early time in, in the infancy of crypto.
Charlie: Yep.
Joel: So we. We’ve had it before. We had John Stossel on the show, a investigative reporter and talk a little bit about Silk Road and what happened with that, but being very close up and intimate to it because you actually ended up doing time in prison as a result. Kind of layout what the Silk Road was and what went down.
Charlie: Silk Road back then was a site where you can buy a plethora of things. It was pretty much you can buy anything you want. There was a decentralized version of Ebay, except Ebay has certain rules of what you can buy and sell stuff. So obviously you had a lot of nefarious things like drugs and whatever. And so with me we had with BitInstant we did, we had 300,000 transactions a year, made over 30,000 customers. With BitInstant we had one customer who was buying Bitcoin from us and then taking that Bitcoin and then going on Silk Road and advertising, selling Bitcoin and then he’d go and sell that Bitcoin to someone else. And because he bought the Bitcoin from me, I knew about it and allowed him to do it, enabled him, I got in trouble as well.
Travis: That’s such a bogus thing because you didn’t, you know, to me like I’ve seen, you know, the documentary “Banking on Bitcoin.” I’m familiar with your story. To me it’s like every time I hear the stories, I’m just, I’m so incredulous about this because I can’t believe how bad you got hosed on this deal. You had 30,000 customers. One customer did something bad, but because that one customer did something bad, that’s your fault.
Charlie: It is what it is. I uh, I was guilty of the crime that I committed. I served my time and I moved on from it. I became a better person.
Travis: So I guess my question would be is like, is there any hope for Ross Ulbricht? Is He, does he have any like, glimmer of hope? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for this guy because it seems to me like he got thrown under harder than anybody’s ever gotten thrown under and you know, it seems to me that it’s going to be harder to get out.
Charlie: It’s tough. I was going through my own legal situation while he was going through his, so I didn’t pay as much attention to his case. I’m really familiar with it, but not to the extent as other people are. It’s a huge rabbit hole. Apparently, but I would say that in the current administration and the current, everything, I don’t see any light at this point in time for him.
Joel: Yeah. The story. I think it was just back in February that I’m. Justice basically said, uh, you don’t even get to appeal this, and that they weren’t going to reopen the case. They blocked any efforts that he had. So, who knows. Anything’s possible, you know, we need to have his mom here on the show sometime in the not too distant future talk about this because she’s leading a team to appeal that. But we’re glad that you got out in what, you know, Kinda what was it like there for two years was a country club prison? Was it? What was it like?
Charlie: I’m writing a series ight now on my website and, and it’s called A Geek in Prison, and I currently published I think seven parts and you can follow my Twitter, and you can read those and I have gone into detail about what it was like and, but there is no such thing as a country club prison anymore. They, they revamped the whole system in the 90s. What you do is you have different security levels based on your crime and who you are and like your violence level essentially. So there’s camps, minimums, mediums, maximums and supermax and I was in what’s called a camp, which is basically a minimum security prison with no fences. And that’s because everyone was in a camp only has five years or 10 years or less. So there’s really no incentive for them to run even though some people did. Because why would you run and get an automatic five years added to your sentence when you have less than 10 years left. Other than that it was pretty much the same as any other prison that you’d seen on a TV show or whatever. Like a “Orange is the New Black,” I would say that most of you got to deal with the politics and the bullshit and the people and all the crap and and all that other stuff.
Travis: Speaking about politics and bullshit Bitlicense. Right? So that thing popped up in, in New York City, sort of as a, you know, to counter to BitInstant some of the stuff that’s going on. And my thoughts on this Charlie, I’ve always been, look, you can’t overregulate stuff in America because innovation will get squashed and then, you know, so crypto and Bitcoin from my perspective in New York, I don’t live in New York, but it seems like that, you know, once they’ve created this bitlicense then that sort of killed innovation and companies left New York. They just weren’t going to do business in New York. And I think we’re seeing a little bit of that in America where a lot of these people who are starting ICOs as they’re leaving America. And so maybe talk about innovation and how bit licensed sort of impacted that in the New York area.
Charlie: So the biggest people that benefit from regulations are the biggest companies. There is a reason that there’s very few, there’s very little competition in the banking sector and very little innovation in the financial technology sector. And the reason that is, is because they’re the only companies that can afford the regulations because they’re so expensive to maintain compliance. So we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars are the biggest companies, so the small startups can’t afford to do it. So, I hate to say it, but the bigger Bitcoin companies, blockchain companies now in New York, and I don’t want to name names, but the bigger ones are the ones that actually lobbied for the regulations, for the bitlicense because they’re the only ones that can comply with it. And it forced their competition to leave. And that’s what happened. That’s what’s happening in the United States as well.
Joel: You know, Bitcoin, you’ve seen all of the ups and downs. So literally all the fluctuations, all the pull backs, you know, when Bitcoin goes way up and then drops 80 percent or 60 percent or whatever. And of course that’s happened here this year, you tweeted in May 2018 will be the last time we ever see Bitcoin under $10,000. And that one didn’t end up being exactly true. We’re sitting at around 6,500 right now here in July, 2018. So kind of give us your analysis of the market and what you think, you know, how far, how much lower can we go? How much lower do you think we can go, and what’s it gonna take for the next run?
Charlie: You really have to get to a point where a price sits in a very low standard deviation for a significant amount of time. Whatever that level is. I’m not sure whether it’s 4,000, 5,000, 6,000, 7,000, 8,000, $3,000. I don’t know. What has to happen is it has to sit in chopped to a point where it’s so sideways and people get so frustrated by the lack of movement. Then by that point you, you form a baseline. If you look at the last time this happened, now the last bubble, it happened in 2014, 2015. It was a very long one. It was like almost two years previously before that, there’s five or six other bubbles and bursts. I’ve seen it was less six to eight months, you know, like what we’re in now, so we could be at the end of it or we cannot be, you know, I just don’t know. I hope it’s not as long as two years, but people have to get their mindset that it could be, the best thing you can do is if you’re holding any crypto, hold it now if you’re wanting to buy more cost average in. We have some really good articles on Crypto.IQ, my educational firm where we have articles written about how to cost average and our company, our crypto advisory, an educational forum. We don’t talk about like pump and dumps, we’re not short term gains, it’s how to build a crypto portfolio and have wealth preservation. Not to maintain it through the bubble burst. And so a lot of people, we don’t lose subscribers. Now our retention rate is really high because our members are in it for the long term. And so that’s why. That’s what I tell people.
Joel: The website is Crypto.IQ. You guys can actually download a free guide about Bitcoin and investing in it right there. Let me, I want to go back to that question for just a moment though. And you know, do you think that it is, that we’re awaiting regulation before things start moving again? I’m trying to figure out. There was never so much hype about Bitcoin as there was in this last run, right? November, December, January. The media was all over it, and now there’s got to be people out there that think that Bitcoin, you know, well, it didn’t work right because they’re not hearing about it in the news anymore. So what’s it going to take? I think the media is going to drive that next bull run, but what’s the subject? Is it going to be a regulation?
Charlie: I don’t know. Right now in the last bull run, I would say almost every American and like the global population has now heard about Bitcoin. They’ve heard about Bitcoin, they know about cryptocurrency. You can’t. It’s very hard to meet a person that doesn’t know what cryptocurrency is now. It’s almost impossible like every person you talked to who knows what it is because they’ve heard about it. Did they buy into it? Maybe. Maybe not. These people saw the bubbles. They saw the burst. They saw everything that happened, so now it comes to the point where it’s a lot easier for the next bull run to happen because now we have crypto people. The space has gotten bigger. Industries are still growing and so the next, the next bull run. Let’s see what happens. I mean, I don’t know.
Travis: I mean we have Bad Crypto now. I mean that’s totally going to help the bull runs I think. So I love this quote you said before, you said Bitcoin is a brotherhood, that’s what keeps me involved. You’re changing the world and you know that other people are doing it with you. And that’s one of the things that I think is so powerful about this is that most of the people that Joel and I have met in this space, they seem to be very altruistic. They seem to be idealistic and want to make the world a better place. A lot of them are doing that. One of the reasons we started Bad Crypto Charlie is to really help the masses understand how crypto works. Then also make it fun and make it interesting and entertaining because most of it’s very dry. There’s not a lot of laughs in crypto. So we wanted to kind of change that. So I love that, uh, this sort of altruistic, you know, sort of point of view. So maybe you could maybe touch base on, on how we are all maybe or how you think we’re all maybe making the world a better place.
Charlie: Yeah. Crypto is very much a family, and I’ll be honest with you, when we first, when it first came out, you know, back then it was, it was a much bigger family and it was more like higher quality of people because the people that were getting involved weren’t getting involved in it for the money because there was no money in it back then. Let’s be honest. It’s just socio economics, right? I mean, as something grows, you’re not going to have the quality of people grow in tandem with the population growth. It’s just not the way. It’s just not the way physics and economics works. It just doesn’t work that way. I kind of know that. I know that I’m not like mad about it because it’s kind of something that’s known already, but at least at this point in 2008, where are you at 2018? I can still choose to surround myself with the people that I want to surround myself with and, I’m lucky I’m fortunate that I’m in a position to not surround myself or to not do business with and to not hang out with people that I don’t want to in the crypto space. And that’s really great. So like, you know, when we jumped on this podcast, you heard laughing in the background, like my team is very much a family and we keep it that way. And we have the ability to do that and so as long as we can maintain that and grow that and we all work really, really hard and we all do fantastic. The quality of our work and, and uh, and all the other stuff is just, it works out, you know? But we’ve had people come in here that want to do business with us. We’ve had people that have emailed us. It’s just like, no, you are scammers and liars, and you have people that are just clearly in it for the money. And there’s no, you got to look at it like, I have this term that I kind of use internally that I actually, Cathy, you have to write this down, a crypto buyer loyalty, right? Or crypto loyalty factor, crypto, loyalty factor’s CLF. And you have to look at what’s a person’s crypto loyalty factor, right? Which means is why are they involved in it and when things go bad, what’s the percentage that they’ll actually stick around or move on to the next thing. And you look at the person’s history and what have they been involved with before? Did they just kind of like jump around from one sector to another? A Tai Lopez and, and James Altucher are the perfect example. Their factor score is one or zero because as soon as things go bad, as soon as things go down, they jumped back and they leave. And I was, I was putting like a chat room with Tai Lopez and I’m sure he’s a great guy, guys like, I’m not to, I’m not going to contribute. I’m not going to contribute to this chat room anymore. I feel my content is going to steal my content into. I don’t trust them. I don’t know. I mean I don’t want to throw myself with that person anymore. So the good thing about these bear markets is that all these people leave.
Joel: So can you validate that Cathy wrote that down. Can you send her over here to write some things
Charlie: Cathy follows me around with a tape recorder and we have a full time transcriber. Someone who literally. Her job is to transcribe everything that you say
Travis: And you know, that’s one of the things I think Charlie, is that you know, a lot of people and I liked that Crypto, you know? What was it, the crypto life factor, what was it? What’d you say? Loyalty. Is that a crypto loyalty factor? It seems. It seems to me that once people. Yeah. When people understand fiat currency, once people understand the Federal Reserve banking and central banking system, once people understand fractional reserve banking, once people understand how the Federal Reserve Bank was set up along with the IRS and how it was set up as pretty much the biggest wealth draining sort of scam in the history of humanity potentially. And you understand how central banking works. Then you go, wow, crypto obviously is the best case scenario. And then when you realize for me as the journey, for me it was like, oh wow, we used to have shells and feathers as money. And then king said, nope, we’re going to make these, these metals that silver and gold these, and we’re printing them, and if you don’t pay us in taxes in these, and we’re going to arrest you or kill you. Right? And it’s like the power of money throughout the history of time is a very interesting. And then knowing that we’re in this five g world where we’re five g’s coming in 18 months or so and, and the 30 gigabyte connections on our phones and on our computers and everything else that’s connected to the Internet, you know, so fast. And why would we want to go to the banks? Why would we want to have the old banking system in a world that’s going to be so fast? It doesn’t make sense that the traditional banking world is what it is. I think the traditional banking world has to evolve in some ways. And so I think once people understand that and they, once they wrap their head around all of that and then understand blockchain and then understand crypto, how could you leave crypto then?
Charlie: Because they don’t care, they’re in it for the money, for the short term money. They’re not in it for the real reasons. They don’t view, you know, a good way to test someone’s crypto loyalty factor is to ask them if they know what a blockchain is. And Tai Lopez couldn’t
Joel: Travis: I thought your clf perhaps was slipping, but actually I think you just increased a 10th of a point right there
Charlie: You guys, your points are high because look at what you do, you know, you do your Bad Crypto podcast, there’s a reason you do that. And the, the amount of education, anything involved in education, that’s why I jumped into education too, anything involved in like education and entertainment. You guys are very entertaining, is really high and it’s. And it’s, you know, you’ll be around for a long time.
Joel: That’s awesome. I want to be around for a long time, and do the show with Travis: because we, we, we, we love doing this. This, this crypto is, is fun and shut up Travis:, you’re crippled. Loyalty factor just dropped a 10th of a percent. So let’s talk about how you’re bringing education. You mentioned your site earlier in your team. Crypto.Iq is a, a redirect that takes people to Crypto.IQ. Tell us about the site, what you’re doing for the community and in how people get involved.
Charlie: When we started, we wanted to create a, a research company, and we put out a newsletter once a month, a nice high quality printable, 20-page newsletter where we have exclusive interviews with all my friends, you know. So the last newsletter I will talk about privacy. So we had a, a great interview with Ricardo, from Monero and we do themes, you know, one of our next newsletter themes is going to be the path to decentralization which talks about different projects and which ones are actually centralized, decentralized or which ones are kind of on the path to decentralization. And we make it where no matter what your level of involvement in Crypto is, you’ll understand what we’re talking about. And if we use a difficult word, we have a glossary in the back. Let me have different sections like the control f section, which is basically who no one actually reads white papers. What I do is I just control f, which is I find, and I look for keywords of certain words in the white paper and I read those sections. So we have like what you should, which parts of the white paper you should be, you should be reading but not only the newsletter but we put out research reports once or twice a week. We have daily trading signals on your crypto portfolio and we have our model token portfolio, what my portfolio looks like. Then we have a private member groups, our facebook group and our discord or rooms that you can talk to all the other members. And we wanted to keep it at a very low. We don’t want to be like those, you know, three, $4,000 scam classes and stuff like that. So we kept it at like a $60 a month and for $60 a month it’s not a pump and dump group. So if you’re looking for that, that’s not for us, it’s not what we do. This is wealth preservation and education for cryptocurrency and our content is super, super high quality. If you have a project that you want to invest in or if you have a question, we’ll put out a research report for you for our members and we have that and then we have the higher quality inner circle room which is our more for the, for the active traders or we put out proprietary data on different coins and tokens and we put out things like what’s the long and short ratios of and what’s the trading volume and things like that on different coins and tokens.
Travis: So that website is Crypto.IQ?
Charlie: It’ll will transfer you to the other domain, but it’s just for ease of use. It’s Crypto.IQ.
Travis: So many domain names these days. So fancy. Right on. So let me ask you this then. What are some, what are some other things you know that are, that you’ve been thinking about that. Because our audience is, there’s a lot of new people to the space and we actually help move them from being a newbie into becoming more experienced. And what’s interesting is a lot of people over this year that we’ve done this show now is a lot of people, they’ve gotten into trading, they’ve gotten into mining, they’re doing all kinds of different stuff where we’ve sort of where their gateway drug into the crypto world for a lot of folks. What maybe advice, final words that you would have people who might be getting involved with crypto now or maybe who have gotten involved in the last year and haven’t seen these ups and downs before. Just, you know, them some Shremisms and help guide them along
Charlie: Shremisms…that’s a great.. to use that. Cathy, write that down – Shremisms she’s got it. The religion of Shrem. Yes. But what I would tell people is listen…
Joel: The Book of Shrem
Charlie: The Book of Shrem, that’s a good idea. That’s what I should titled my novel, the Book of Shrem.
Joel: I should follow you around and give you additional. I’d make your ideas better.
Charlie: In prison my nickname was Shrem Life.
Charlie: Well, I tell people is understand why Bitcoin is important. Understanding why we all got into this in the first place. Understand why Satoshi created the white paper. If you understand the why’s then you’ll eventually start to understand the what. When you understand the what, then you’ll have complete faith in the future of this, and it’ll actually make you want to buy more crypto because like this thing is going to be, is going to be epic. And if you’re just in it for the money, that’s okay. You know, like we’re all, we’re all greedy bastards. No, I’m just kidding. We’re all fueled by financial and economic incentives. Let’s be honest. That’s why we do everything we do is for financial incentives, and that’s okay. And it’s human nature. But if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna invest in something and buy something, understand why you’re doing it and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.
Joel: So speaking of Satoshi, do you know who he is or who they are?
Charlie: is definitely not..It’s definitely not Craig Wright.
Joel: (inaudible) like, we’re going to have him on this show. We talk shit on him. We’re just not. We’re not going to have him on Bad Crypto
Charlie: When he first came out, I think I have the recording somewhere. I’ve got to find it. He was trying to get a lot of like old school crypto guys, like on his side for his own to make his, you know, to make people believe that he was Satoshi. So he emailed me, and this was like, I had first gotten out of prison, right. So he emailed me and he goes, Hey Charlie, you like, you know, I’m sure you’ve read about me. I’m a big fan of you trying to stoke my ego a little bit. Can we do a video call? And so I wanted to believe so badly that he was the Satoshi, right. I wanted to, I would, you know, um, so I, I did, uh, I did, uh, two hour Google hangout with him just asking questions but not really scratching the surface much, just like talking and just chatting. And I remember hanging up and saying to my wife like, you know, like this guy could be it like this, this, this guy could be Satoshi, but I think it was more of me wanting him to be Satoshi than he actually was so she being a very smart person that she is, she’s like Charlie, do another one with him and just start to ask some really difficult questions. And so I did that. I did another call with him and I was so dismayed by how aggressive he got with me when he couldn’t answer a question and how he would just repeat the same terms and just frankly shit he made absolutely no sense that I after like an hour and a half, I was like, dude, like you’re a fraud. I’m sorry, like you just, everything you’re saying is just complete and utter bullshit. Like you’re just complete fallacy. But I hung up with him and then he tried to even, he tried to bribe me and he tried to. And I have like the actually have screenshots of the emails. But he emailed me and he’s like, yeah, I want to fly you down to so wherever I’m living, I think it was like Antigua or some shit like that. He’s like, I want to fly you down and I want to pay you a bunch of money to be on my foundation, Blah Blah Blah. And I was like, no thank you. Like I listen like that just got out of jail and I could use the money right now, but I’m not for myself out for your, for your message. So have a nice day. I did. I was really pissed off because it was really insulting to me. It was very insulting that he would come out and just like try to like frankly buy me so, so upfront, like at least at least woo me take me out to dinner first and
Travis: Doesn’t make sense to me how somebody could try to go and bs are you Satoshi because for one you need to have like at least a half a million Bitcoin 2. Would you would know the, you would know the whole blockchain in and out. And then for one, you would have dealt with Hal Finney and Nick Szabo and some of these other guys. And so it seems to me that it’s completely impossible to bs. But then Gavin Andresen or whatever he said that he thought that
Charlie: Craig Gavin was conned. Unfortunately. And it’s a shame because Gavin and I were really good friends, but Gavin fell into… the closer someone was with Sitoshi. The earlier their involvement was like even Roger Ver, you know, the more that you’re involved and how early you were and how much you wanted to be Satoshi, the easier it would be to fall into the con. Con Artists are really good because they find their cons of people who want to be conned. There’s a reason a con artists when they looked for their mark, they look for the type of person that they know are just begging to be conned. Right? And that’s, and that’s a great show called imposters on TV that you should watch that talks about this. But it’s about a con artist lady who literally goes and she finds these men who, who are looking for women and to marry, who are rich and she molds herself into their ideal woman and she marries them to steal all their money. And so that’s kind of like what, what Craig Wright did is a straight up con artists like no doubt about it. And you’ll probably sue me for even saying this on your show.
Joel: You’re badass. So you’ve already been to prison, you know, you did your time. It’s like you’re probably not scared of much anymore
Charlie: But that’s what I mean. That’s what it is, right now, when someone hands me a pen, I just say to myself, what’s the quickest way I can make a shank into this. Just kidding…
Joel: So you told us who you think Satoshi is not, but the question is, do you have a theory on who Satoshi is?
Charlie: No. I think I would say that I think it is probably a group of people. I don’t know if it was one person. I think there was potentially, I think there was a, there were definitely at least one female involved in the Satoshi group for sure. For sure. So I can’t, I can’t tell you why I just, that’s my feeling. I feel like the associate group wasn’t just a bunch of men. Just because of the writings and the style of writings in the way that things were explained, so understandably and it, and it’s not like just things that like Satoshi said like for example, when Dan Larimer was trying to convince the Satoshi something so till she was just like a, if you don’t understand it, I don’t have the time to explain it to you. I’m sorry. I mean that’s something my wife would say to me, but just this is how it was. So I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t think we’ll ever know and I don’t, I don’t honestly, I don’t want to know. Every time there’s an article about who Satoshi is, I kind of cringed because I don’t, I don’t want to know is I don’t want it to come out. I don’t
Joel: You got Shremed, Ladies and gentlemen, you, Charlie Shrem, Crypto.IQ, the website, more links in the show notes. Charlie, thanks so much for spending time with us and sharing your honest story and your thoughts and feelings.
Charlie: Thanks for having me. Pleased. Thank you
Travis: Mom always said you want to have a good podcast. Got To have Charlie Shrem on and Lieutenant Dan. Lt. Dan lost his legs. Oh Man. My son just recently watched Forrest Gump and then he watched the whole thing and he came out and he was crying like so sad. It’s such an emotional movie and like it was so amazing that movie when it came out in 1993 or 94 or something like that 95 and the graphics and the after affects and the, you know, just the, basically putting Forrest Gump in and hanging out with JFK and Nixon and all those guys. I mean that was really an amazing freaking graphics for back in the early, early days of the Internet.
Joel: It was good stuff. You know what else is going to be amazing Mr. Travis right? Is a. He has this for a segue our birthday party. It’s coming up July the 18th. You guys are signing up for tickets. I see them come in every day. It’s a free event. It’s going to be in Denver, Colorado. The evening of July 18th, which is a Wednesday night and just the venue is still to be announced. I’m actually making a phone call today to see if I can secure a place where there is good food and good beverages of both the adult nature and not alcoholic so that you guys can come hang out with us and looking to see if we can get a room where there’s like, you know, a microphone that we can use so we can do a little Bad Crypto live for, for the attendees and we’ll keep you posted. But if you want to go register, it’s free at and we would love for you guys to come party with us.
Travis: That would be fun. We’d love you guys and you know it’s been a year. I mean, it’s so crazy to think about that. It’s been a year when we do that party in two weeks, actually a little bit less than two weeks from now. So if you have not made plans to come and you’ve been thinking about it, why not go ahead and do it? It should be fun. I’m going to drive over, literally going to drive over from Kansas City, which is a rather long drive, but my son recently has got his license. And so he’s going to drive a long way, which is good.
Joel: You’re going to literally drive as a, you know, opposed to philosophically driving over. I’m driving there in my mind driving there
Travis: I’ll probably drive some of it. I don’t think I’ll have him driving in Denver, but I will have him drive the highway because it’s, it’s a pretty long highway and uh, like it’s like nine hour drive or something. But what’s great is I want to listen to some podcasts while we drive. We got, we got an audio book picked out for the road trip. So we’ll road trip with me and my Kiddo
Joel: we stack. And skills, and let’s face it, life is a highway. I want to write it all night long.
Travis: \If y’all go in my way, you better stay bad.
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