5: The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Bitcoin Giant, Charlie Shrem
November 15, 2016
There was a time; not so long ago, that Bitcoin was just an obscure little diversion for the hardest of the hard-core crypto geeks existing on the fringes of the internet. Out of those recesses rose a quiet young yeshiva student from Brooklyn who would seize upon a unique opportunity, using his own personal experiences and his love of computers to create one of the first successful retail Bitcoin enterprises. His name was Charlie Shrem, and by the time he was 21 years old he was a Bitcoin titan. His startup, BitInstant, allowed ordinary people to easily purchase bitcoins from retailers like 7-11 or Walmart. Within months of starting BitInstant, Charlie was traveling and speaking all over the world about Bitcoin and gaining a reputation as a Bitcoin superstar. But what goes up can also come down. Listen to episode 5 of Wall & Broadcast to learn more about how Charlie rose to prominence and ultimately found himself confronted and detained by federal authorities at JFK Airport.
Bitcoin Historical Pricing: Bitcoin was not always as expensive as it is now. In fact, when it first came out, its value was so low that early Bitcoin enthusiasts would routinely send around 10,000 bitcoins to their friends for the heck of it. Little did they know that 10,000 bitcoins in October of 2010 (valued at a little under $500) would be worth over $10 million in December of 2013. Bitcoin’s rise and subsequent fall and rise again is a story unto itself. For those interested in learning more, here is a chart that displays Bitcoin’s pricing and volume history from July 2010 to Nov 2016:
Charlie Shrem: Charlie is a Bitcoin Pioneer and founder of the Bitcoin Foundation (Vice-Chairman 2012 to 2014). As CEO of BitInstant, one of the earliest and largest Bitcoin companies processing 30% of all Bitcoin/USD volume, Charlie has worked on the protection and promotion of Bitcoin and the Blockchain. Since then, Charlie has developed joint ventures between traditional finance companies and Bitcoin companies such as Payza.com. His film “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival in New York.