Charlie Shrem, the CEO of Bitcoin exchange site BitInstant, was arrested earlier today and charged with money laundering.
Among other things, Shrem serves as vice chairman for the Bitcoin Foundation, the unofficial custodian for the digital currency.
This afternoon the Foundation, which is based in California, released the following statement:
“We are surprised and shocked by the news today. As a foundation, we take these allegations seriously and do not condone illegal activity.
“The Board was hit with the news the same time as everyone else so they will need time to assemble (since they live across multiple time zones) and discuss next steps. As a professional organisation with a governance structure in place, the Board has a responsibility to respond thoughtfully and in accordance to the governing bylaws.”
The Winklevoss twins also released a statement this afternoon — they’d led a major funding round for BitInstant. “We look forward to clearer regulation being implemented on the purchase and sale of bitcoins,” they said.