Lawyers acting on behalf of Charlie Shrem, the Bitcoin entrepreneur caught up in the downfall of deep web drug marketplace The Silk Road, have written a surreal sentencing memo which describes the 25-year-old as a “sacred guardian.”
Betabeat has obtained the full sentencing memo written by Shrem’s lawyers. The entrepreneur was sentenced to two years in prison after he used his company, a Bitcoin exhange called BitInstant, to help Silk Road customers move money around the internet.
The introduction to Shrem’s sentencing memo likens the entrepreneur to a mythical Greek figure. Here it is in full via Betabeat:
Had the Greeks known of crypto-currencies and of certain provincial Brooklyn neighborhoods, a tragedy could have been written about a boy who, through Dionysian passion and a little hubris, helped nurture an idea — bitcoin — that was new to the world, and that could change how the world — the whole world — passed value from one person to another.
This new idea would take the boy from from his neighbourhood. The boy would see himself as an almost sacred guardian of this new idea, charged with the awesome responsibility of bringing it out of the darkness and into the light of widespread, mainstream acceptance. However, in the chaos of developing the new idea, he would drop his guard, and allow the dark forces to caste it in shadow.
He would be to blame. He would be viewed not as its protector but as its destroyer, the destroyer of the one thing — the idea — he loved most. He would be sent back to his provincial neighbourhood and, for a while, would live in his parents’ basements, all the while dreaming of the time he could return to his lifelong task of helping — of being just one of many — to bring this new idea further into light.
The rest of the story remains to be written.
During his trial, Shrem tried to convince the judge that he was better off outside, helping educate people about cryptocurrency. He told the judge that “Bitcoin is my baby, it’s my whole world and my whole life, it’s what I was put on this earth to do. I need to be out there.”
But Judge Rakoff remained unconvinced, sentencing the entrepreneur to two years in prison. Shrem seems content with his sentence, tweeting “justice has been served. #Bitcoin.”