As reported yesterday, BitInstant CEO and Bitcoin Foundation Vice Chairman Charlie Shrem was arrested at JFK Airport in New York and charged with conspiring to launder money.
The arrest sent a shockwave throughout the Bitcoin community. Here are a few notable reactions from people directly or indirectly impacted by this case.
From the Winklevoss twins, investors in BitInstant:
“When we invested in BitInstant in the fall of 2012, its management made a commitment to us that they would abide by all applicable laws – including money laundering laws – and we expected nothing less. Although BitInstant is not named in today’s indictment of Charlie Shrem, we are obviously deeply concerned about his arrest. We were passive investors in BitInstant and will do everything we can to help law enforcement officials. We fully support any and all governmental efforts to ensure that money laundering requirements are enforced, and look forward to clearer regulation being implemented on the purchase and sale of bitcoins.”
From Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara:
“Truly innovative business models don’t need to resort to old-fashioned law-breaking, and when bitcoins, like any traditional currency, are laundered and used to fuel criminal activity, law enforcement has no choice but to act. We will aggressively pursue those who would coopt new forms of currency for illicit purposes.”
From “Bitcoin Jesus” Roger Ver, according to Forbes.com:
“People like the FBI, and DEA agents who want to lock people in cages for buying, selling, or using drugs are the ones committing evil, and they need to stop. I look forward to the day when they see the error of their ways, and stop committing evil acts in the name of ‘law enforcement’.”
There is also one noteworthy quote from Shrem himself, in a holiday message to the /r/Bitcoin subreddit more than a year ago:
“No longer are we considered juvenile hacker kids looking to launder money and buy drugs online. We have been credited as a real movement tied to real beliefs and ideologies that have been around hundreds of years.”