4 Notorious Individuals who Influenced the Bitcoin Ecosystem

Throughout the past few years, there have been quite a few people who gained fame thanks to Bitcoin. In some cases, this did not cause major harm, other than a few hurt egos. Some others have even faced jail time for their actions related to Bitcoin. It is important to look back at some of the infamous names who are an integral part of the Bitcoin history book.

#4 Craig Wright

craig wright

Although Craig Wright has not committed a Bitcoin crime, he did try to trick the world not believing how he is the one and only Satoshi Nakamoto. That is not what got him into hot water with the legal department in Australia, though. Wright is being investigated by Australian tax authorities, although not too many specific details have been provided while the investigation is still ongoing.

The one thing people need to keep in mind about Craig Wright is how he is not Satoshi Nakamoto. After claiming how he would move a small amount of funds belonging to Satoshi’s Bitcoin wallet, he disappeared after a brief message saying how the pressure got to him. It is evident this desperate cry for attention was nothing more than a hoax, even though he will be forever entwined with Bitcoin’s history from now on.

#3 Charlie Shrem

charlie shrem

Many things have been said and written about Charlie Shrem over the past few years. He was the co-founder of the BitInstant exchange and a founding member of the original Bitcoin Foundation. Unfortunately, BitInstant was involved in a money laundering scheme for the Silk Road marketplace. Shrem and his partners failed to report suspicious transactions to the authorities, which eventually lead to an investigation.

Operating the BitInstant exchange without the proper license has caused Shrem a prison sentence of two years. During that time, he never stopped advocating Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, though. He also recently joined a new business venture, called Mainstreet Investment L.P. It is evident Shrem will forever be a part of Bitcoin.

#2 Mark Karpeles

mark karpeles

Anyone who has ever heard of the Mt. Gox exchange will know the name Mark Karpeles. He is the former operator of this now defunct Bitcoin exchange. It became rather evident Karpeles was incompetent to do this job, though, and he eventually ran off with a lot of consumer funds. To be more precise, a total of 850,000 bitcoins were “lost”, although 200,000 of those were recovered out of thin air.




One of the main things to keep in mind about Mark Karpeles is how he paid more attention to his cat than the funds of his exchange’s customers. Although Tibanne is a companion and an animal, it also goes to show how Karpeles should have never been entrusted with people’s money, to begin with. In the end, he was in full control of all financial aspects related to the Mt. Gox exchange. To this day, it remains unclear if he was just a strawman, or a cunning thief who successfully deceived the entire world.

#1 Ross Ulbricht

ross ulbricht

The name Ross Ulbricht has become known far and wide, even though not necessarily for the right reasons. Ulbricht operated the Silk Road platform, which was not illegal by any means. Offering a free market where people can buy and sell anything and everything with Bitcoin is not illegal by law. However, the platform got a bad reputation due to facilitating drug trades and other illicit “business transactions”.

One part of the Ross Ulbricht case that is not getting enough attention is how the evidence has been seemingly tampered with. Moreover, not one, but two corrupt federal agents were convicted for trying to steal funds belonging to Silk Road. To this date, it remains unknown who the real Dread Pirate Roberts is, even though the court’s evidence points towards Ulbricht. Ross will forever be in Bitcoin history books, as he sparked a debate on personal freedom and free markets.

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  • DrApricot

    May I suggest a follow-up article emphasizing connections *between* these four individuals. For example, among other things, Craig Wright mentioned in his LRB interview that bitcoins were sent by Ulbricht to a large wallet Wright once maintained on MtGox. Craig also claimed to have lost a large amount in the February, 2014 collapse.

    There were other connections as well brought out in the Ulbricht trial proceedings. Many of these were unearthed by the defence attorney who was struggling to clear Ross.

    When it comes to MtGox, no clear theory has yet been presented that clearly distinguishes between alleged straw men and any actual thieves, or whether even anything was actually stolen from the exchange. Early reports of a “hack” are now taken to be of rather questionable validity. According to a Tokyo police leak, at least they seem to believe the missing bitcoins had been a case of insider fraud all along.

    It doesn’t take much investigation though to realize that these four hi-lighted people could never have operated in isolation from each other, but rather were integral participants in an emerging and over-arching ecosystem.