The elite pedigree behind our newest analyst … what he and Matt McCall see coming in the crypto world
Here’s how the text exchange went:
“Go on the send bitcoin page now.”
“Can we do a test? I want to try doing a send back and forth if we can. But I hope you’re not offended that I’m not super trusting of people on the internet yet. My son usually helps me with this stuff but he’s not around.”
“Well I feel slightly offended but it’s alright although I’ll be glad if you would just follow my instructions which I’m sure will cause you no problems.”
The above exchange took place between a bitcoin expert and a scammer about a year ago.
Ben Perrin runs a YouTube channel that educates investors about bitcoin.
He was amused when he received an unsolicited Instagram message offering to double his investment if he’d just send thousands of dollars’ worth of bitcoin to this investment “expert.”
Playing along, Perrin pretended to be a bitcoin newcomer.
He created a fake bitcoin wallet, then responded to the scammer, claiming he would gladly send $20,000 if the scammer would first send $100, just to make sure everything was legit.
The scammer met Perrin halfway, sending him $50.
Here’s the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) with the rest of the story:
Perrin then dropped the bluff, called the fraudster out, and let them know he donated their money to charity.
He sent the money to Bitcoin Venezuela, which helps people there buy food using the cryptocurrency, as the Venezuelan bolivar has collapsed.
Though the above scam is easy to see, discerning between true bitcoin experts and self-proclaimed bitcoin experts, who have no real expertise, is a bit trickier.
After all, anyone who held their breath and bought some bitcoin, say, around the beginning of last year, when it was trading at about $4,000, could easily claim “I’m up over 150%. I’m clearly an expert.”
I bring this up as Matt McCall just launched a new altcoin service called Crypto Investor Network with a real expert named Charlie Shrem.
But what exactly makes Charlie an authority?
And let’s just name the real, underlying question: “why should you, the reader, trust one dime of your money on his recommendations?”
Let’s find out.
***One of the first bitcoin tycoons
Let’s begin with Charlie’s background and select bona fides as described by Crypto Investor Network:
Charlie became one of bitcoin’s earliest backers and today is considered one of the most influential people in cryptocurrencies …
Charlie and friend Gareth Nelson launched BitInstant, one of the first and ultimately largest bitcoin exchanges, at the dawn of the crypto era in 2011 …
He was also one of the founding members of the Bitcoin Foundation in 2012, which aimed at bringing mainstream awareness to the digital currency world …
(He) has advised and invested in more than two dozen digital currency companies, launched and managed numerous partnerships between crypto and non-crypto companies, and is the go-to guy for some of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs.
He’s been mentioned in Fortune … Forbes … CNN … 60 Minutes … TED Talks … Bloomberg … and The Wall Street Journal … to name a few.
His story has been featured in numerous Netflix documentaries and best-selling books, including the seminal blockbuster Bitcoin Billionaires.
He’s been called one of bitcoin’s first tycoons … bitcoin royalty … and a crypto visionary.
I think it’s fair to say that’s a remarkable pedigree.
But what’s not in Charlie’s website-bio is just as interesting.
As Wikipedia reports, Charlie was buying bitcoin in 2011 as a college senior. When the bitcoin service he was using crashed, he lost his entire stake.
This was, in part, what led him to create BitInstant, referenced above.
It turns out the company operated until July 2013, at which point it was processing about 30% of all bitcoin transactions.
Since then, Charlie has followed a fascinating career path that’s included business development consulting … owning a Manhattan bar which become the first bar in New York to accept bitcoin … founding a crypto startup venture … serving as Chief Operating Officer for the crypto wallet Jaxx … and helping create the altcoin “Dash,” among other twists and turns.
And to answer the question that’s likely on your mind, yes, his early involvement in bitcoin has resulted in a fortune.
The blockchain media site bull.io pegged Charlie’s 2019 net worth at $45 million.
I think the term “expert” is fair to use in this situation.