Winklevoss Twins Settle 5,000 BTC Dispute with Charlie Shrem

The Bitcoin entrepreneur had to defend himself against allegations that he stole Bitcoin (BTC) from the twins for personal enrichment.

The Winklevoss twins reached a settlement with Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem, ending a years-long conflict after Shrem was accused of stealing 5,000 BTC. Court documents on the case show the two sides reached a settlement, dismissing the civil action with prejudice.

“WCF and Shrem will each bear their own attorneys’ fees and costs. The case will not be reopened,” the settlement document states.

The claims against Shrem date back to 2012, when the Winklevoss twins hired Shrem and supplied $1 million for the purchase of BTC coins from private owners. Later, they claimed Shrem redirected 5,000 BTC.

The exact size of the claim, however, was unknown, especially given the prices of BTC back in 2012, when the coin hovered around $100. Hence, the size of the claim may have been about $61,000, despite the current price of around $25 million. In the past, the Winklevoss twins were also made to pay Shrem as much as $45,000 in legal fees, in another twist of the case.

Since the beginning of the case, Shrem stated that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss had made a bogus claim. Finally, the court decision sided with Shrem, who will not owe either monetary compensation or to return any BTC. Since the beginning, he has claimed he did not own the cryptocurrency, despite showing a lavish lifestyle.

Shrem was one of the pioneers in exchanging BTC, back when exchanges were mostly operating outside a legal framework. He served a one-year sentence for unregulated Bitcoin exchanges back in 2015. He is the founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, as well as Crypto.IQ. Shrem has preserved his role as a popularizer of Bitcoin and has closely tracked the recovery in the most recent bear market.

In the meantime, the Winklevoss twins concentrated on building up the Gemini exchange, one of the more important brokers based in the US and acting as a fully regulated entity. At peak prices, the twins owned more than $1 billion in BTC. Since then, the exchange evolved to create its own stablecoin, the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), a fiat-backed, dollar-pegged token. The Gemini exchange operates under BitLicense and is one of the sources of price-setting information for the CME BTC futures market.

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