Untold Stories: The Insider Details Of Crypto History

Join Charlie as he turns the tables and interviews best selling author Ben Mezrich, whose newest book, “Bitcoin Billionaires,” chronicles crypto’s early days. Get a taste of the history Mezrich uncovered in research that included interviewing Charlie, the Winklevoss twins, and others as well as early talk of a Bitcoin movie based on the book.

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Charlie Shrem
Hey everyone. This is Charlie Shrem, and you're listening to Untold Stories. This is a show where we dive deep into the lives and personal histories of some of crypto's most influential leaders, and find out how the crypto movement truly came to be. Let's dive in. This podcast is presented by BlockWorks Group, the only blockchain event and media production company I trust. For exclusive content and events that provide insight into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at blockworksgroup.io. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Today is a fantastic day. And it has nothing to do with the podcast, actually. It's because today is National Donut Day. And I just had two awesome donuts, and so I'm a little hyped up on sugar. But the second reason why this is a fantastic day, and we're taking a little bit of a different approach here on Untold Stories, usually on Untold Stories, we have guests and talk about some of the things that went on in the past of crypto to understand where we're going for the future. And we have guests ranging from high powered CEOs to people that you never knew even existed.

Today, we're very fortunate to have our guest, Ben Mezrich, who I've been reading his books since I was a kid, like Bringing Down the House, and his most recent one before Bitcoin Billionaires, Ugly Americans, Busting Vegas. You guys have heard of his books frequently become movies. Kevin Spacey did 21, which is a movie that we've all seen as kids, and The Social Network, which was everyone known as the Facebook movie. Ben, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Ben Mezrich
Hey. I'm thrilled to do this with you.

Charlie Shrem
This is very cool for me because you are considered now a crypto historian. How does that feel?

Ben Mezrich
It's a new place for me. I've come to this as an outsider, as you know. But it's awesome. Can I just say, it's very cool that you are interviewing me? I don't think I've ever had a character I've written about interview me before.

Charlie Shrem
That's brilliant. It's a first time for everything. I really enjoyed ... For our listeners, check out Bitcoin Billionaires. It's the next book in the saga of the ... Would you consider it a sequel of The Accidental Billionaires?

Ben Mezrich
It's not technically a sequel to The Social Network, but it certainly starts where The Social Network ends, and it follows the Winklevoss twins from there. But I do think I'm kind of writing a bitcoin trilogy, or a billions trilogy, which started with Facebook, and now has moved into bitcoin. And then it's going to move into wherever it goes next. I think it definitely follows from The Social Network, if it's not a sequel.

Charlie Shrem
The book just came out a few weeks ago, and it follows the story of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. It follows my story, Charlie Shrem. And it follows the intertwining of Erik Vorhees and Roger Ver, and the kind of pulling in opposite directions of the mainstream movement versus the libertarian anarchist movement, and kind of the funny characters that really shaped and did a lot of crazy shit in the early days of crypto. And it's such a great book. And I read it. And usually, I'll be honest with you, I don't like reading books that I'm in. I don't like listening to speeches that I've done. It creeps me out. I skimmed through Digital Gold, and I actually didn't really like it at all. I hope Nathaniel's not listening to the podcast. But I really enjoyed your book. I read it all in one day. I was texting you as I was reading it.

Ben Mezrich
It's incredible for me to hear. Trying to capture someone like you, who had a complicated character, to say the least.

Charlie Shrem
That's an understatement.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. It's incredible to hear afterwards, because I had no idea what you would think of the portrayal in the book. Nathaniel Popper is a wonderful journalist. He's a very different type of writer than me, and what I'm trying to do is sort of capture that moment in history and make it alive like a movie. And I wanted to get you right because in a lot of ways, you're a character that a lot of people can see themselves in. But also, it tells the story of bitcoin very vividly through your story, or the origins of bitcoin. So I wanted to get you right, and it's incredible to hear that at least you liked it, which is good.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah. I feel like you did. In a larger sense, my wife was reading it, and she was like, "No way that you dated a Bulgarian supermodel." She's like, "I know that's crazy."

Ben Mezrich
But you did throw up on someones shoes.

Charlie Shrem
Excuse me. Yeah. That happened. I definitely threw up on my shoes, and I threw up on the bar. And I threw up on at least two other pairs of shoes. I'll never remember it. And that whole story, and going to their apartment and doing something stupid or saying something stupid to the girls that were there, and basically them getting up and leaving. And I don't know why that actually, what I said, or what I did. But they're really all important because it shows how unprepared I was for the realities of the world that I was entering into.

Ben Mezrich
Right. Right.

Charlie Shrem
And it wasn't just about the social world. It was going into business meetings, or really being taken seriously. And it wasn't just me. I feel like I was representing the larger crypto community at the time, that really didn't know how to be big boys or big girls.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. And that's one of the cool things about sort of the origins of crypto is the people who stumbled into it first were very young, like you, or were people who came from different worlds and found each other on the internet. It was online. Right? And even whoever had access to these crypto boards, or the places that you saw it first, were not businessmen in suits. Right? It wasn't people who were building companies already, or on Wall Street. It was people like you. We talk about you being in your mother's basement because it's a great starting place. But that's really what it was like. Right? I mean, you stumbled into this really young.

Charlie Shrem
And mostly by accident, luck, right place at the right time.

Ben Mezrich
Right. And that to me is one of the fascinating things about bitcoin. And then you juxtapose that on the Winklevoss twins, who come from a very different world. They come from a billionaire family. They're men of Harvard. They come out of this crazy conflict with Mark Zuckerberg, and they come into bitcoin at a very different point than where you came into bitcoin. And I think that juxtaposition of their world and your world, it leads to real good drama.

Charlie Shrem
I have to say that I didn't know the severity of the whole thing with them and Mark until I read Bitcoin Billionaires because The Social Network, and I guess because it was so ongoing, and a lot of the information didn't come out until later on. But when watching the movie, The Social Network, you see that there was this issue. And it leaves it up to you of who you think was right. But there isn't enough data for you to make a qualified decision in your brain of who actually really should deserve the credit of founding Facebook. Was it Cameron, Tyler, or Mark? Right? But then in Bitcoin Billionaires, there's a lot more data and a lot more information. And it really doesn't paint Mark in a very good light.

Ben Mezrich
No. He comes off very bad. These instant messages came out after The Social Network, in which it's very clear that at the least, Mark led them on, lied to them. And then there's the famous quote where he planned to fuck them in the ear. And so he planned to sort of screw them over, and that comes out in these instant messages, which were never part of the original story. There's no question that Mark built Facebook. I mean, the Winklevoss twins did something. Mark worked for them for a little while, and then went off and built Facebook. And Mark is the genius behind the development of Facebook. But at the very beginning, he worked with the twins. He listened to their ideas. And then he strategically screwed them over by not letting them know what he was really doing, and then launching Facebook, but without telling them, in a way that they could never catch up.

Charlie Shrem
The key word there is intent.

Ben Mezrich
Right.

Charlie Shrem
I feel like there was intent.

Ben Mezrich
And I think there was. But in a legal battle, who knows who wins that story? I mean, there's no question that Mark's ... The line from the movie, "If you would've built Facebook, you would've built Facebook," that's definitely clear. But what do they deserve? What should they have ended up with? It's a muddier question. They did end up with $65 million, which they took in stock instead of cash.

Charlie Shrem
That was a very smart move.

Ben Mezrich
Right, to the dismay of their lawyers, who they ended up having a lawsuit with their own lawyers because their lawyers were back channeling with Facebook, trying to get them not to take the cash, or at least that's the…

Charlie Shrem
Because the lawyers wanted the cash too.

Ben Mezrich
Right. They wanted cash. They wanted their piece. So it ended up being the lawyers got their cash upfront, and the twins took theirs in stock. And then the twins' stock ended up being worth many hundreds of millions of dollars when Facebook IPO ed, so they did well. But there's not question that Zuckerberg's intent was not great.

Charlie Shrem
And so as they're coming out of this, is when I first met them. And I feel like if I had known this, I would've been a lot more sensitive to them and their emotions because they're brilliant. And I've told them. They're very smart people, both of them. And they both have different strengths in different places. But they let their emotions get in the way of their own judgment. And it makes them do things that, us rationally, maybe would or wouldn't do. And that could be for better or for worse. But my mistake is and was not taking them seriously enough, and not listening to them, because you have to understand I had just, I think months before I met them, I had seen the movie.

And so my whole portrayal of them was Armie Hammer. And so when I'm meeting them, I'm thinking them as dumb money. I'm thinking they're just guys who have a bunch of money off this Facebook lawsuit, and they're going to put money into BitInstant, my company. And I'm starstruck. Yeah, they're celebrities. But you take celebrities seriously for five minutes, and then you move on. But you don't hold them in super high regard. If I had a better, and actually done my due diligence, if I had a better, then I would've listened to them. So the times where they said, "Charlie, you need to replace yourself as CEO. This company's getting too big for you." Or when they had wanted me to go to training of how to ... You know they sent me to training of how to be a speaker. I would've taken that a lot more seriously. And that's my mistake. I'll live with that.

Ben Mezrich
Part of the characterization, and I take credit for this, and in Bitcoin Billionaires I think I make it pretty clear that I think I got the Winklevoss twins wrong when I wrote Accidental Billionaires. And when Aaron Sorkin turned it into The Social Network and Armie Hammer, who by the way, is a brilliant actor and played that part so incredibly well.

Charlie Shrem
He did. He really did.

Ben Mezrich
But it was based on my telling of who they were, and I saw them as that when I first met them. I met them in a hotel room in New York. They walk in. They're like something out of Greek mythology. They don't look like normal people. And you immediately flash back to all the '80s movies. And I put the line in there, "They look like the guys in the skeleton costumes chasing the karate kid around the gym," because to me that's how they immediately appeared. So in the story, they're the alpha jocks going up against the nerd, Zuckerberg. And so they come off, one note, they come off as these guys. And so to be fair, it wasn't just you. But every article written about them, every piece done over the next few years, pretty much made fun of them. They were the big rowers. They were not ever taken seriously until they got into bitcoin. So you weren't the only one who read them that way. They're easy to judge when they walk into the room. Unless you actually listen to them, it's easy to judge them based on how they look.

Charlie Shrem
Will there be another movie?

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. This'll be a movie, for sure. And there's already discussion about who would play you.

Charlie Shrem
Who's going to play me?

Ben Mezrich
I have some ideas. What do you think? Who would you want to play you?

Charlie Shrem
Shia LaBeouf.

Ben Mezrich
Shia LaBeouf would be awesome. Is he still out there? I haven't seen him.

Charlie Shrem
I don't know. But I feel like he looks a little bit like me. That's why I say that.

Ben Mezrich
What do you think of Jonah Hill?

Charlie Shrem
Jonah Hill.

Ben Mezrich
He's been so good in everything.

Charlie Shrem
Jonah Hill would be fantastic playing me.

Ben Mezrich
Don't you think he'd win an Oscar?

Charlie Shrem
And we look alike.

Ben Mezrich
He'd win an Oscar playing you, I think.

Charlie Shrem
Who?

Ben Mezrich
He would win an Oscar playing you, Jonah Hill.

Charlie Shrem
Oh, man. That would be great. I need tickets to that, though.

Ben Mezrich
You're going to be at the premier. You and the twins are going to be sitting next to each other.

Charlie Shrem
I think the relationship between me ... And I hope, and if they're listening to this, I hope they agree that I think the relationship with Cameron and Tyler will get better over time, just like I hope that the relationship between my parents gets better over time.

Ben Mezrich
Well, that's an intense thing. And I know you're interviewing me, but for me, the story about you and your family-

Charlie Shrem
This is Untold Stories. Come at me too.

Ben Mezrich
Okay, good. The story of you and your family, I have to tell you, when my mom read the book, she felt so much for you because she grew up in Brooklyn, Orthodox Jewish community, as did my dad. But what you grew up with was much harsher. I mean, you lived in a world, the Syrian Jewish community, from what you describe it to me with the edict, the idea that you could be excommunicated for dating outside your world. It's really intense where you came from. And it's one of the most poignant parts, I think, in the book, is how your family life is destroyed, not just because you got in trouble, but because of you wanted to live a bigger life, I guess. I don't know how best to describe that. But just dating, it wasn't just bitcoin, it was so much more. Right?

Charlie Shrem
It was everything. It was wanting to even just question and think for myself. It was wanting to ... It was some basic things like I couldn't even apply to schools outside of where there were major Jewish communities. I was thinking about going to schools in Texas, colleges. First of all, the concept of going to college wasn't big back then. It is more now. I say back then, 2004, 2005. But just going to a college outside of a major Jewish community, my parents said, "No way." And they held all the cards because I had to live under their thumb because of money. And so from a very young age, my goal was to become financially independent. And when that happens, I will be able to finally do what I want. But at the same time, when that did happen, it made it worse.

And so it's interesting that you bring that up with the community. And because I'm already out, I can talk about it. And there's good and bad in that community, but it's funny that nowadays when you Google the Syrian Jewish community, SY community, there's only one real article. And that was a New York times article written in 2001. And that's the only ... And that was a very long form, this huge article. It was in the New York Times Sunday. And the title of the article is The SY Empire. And it revealed a lot, and it was able to reveal a lot because the primary source of the article was the exiled son of the chief rabbi of the community. He was the source of the article. And when I read that article in 2001, I was reading it from inside, and everyone in my community was like, "Yeah. This article's so bad. It's all lies." And Kassin, whatever his name is, Saul Kassin, is terrible. I can't believe he would say these things, so the New York Times, of all people. And we should ostracize him even more and sue him, all these different things.

The community was like in uproar. That article was banned from schools, synagogues. It was banned. You couldn't even have it in the house. And when I read the article of the SY Empire, I'm reading it and I'm saying, "Shit. This stuff is true. And this is true." I'm reading it, and I'm saying to myself, "This is crazy." And I'll be honest with you, I didn't want to leave the community. My intention was never to leave. My intention was never to have bad relationships with people. My intention was to live the life that I just wanted to live, which is the life that everyone wants to live. You just want to live your own life. Right? And now it's interesting because I have a lot of friends that I grew up with that I lost for years, years. These were kids that I was best friends with from the age of five, my whole life. And I lost them all when I turned 20 or 21.

And now some of them are coming back. And there was one friend in particular, who was one of my best friends. And he lives in LA now, so he's kind of out of the community. And when I was on that trip a few weeks ago, we reconnected. And I'll tell you something. We spent three days together, and it was like we were never apart. We just went back to the way it was. And it was really, that changed a lot for me because I go to therapy for this stuff. I see a therapist twice week about this. And I deal with PTSD from coming out of prison and everything. But hanging out with that friend was such a pivotal moment and a life changing moment for me, but mostly for Courtney because she has such negative feelings towards the whole community thing.

Ben Mezrich
One of the things in the book, one of stories is when you were arrested and facing this crazy penalty. And they said that you could get out on bail, but only your parents would take you in, but only if you broke up with Courtney. And it was kind of this crazy moment where you had to, I guess, pretend. Right?

Charlie Shrem
It was a crazy ... And you portrayed it in the book so perfectly. And I don't want to retell these stories because I want people to read the book. But I'm sitting, and it's so crazy how accurate you were about some of this stuff. I'm literally sitting in Metropolitan Correctional Center, and I'm sitting one side. And there's a big, thick piece of glass. And I'm holding the phone to my ear, and it's my first day after being in solitary from being arrested. And my attorney, Keith Rosenblum, I remember he told me, "Okay." I was thinking that I was ... I'm in there, and I'm talking to the guards. And I'm saying to the guards, "Yeah. What's my bail going to be?" They're like, "Oh, it'll be 100 grand." And I'm like, "Can I just write a check? Can I write a personal check to the government and be out?" They're like, "Yeah. You'll be out at 3:00. You'll be good to go." And I'm like, "All right. Not too bad."

So Keith picks up the phone and he said, "Yeah. Do you have a million dollars?" And I was like, "No." And he said, "Well, you need a million dollars to get out of here. I've made an agreement with ... This is the best deal you're going to get because the magistrate judge is going to do whatever the government says. And the government wants you to be in there, pending a trial. You can't leave." And I said, "I can't leave." And so before my parents, we actually tried to get other people. I had friends. And my lawyers were trying to pool my friends' assets together, but none of my friends had enough assets to pool the million dollars together. And so my parents were the last resort. And so my parents ... He went to my parents, and he said, "Will you guys put the lien on your house? Give the government the lien on your house, if Charlie runs away, then the government takes your house. Will you put the lien on your house?" No worries. "Will you put the lien on your house for the bail?"

And my parents said ... I remember Keith came back to me. Keith, he's seen a lot of crazy shit in his legal life, in his life, life. But this was so ... He couldn't even formulate the words. He was like, "Your parents said that you need to break up with your girlfriend. Is her name Karen, Corrie? What's her? Courtney? You need to break up with your girlfriend, that's one. Your parents said you need to attend synagogue every week, and you need to live in their house." And I'm like, "Oh, my God." Now my parents are setting conditions for my bail.

Ben Mezrich
That's insane.

Charlie Shrem
So I just said yes.

Ben Mezrich
Right. You didn't have a choice. And then you end up back in the basement, but under almost like you're in jail, basically.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah. It was worse.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah.

Charlie Shrem
And so I'm in my parents' basement, and I had to break up with her. And we would FaceTime every day. If my parents would come downstairs, I would throw the phone in the drawer and try to hide it. But then my parents did find out. And I'm not sure if this was written into the book because there wasn't really much sources because I was lucky to have the judge. He sealed the hearings. But there was a whole other fight and crazy stuff that went on after that.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. I didn't end up putting that. I remember you did tell me that other stuff. But for me, that was kind of the story.

Ben Mezrich
That was a lot right there. I mean, it's fascinating. Your story is such, it segues so much with the bitcoin story, in the way I tell it, anyways. There really is this battle between the people who formed bitcoin, sort of this libertarian, and some of them tended more towards the anarchist, who really saw bitcoin as maybe bringing down the banks, bringing down the governments, but a way that not of the mainstream. And that's where Silk Road comes in. And that's essentially where you got in trouble. And then you have bitcoin now, or where bitcoin might end up, which is in this mainstream world, a financial instrument that even if governments don't like it, it's not there to bring down governments and banks. And you're kind of that central story, where you go right down the middle, ended up getting pulled in one direction, but you have the Winklevoss twins on one shoulder, who are trying to be ... I see them as trying to be mainstream, conservative, regulated bitcoin. And then you have Roger and Erik, I guess, who are pulling it towards this libertarian, drugs should be free, and we should be able to buy them from bitcoin.

Charlie Shrem:
How is Roger doing?

Ben Mezrich
Roger and I have had ... I've not had any communication. All I do is I see his Twitter like everyone else does. And he's very controversial, I guess would be the word. He seems to be very into that world. He believes firmly that there should be no military. There should be no governments, that property ... I don't know. I don't know him. You know him way better than I know him.

Charlie Shrem
A documentarian reached out to me a month ago, asking if I can participate in a documentary about Roger. And I emailed him back. I emailed him the same thing that I emailed you. I said, "You need to get Roger's permission before I come on and speak about him." And then so Roger messaged me. And Roger said, "Let's jump on a call." But I got the feeling that it wouldn't have worked out. And I'm really tired, and I didn't want another documentary crew coming to Florida right now.

Ben Mezrich
After 60 Minutes, probably.

Charlie Shrem
That was crazy.

Ben Mezrich
Fantastic. That's the level of press that you should be getting, and it was incredible. I did speak to Roger. Obviously, you helped me with that. Speaking to him, he's very charismatic. He's very smart, very interesting guy, and I think one of the great bitcoin stories. My question to you is, in the world now of bitcoin, how do people perceive ... Is it still very dominated by this sort of libertarian feel? Or has it shifted a lot more?

Charlie Shrem
Okay. It's a very good question. The libertarian anarchists' world has shifted into bitcoin maximalism. And the libertarian anarchists early crypto people ... Then you have myself and Erik, who are more pragmatic. So I think Erik and I are similar in a way, where we're capitalists. We're capitalists. And the capitalism is a fundamental libertarian or anarchist tenement. And so in order to be capitalists, you should have the freedom to do whatever you want, morally of course, and ethically, to make money. And that means working with shit coins if you want to, whatever you want. And that's my right. That's my freedom. I should have the right to do whatever I want in terms of business. But then there's some of the earlier libertarian type people, who were very defensive of bitcoin at first, are more bitcoin maximalists. And then you have the mainstream media world.

Ben Mezrich
What do you mean by maximalist?

Charlie Shrem
They're very against everything that's not bitcoin. And they're very against everyone that's not bitcoin.

Ben Mezrich
I get it.

Charlie Shrem
And that's their right. If you want to be a bitcoin maximalist, all the power to you. There's no reason that you shouldn't be able to decide and do whatever you want to do. But I speak to a lot of the early bitcoin people. Right? I've had Jered Kenna on this show. You know Jered. And I've had some of the ... I'm having Mike Caldwell, the founder of Casascius Coins. And I'm having Tony Gallippi from BitPay, and all these people. And then there are a lot of them that won't come on the show, like Gavin Andresen, who won't come on the show. Sorry. Gavin Anderson, he won't come on the show because for the reason I will tell you, is burnout. And Jered feels it. I feel it a lot too because the space has gotten so different. And I hate to come back up with this again because we've covered this topic on the show a few times. But the whole us versus them mentality has disappeared.

It used to be us versus them, and it's us as the crypto or the bitcoin community. And even when Ethereum came out at first, Vitalik was still, and may be still, but Vitalik was still very much a bit coiner. In fact, he wanted to put bitcoin ... Ethereum, he wanted to put the idea of smart contracts in Ethereum on the bitcoin blockchain. And they were so against it at that point, and that should've been a red flag for me in 2014, that the community is changing. And the concept of doing layers on bitcoin blockchain is now considered like everyone's doing it. You have side chains, block stream, I'm going too deep into it.

But what Vitalik was proposing with Ethereum doing it on bitcoin is no different than what bitcoin maximalists are calling for now. But it was too early back then. And so the community has changed, and for better or for worse. But it's a shame because you have a lot of ... And I still don't get it. And maybe you can help me. I don't understand it. You have a lot of the newer crypto people, the newer crypto fame people, the people who have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, who are Twitter personalities and ex Goldman Sachs, hedge fund, bitcoin capital companies that are meeting with all these banks, and are hedge ... All these nouveau type of crypto people, and they won't retweet my show. They won't answer my emails. It's like I'm still considered blacklisted in the whole Barry Silbert world.

Ben Mezrich
Right. That's a good question. I think you're an interesting character.

Charlie Shrem
But I'm not asking them for anything.

Ben Mezrich
Right. I think that some of these people probably come into it from these big banks, and they're nervous about you because you're from the origins of bitcoin. And maybe they're trying to make bitcoin very vanilla for the mainstream. Right? And so they might be hesitant to point back to where bitcoin really started. I don't know. I don't know the answer to that, and that's a good question.

Charlie Shrem
Very good point.

Ben Mezrich
But where bitcoin came from, and where they're trying to take bitcoin might be two different places.

Charlie Shrem
But it's okay. I'm not acknowledging. Yeah. It's important for us to remember the history of bitcoin. And your book is going to be seen as-

Ben Mezrich
That's exactly right. I feel like it's similar to when I wrote the book that became The Social Network. Facebook has gone very far from there. But the story of Facebook is really that first year. And I really feel like with bitcoin, whatever bitcoin ends up, the story to be told about bitcoin is from zero to 10,000. And so it was that story that I ... No matter where bitcoin ends up, I feel like Bitcoin Billionaires will be the relevant history of bitcoin.

Charlie Shrem
It's like the Josephus. It's very important but-

Ben Mezrich
Right. I feel like you're one of the initial voice. I mean, you were the biggest star in bitcoin in 2013. Right? That's how it's sort of framed. It's a really cool sort of way of seeing where bitcoin came from, seeing it through you. So you being now one of the voices in the podcast world on it, I think is awesome, because who knows the beginnings of it better than you do. But it's interesting to see where bitcoin is going to go. It's interesting how you talk about some of the people like you, get this whole us versus thing. Well, for bitcoin to succeed, it does have to become vanilla, I think, to some extent. It has to shy away or shed away from the libertarian philosophy.

Charlie Shrem
And that's okay. Listen, that's totally fine with me. I'm not trying to keep bitcoin. And I'm sure most people aren't. There are a few fringe people. But we understand that there's a word, and it's called evolution. And things evolve and change, and that's okay as long as the core principles of bitcoin remain, and its technology doesn't change.

Ben Mezrich
This is why I also find what Erik Vorhees is doing is fascinating because he's building his company in America. Right?

Charlie Shrem
Sure.

Ben Mezrich
And yet, his philosophy makes that difficult.

Charlie Shrem
I find it interesting to believe that he tried to move outside of the country a few times. He lived in Dubai, and then he moved to Panama. And it's funny because when I jokingly asked his wife, "Why did you guys move back from Panama back to Denver?" And she jokingly said, "It's because there was only one brand of shampoo in the supermarket."

Ben Mezrich
Right. I think he's an absolute genius, absolutely. And I think he's a very compelling character. And I agree with a lot of his philosophies, but I'm a pragmatist even more to the point where I would say, "Listen, I get what you believe. But if you want to build what you want to build, you have to put that away." And I know that sounds like a lack of integrity, maybe. I don't know how that comes across.

Charlie Shrem
No, it's not. It's not. And it goes back to exactly what I said when we first started this show. I said that a lot of us followed these principles of we're capitalists, and that's one thing. But I'm also ideological. So when I'm having ideological arguments about crypto, I'll be on this show talking to a shit coiner, and I'm like, "Listen, bitcoin is the end all, be all. If bitcoin fails, then all of crypto fails." And it's only bitcoin. Bitcoin is the only decentralized one. Everything else is crap. But then on the other side, I'm a capitalist. And if a company wants to hire me to work for them, and pay me a bunch of money to help them navigate the crypto world, I'm going to do it.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah.

Charlie Shrem
Same thing like Erik.

Ben Mezrich
Right. Right. I mean, it's an interesting thing. But you kind of have to divide yourself for it to succeed. One of the questions I want to ask you, and I've been getting asked this a lot, and everyone always asks this. But do you have an idea of who you think Satoshi is?

Charlie Shrem
It's always changing. It's always changing. I'll tell you what my first impression were. My first impressions when I first got into bitcoin was that it was a group of people. And that's what I thought for a while. But now there's kind of this conspiracy theory, and I don't know if I believe the theory, but I kind of understand. The theory makes sense. I'll tell you what it is. There's this theory that Satoshi is actually this brilliant mathematician/drug kingpin, arms trafficker, CIA informer, asset type guy. And around the same time Satoshi disappeared, this guy went to jail.

Ben Mezrich
Whoa.

Charlie Shrem
And so the reason Satoshi hasn't said anything, or Satoshi hasn't moved his coins is because he's in jail right now.

Ben Mezrich
That's an interesting concept.

Charlie Shrem
And I don't know if I believe that. But I never thought of the idea of maybe Satoshi's already in jail, because that's why he hasn't said anything. And there was that one time that ... There was only one time that Satoshi came back, and this was in 2000 and ... When was it? 2017. In 2017, or 2016, there was that whole fiasco when the news when what's her name from Newsweek said that Satoshi's Dorian Nakamoto, older Japanese gentlemen. And so in one of Satoshi's old aliases, and there's no proof. There's no evidence that this account is hacked because it hasn't said anything since that day. But one of Satoshi's old accounts came back and said, "I am not Dorian Nakamoto." And that's all he said. And so it's very possible that Satoshi, who's in jail, cares enough to preserve the image of Satoshi as this mystical figure, but also doesn't want everyone ... But also, his ego doesn't want people to believe that Satoshi is this guy, this other guy in Japan, in California.

Ben Mezrich
And one question. If Satoshi came forward, does he face the possibility of being arrested for something involved in creating bitcoin?

Charlie Shrem
Maybe not in the United States, but Satoshi would always be walking around with his head looking over his shoulder, especially in other countries. And then maybe in the United States down the road, because he did create another currency. And that's treasonous, right?

Ben Mezrich
Right.

Charlie Shrem
So you never know. And the thing is, I'll be honest with you, if Satoshi never disappeared, we wouldn't even be talking about it. You would never even have written a book about it. We'd be living in an alternate universe because the fact that there is no Satoshi is the whole point of bitcoin. Bitcoin has no centralized authority. And it's not just the technological ability to change bitcoin that's important. But when you have a centralized authority where people look up to, like as a leader, then they'll do whatever he says. That's why you can say whatever you want about Ethereum, but because Vitalik is the leader, no matter what happens, if Vitalik says something, it's going to happen, 100%. That's the way it works.

Ben Mezrich
So bitcoin needs to have no ... There needs to be no Satoshi, at least for a while.

Charlie Shrem
There needs to be no Satoshi for bitcoin to really exist. What other questions and what other feedback are you getting from the book so far? You've been doing a whole book tour.

Ben Mezrich
I've been doing a lot of publicity. In general, the reception has been very positive and people. And it's just finding its way now into the crypto world. But overall, it's definitely got a lot of people who didn't know anything about bitcoin to buy bitcoin, which I guess is a good thing for the general community. I think a lot of people are very intrigued by the relationship of you and the twins. And I don't know, there's been tons of sort of basic questions about whether bitcoin can actually ever be a form of currency. I think that the talk now is more that it's just like gold, that's it's more of a store of value than it is a useful currency. Would you agree with that?

Charlie Shrem
It's hard because-

Ben Mezrich
The volatility, it makes it very hard to see anybody using it for real.

Charlie Shrem
Yes. And that's kind of an issue. Although, a lot of people in the maximalism world don't believe that that's an issue, so they see bitcoin as this digital gold store of value. But something just doesn't become a digital gold store of value just because we say it does. It becomes it over time, after enough people are using it, spending it, and saving it, eventually down the road it becomes. And you can't skip those steps. In all, it's a trifecta. If you don't have a mechanism of payment, and it's not a unit of account, then you can't be stored value. It's like one plus one equals two. You can't have two without the one plus the one. And so bitcoin is still and will be a very good medium of exchange for moving large amounts of money very quickly and cheaply and securely. And it's like moving gold. So just like if you want to buy and sell gold and transact with gold, there's still some issues with it, but at the end of the day, you can still do it. And that's where they see bitcoin being.

Ben Mezrich
And the other big story that came out just as I was on book tour, of course, is that Facebook is looking at doing a cryptocurrency.

Charlie Shrem
And now they met with Cameron and Tyler.

Ben Mezrich
Right. And that became a big part of it because as I've said, and I say it in the book, and actually I don't want to give it away, but the book actually foretells that happening. I've always seen it as personal that there's no way Mark Zuckerberg is suddenly looking at crypto and not thinking in the back of his mind about the Winklevoss twins because they were there before him. And they have been known as the Bitcoin Billionaires and all that. A lot of people are asking, "Well, what will that do to bitcoin?" Is that a bitcoin killer, or does that prop the whole market up? And I think you could look at it both ways.

Charlie Shrem
It'll be both. It'll be beneficial and negative. I don't think it'll be negative. Bitcoin doesn't really have down to go. Bitcoin was just down at the bottom at 3000. It went from 20,000 to 3000. That was a huge blow, so there's really nowhere else to go but up from here for bitcoin in terms of price and growth.

Ben Mezrich
Do you think even at 10,000 people should be buying bitcoin?

Charlie Shrem
I think that bitcoin is cheap under 100,000 because there's only 21 million of these things that'll ever be.

Ben Mezrich
Wow. Yeah, that's fascinating. And I think that the twins totally agree with you. I think the number they used to say is 250,000. And other people, I did a ... James Altucher, I think he says bitcoin to a million-

Charlie Shrem
Yeah. But James Altucher doesn't even know anything about bitcoin. He says that to sell products.

Ben Mezrich
He's fascinating. But anyways, I think that's an interesting point. But when Facebook does launch it, there's a lot of questions to that. They are such a dominant monopoly in the world as it is. If they have a form of money, it's a scary proposition.

Charlie Shrem
True story.

Ben Mezrich
And so that's something I've been talking about a lot in the interviews. Yeah. I think there are old world journalists, it's a generational thing, who will not get away from the idea that this is some sort of scheme, or scam, or manipulation. I don't get that from newer people, tech journalists, people like that, they don't say that at least. They might have issues with bitcoin, but the idea that it's a scam, that only comes from sort of an older type of journalist, I feel like.

Charlie Shrem
That largely went away. And going through the litigation with them over the past nine months, did you foresee that happening in any way?

Ben Mezrich
The litigation being with?

Charlie Shrem
With me and them.

Ben Mezrich
Oh, the story, I didn't know if you wanted to talk about it. The story of them and you got complicated.

Charlie Shrem
It got really complicated, yeah.

Ben Mezrich
You know, I didn't see that coming. I didn't know about it until I read about it, and then asked you and them. And there was never really any ... Just a one sentence thing where they felt one way, and you disagreed, I guess is the best way to put it. Right? I'm a guy who always wants everyone to love everyone else. I'm a big fan of that. I hope one day there's sort of a repose and you guys are all buddies. Who knows if that's a possibility? Maybe they'll come on your show one day and talk about it? But I will say, the twins are really, really sharp, and they're intense. And they are big believers in right and wrong. And if they feel they've been wronged, it's something they don't give up on, which I respect, and which is one of the reasons I think they're such central characters is that-

Charlie Shrem
I do respect them a lot. I do respect them a lot.

Ben Mezrich
I've always said if Mark Zuckerberg ... It wasn't about money. It was about the lying, the duplicity. And if Mark had simply said, "I'm going to launch something," and had apologized to them, and none of this would ever happened. So they are driven by this very kind of hardcore belief in right and wrong, and not being wronged. So I don't know, I don't want to get into the specifics of it with them.

Charlie Shrem
No, you're right.

Ben Mezrich
Because it's not my place to be. But I will say, the story of the three of you is so compelling because of these differences and because where you went from and where you ended up, it's an incredible arc.

Charlie Shrem
I really want to maintain good relations with them, and at least be able to go and have a beer and laugh about all this stuff that had happened down the road. That's my goal.

Ben Mezrich
Right. That would be great. And I think that the stories that you can tell from the origins and the beginnings of bitcoin are just so important and will go down in the mythology of it.

Charlie Shrem
This is what's interesting. And go back to another conversation before, the current crypto world, I feel like is trying to whitewash the history of where bitcoin came from. That's why your book is so important. And I'm getting whitewashed over, whatever, in a lot of the ... And that's okay. Whatever. In the current people that are running the companies, and CEOs, and stuff, but so is theirs. They are very integral to the early days of bitcoin because until they got involved, no one took bitcoin seriously.

Ben Mezrich
Right.

Charlie Shrem
And so they're very important in the history. But I still feel like people now in the crypto space don't give them enough credit for that.

Ben Mezrich
I think that's exactly right. You're making a very good point, which is the reason I hope that your followers and the people who are listening get Bitcoin Billionaires out there, not just saying that self interestedly. But people like Barry Silver, people like that, should be tweeting about this book because this book is putting those stories forward. This is the true story of how bitcoin came to be. And you and the twins and-

Charlie Shrem
Why don't they want it to be known?

Ben Mezrich
Like Roger and Erik and Silk Road, all of these stories, I can see these are the basic principles of where it all came from. Satoshi is somewhere in this book. I feel like this is the story that should get out there in a big way, and is starting to get out there. My audience is a mainstream audience, not a crypto audience. My audience is high school kids and college kids that are hopefully going to be reading this book over the next summer. And I'm hoping that it really does reframe it. I can see why people from Wall Street might, as they are getting into bitcoin for the first time right now, want to not talk about some of those things. I get it, just as the people who are investing in Facebook at the IPO certainly would not have wanted to talk about the lawsuits, and Eduardo, and Zuckerberg getting groupies in the bathroom at Harvard. Right? That's not the stories they'd want told either.

But I feel like it was so important to Facebook. The Social Network built Facebook in a large way. The reason he was on Time Magazine, cover of Time, and the reason Zuckerberg was on Saturday Night Live was because of The Social Network. And similarly, if bitcoin is going to change the world, a book like my book, or the origin story of bitcoin, that mythology is what gets you to a large movie, and gets you to every-

Charlie Shrem
Mainstream.

Ben Mezrich
Right. Gets you go the grandmothers living in the Midwest understanding what bitcoin is.

Charlie Shrem
When a bitcoin movie comes out, your book is going to be that movie.

Ben Mezrich
That's the goal. And I think this book, it's really getting a lot of attention right now. But it's going to grow, and hopefully the crypto community realizes the importance of these stories, of your story, the Winklevoss stories, as much as they want to see bitcoin somewhere, they need to know that these stories are the ones that are going to sell it and that are going to build it. It's the origins of it. It's like the Avengers, it's like the Marvel Universe is built off of those movies. And then you can go off in all the different directions of each character. But that basic story is the thing that sells it and makes it big.

Charlie Shrem
How was writing this book different than writing some of your other books?

Ben Mezrich
I will say every book is dramatically different because the way I write my books, as you know personally, is I first reach out to the people in it. And I try and sit down with them and then get them to just tell me stories. And I don't yet know where those stories are going to fit in until I hear their stories. And then I try and build an outline, create these arcs using the stories. So for this book, first of all, I didn't know anything about bitcoin. I'd never had any interest in writing about bitcoin. Over the years, I was getting so many pitches and so many emails, people saying, "You should write about bitcoin." And I was like-

Charlie Shrem
One of them may have been mine.

Ben Mezrich
Maybe. I don't know. I should look back through. But a lot of people would pitch me. And every time, I said, "You know what, I don't know anything about it. The word blockchain is the worst word ever invented. It makes my eyes glaze over. It's horrible. And then the math."

Charlie Shrem
It literally sounds so dry, blockchain.

Ben Mezrich
I can't do that. But then when I saw that it was the Winklevoss twins, who were the first billionaires, and I'd already written about them. It segued into your story. And I was like, "Well, there's another compelling drama here." And a lot of it is, you make the whole story work because it's their story and how they became billionaires in this world. But it intersects with your story and your arc, which is both a cautionary tale, but also brings out that other side of the bitcoin story, libertarians and all of that. It really works in such a dramatic way.

So for this story, I was blown away by it. It took a few months of really digging to get to everybody, and then the writing. I don't know. I love it. I feel like it's perfect for me to write because it captures both. I like to write about young people who are brilliant, who don't follow the rules, who kind of break with the establishment. But it also has that, you know, the Winklevoss twins. It has something that anchors it in a sort of celebrities who are larger than life, who are almost have a mythic quality to them. Like I say, they're like Greek gods in a lot of ways, mirror twins. So it had so many elements to it. But it was also a matter of picking the small story out of the big story. I don't like to tell just a vast story of bitcoin. My goal was to tell this story of the twins and you and where it goes. And I think that-

Charlie Shrem
What's your favorite one?

Ben Mezrich
My favorite book?

Charlie Shrem
Your favorite story.

Ben Mezrich
In this story?

Charlie Shrem
In this story.

Ben Mezrich
The Bitcoin Billionaires, wow. I mean, I will say I love the scene where they take you to a party. I know the Bulgarian model, whatever. But I feel like that's such a fun scene. It's great. The scene where they meet you for the first time in the bakery is awesome.

Charlie Shrem
It was funny because the way you described it, there were some parts that were extremely accurate, then some part of it were very novel-esque. But when we were sitting in a circle in my office drinking the Neft, and literally passing the bottle around, me, Erik, Cameron and Tyler. That was very true. And then Erik and I had strategically planned that meeting. Because who has a business meeting on a Saturday night in Manhattan at 9:00 when we both live in Brooklyn? We strategically did that in the hopes that we'd get invited out with them to do something else.

Ben Mezrich
That's awesome.

Charlie Shrem
And that's what happened. And when we got to the first party, we thought this was the end all, be all. This party was it. This was it. And so we were just happy to be there. We were just like kids in candy stores. As soon as we got there, Cameron and Tyler had walked away to meet and greet with whoever they wanted to meet and greet with. And Erik and I were just standing in the corner drinking free booze and playing ping pong. There was a ping pong table. And eventually, I forget if it was ... I think it was Tyler. Tyler walked ... No, because Tyler had left. He came back later. Cameron walked over to us and he was like, "Yeah. This party is whatever. We're going to leave soon." And then we just ended up playing ping pong with him.

Ben Mezrich
That's awesome.

Charlie Shrem
It was kind of funny how the-

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. And to switch gears, the other scene involving you that I loved writing was your arrest in the airport because it's such a ... First of all, it's a thriller-esque scene. But it's also this moment where it takes you by so much shock, I feel like.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah. It did.

Ben Mezrich
It's intense. And it brings home the fact that the idea that you could even be arrested for this seems crazy. Right?

Charlie Shrem
I remember what I even wore on the plane before I was arrested. I remember specific small details of when I was arrested. I can even remember what shirt I wore yesterday.

Ben Mezrich
Right. Wow. I mean, it's just one of those moments. And then overall in the book, I also love the initial scene, the settlement scene, the scene that wasn't in The Social Network, that I didn't know back then, where the twins and Mark are in this mediation situation. I wrote this for Vanity Fair, so if you picked up last month's Vanity Fair, it was my story in there. But it was this wild moment where they had been negotiating forever. And Cameron was finally like, "Let's just sit down, the two of us with Mark Zuckerberg, and just talk it out." And so they bring this to Zuckerberg's lawyers. And Zuckerberg's lawyers come back and say, "You know, he says okay, but he has some concerns." And they're like, "What kind of concerns?" And they, "Well, security concerns." And it turns out, Mark was afraid they were going to beat him up.

Charlie Shrem
That's a real concern.

Ben Mezrich
So he said, "I want just one of you to come in," as if one of them couldn't beat up Zuckerberg. So it ended up being a negotiation. It was Cameron and Zuckerberg alone in a glass room. And all the lawyers sat in a circle around the glass room in case something happened. And that to me was such a vivid description.

Charlie Shrem
Was what they talked about allowed to be on record? Or was it like an actual private conversation?

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. Cameron told it to me afterwards. It wasn't recorded. But basically, it was this weird negotiation system where it was back and forth, where Cameron was basically saying, "We're not saying we created Facebook, but we were there. And we were involved to some degree." And Mark is sort of going back and forth with them. He comes out of the meeting, Cameron, thinking, well, they might've gotten to an agreement. Well, the instant messages that come out later tell us that Mark really was thinking of fucking them in the ear. It's a really interesting moment, and if I had known it when I wrote Accidental Billionaires, it certainly would've been a scene in Social Network. And it's the beginning of this story because it's from there that we get to them going to Ibiza and finding bitcoin.

Charlie Shrem
Will you write a third book on this?

Ben Mezrich
I would love to. I love trilogies. We'll see where all you guys end up. I don't know where you're going. I don't know where they're going. I don't know where bitcoin's going yet. I believe bitcoin is going to be part of our future. And this is something when I sat down to write this book, I didn't know anything about bitcoin. I do believe that bitcoin has a place, and that cryptocurrency certainly makes sense. You're not going to be walking around with wallets 25 years from now.

Charlie Shrem
Sure. That's a very interesting point that you make right there, actually.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. I mean, it seems to be very clear that money is already mostly digital. The only money you actually have is what's in your wallet. You go to the bank, and you deposit it. There's not some big vault full of cash. It immediately turns into ones and zeros. So the idea of it being digital is already here. Then the next question is: Is it going to be one government? Or is it going to be something that's just peer to peer? And that makes more sense to me too because: If I'm going to send you a dollar, why does there have to be someone between us?

Charlie Shrem
You're 100% right.

Ben Mezrich
Right. Those things make sense to me. And I see that as the future. That was something I learned from writing this book. Whether it's bitcoin, or whether it's Facebook's coin, or whether it's Amazon's coin, I can't answer that question. But it's certainly going to be some form of peer to peer digital money.

Charlie Shrem
Where did some of the other protagonists or subjects of your other books end up?

Ben Mezrich
It's a great question. Bringing Down the House was my first successful book about the MIT Blackjack team. It had a system to beat Blackjack, and they won $6 million using math and a card counting system. Those guys have all done really well. One of them, the main character's real name is Jeff Ma. And he ended up selling a company to Twitter, so he was at Twitter for a while. Now he's on his own. I don't know what he's doing right now, but he's in Silicon Valley doing something out there. Another kid in the book writes for television, has done very well with that. Other books of mine, there is still, by the way, an MIT Blackjack team, so there still are people who train and go out there and beat Vegas playing Blackjack.

Charlie Shrem
Interesting. Are they allowed to?

Ben Mezrich
It's not illegal. But the casinos will kick you out if they catch you. In the book, they got beat up a couple times. But in real life, you won't get beat up anymore. But you will get kicked out. As long as you pay your taxes, it's legal. But the casinos frown upon it. Other characters from other books, we know where everybody from the Facebook story is, I think.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah.

Ben Mezrich
Eduardo's off in Singapore with his $7 billion. And Sean Parker is ... I don't know what he's doing.

Charlie Shrem
What is Sean Parker doing?

Ben Mezrich
Well, he made a lot of money. He's has one company that was trying to disrupt Hollywood by making first run movies in your house in a home theater. I think he had one price.

Charlie Shrem
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. It was 250 grand or something, or $15,000 a month, and you get-

Ben Mezrich
Was he involved with Spotify? I don't remember. But I know he made some pretty good investments.

Charlie Shrem
Have you had any correspondence or heard from Mark in any of your books or any of that?

Ben Mezrich
I have not specifically Mark. I ran into Sheryl Sandberg at my college reunion. We were classmates. And Sheryl at first-

Charlie Shrem
Oh, cool.

Ben Mezrich
She said ... And she and I are friends, or friendly.

Charlie Shrem
Acquaintances.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. And I have a lot of respect for Sheryl. I think she's a brilliant person who got caught up in something that isn't her fault, really. But then she had to be involved, I guess is the way to put it. But she said, "At first, they all hated me. There was pictures of the book, and they would throw darts at it."

Charlie Shrem
No.

Ben Mezrich
They all went to the movie. They actually took a bunch of Facebook employees. And they saw the value of The Social Network to Mark and to their world. And so in the end, she was very nice, and we had a great conversation. I don't know what she thinks of this book because I think this book takes a harder aim at Zuckerberg.

Charlie Shrem
It really does.

Ben Mezrich
I don't know if she still is going to be nice to me next time we see her.

Charlie Shrem
I think they're going to be throwing Bitcoin Billionaires.

Ben Mezrich
Right.

Charlie Shrem
But then they met with Cameron and Tyler a few weeks ago.

Ben Mezrich
That's the story. That was reported by ... I didn't report that initially. But that was reported by British press, I think, at first, that they sent a team over to Gemini to talk about crypto. I don't know whether or not that happened. I don't have any proof right now. It sounds like it did.

Charlie Shrem
They made it sound like Mark and them sat in a room together.

Ben Mezrich
I mean, I see it as this personal battle between them, and I think there's no way it isn't. But who knows if that's happened, if they've actually sat down with Mark? So Mark, I've talked to people who are pretty high up at Facebook. And it seems fine. I don't know now after this book came out. But I think he understood that Eduardo's story and the twins' story were going to come out, and were part of it. And he was a college kid then, and he's much older now. I think he regrets some of the stuff that he said and did back then.

Charlie Shrem
I'm sure.

Ben Mezrich
Yeah.

Charlie Shrem
We were all kids in college and did and said stupid things.

Ben Mezrich
Right. Everybody at 18, 19 wouldn't want to record what you did when you were 18, 19.

Charlie Shrem
No. I wouldn't.

Ben Mezrich
I get that. I get that. But when you start a billion dollar company when you're that age, it's going to get recorded. And you're similar when you're going to launch something in the crypto space to the degree that you did, unfortunately the things you did when you were 19 become part of history, so it's interesting.

Charlie Shrem
What's next for you?

Ben Mezrich
Yeah. I don't know my next book. I'm looking for my next story, so maybe one of your listeners has my next story. It's always this process of sort of looking through all the different pitches and ideas. I need something big. Bitcoin is so big that it has to be. But I think I'm going to be walking around with this book for a while. I have a feeling-

Charlie Shrem
You keep setting high standards for yourself.

Ben Mezrich
I know. It's tough. You write a book, and then you want to top it each time. I do think this story is one that I will be walking around with for a while because it's really just coming out now, and it's summer. But this is also a big college book, so I see the fall as being a big time for this book. So I have a feeling I'll be talking about this book for a little while. But I'm looking, my eyes are open. If Satoshi wants to come to me, I'm there.

Charlie Shrem
Well, I think now, especially with this book, it was good with Bringing Down the House and Busting Vegas, but with the Facebook book, Facebook book, the Facebook book, really put you on the map. But I think now people are saying, "I have a crazy story, and Ben is the only one who could tell it."

Ben Mezrich
I like to hear that. And I've also been called the billionaire's best friend, so I'm getting a lot of calls in that realm. I'm always looking for great, exciting stories and people who are brilliant who do something different and crazy and it kind of changes the world. So that's what I'm always looking for, and I'm open to it. Yeah.

Charlie Shrem
Well, in a few weeks, I'm going to be driving up to Maine to spend a few months over the summer. So when I drive through New England, I'll give you a shout.

Ben Mezrich
Fantastic. Absolutely doing it. Love to take you out to dinner here in Boston. I think you're a fascinating character.

Charlie Shrem
I have to meet your mother.

Ben Mezrich
And you have to meet my mother. She would love you. And I want to say, I'm so appreciative that you opened up to me for this book, and told me things that I know were personal and intense. And I hope a lot of people read this book and get to know you, things that you may like, and things that you may not like them reading. But I think overall, it's a really empathetic and compelling story, so I hope people read it. And I do hope it becomes the people in the crypto realm to tweet about it because they should. And then you're a part of it.

Charlie Shrem
They will. The crypto space is slower to accept things from outsiders.

Ben Mezrich
I get that. And when you hear from Erik and Roger, let me know what they think.

Charlie Shrem
I will. I'll definitely let you know. And for anyone who's listening, you can buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, your local bookstore. Yeah, that was crazy. I was in my local airport. The book was right there in the Hudson News.

Ben Mezrich
You should've signed it, just put your name in there.

Charlie Shrem
No one has asked me to sign it yet.

Ben Mezrich
I've heard about authors who go to airports and just bring a pen, and just sign their book while it's there.

Charlie Shrem
That's crazy.

Ben Mezrich
You've got to sign a few because those will be worth something.

Charlie Shrem
A lot of people on 60 Minutes have been seeing me on the street and picking ... I didn't realize how many people watch 60 Minutes.

Ben Mezrich
Oh, yeah. 11 million people watch that show. That's a big show.

Charlie Shrem
It's crazy.

Ben Mezrich
It's only going to get bigger. We've got some other big shows coming up.

Charlie Shrem
Fantastic.

Ben Mezrich
Can't say what they are yet, but I'll be tweeting about it. But thank you so much. I really appreciate this, Charlie.

Charlie Shrem
Thank you, Ben. Hey, everyone. Thanks for listening. New episodes of Untold Stories go live every Tuesday at 7:00 AM EST. Links to our Apple and Spotify channels are in the show notes. You can also follow me on Twitter at Charlie Shrem to continue the conversation. See you next week.