Untold Stories: Courtney Shrem With A Unique Crypto Perspective

No one knows the behind-the-scenes crypto stories like Courtney Shrem, Charlie’s wife. Listen in for her unique insights on things like: Watching diversity grow in crypto, how she and Charlie started dating, Courtney’s take on the throw up story, how fast she fell for Charlie, sticking by Charlie through prison and beyond, and tips for long-term relationships (if you can travel together and not want to kill each other, you’re on the right track).

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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 episode of Untold Stories is sponsored by Scott Offord, the creator of Crypto Mining. Scott's a broker of ASIC mining gear and helps people buy and sell their miners. He created a bitcoin mining profitability calculator and an interactive ASIC hardware comparison chart that you can find at cryptomining.tools. It's the only free online tool for calculating profitability and days to ROI. That includes the impact of the bitcoin block reward having. The calculator lets you put in your estimated uptime to give you a more realistic profit projections. So check it out and find Scott on telegram and Twitter at O-F-F-O-R-D S-C-O-T-T. That's O-F-F-O-R-D S-C-O-T-T. Links are in the show notes.

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Throughout the course of the past decade. Wow, it's been a decade in crypto. I can't believe it. Well, like eight or nine years. There've been a bunch of books and movies, and a lot of articles and exposes written about my life. And I read them from me looking out to get that perspective, and a lot of the information is accurate or inaccurate, or whatever. My next guest, I'm very excited about because she's my wife, of course, Courtney Shrem.

And what's great about having her on the show today is we've been together from pretty much when I got into crypto in 2012, and she'll be able to give you that perspective from a female perspective, but also as being there with me during a lot of the major events of not just my life, but in crypto and give you that better perspective of who some people are, how they built their start-ups and their companies, and really how the crypto movement truly came to be, not just from my perspective but from someone else's. Courtney, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Courtney Shrem
Thank you for having me.

Charlie Shrem
So Court, what was your first foray into crypto and tell us honestly what you thought of not the people yet, but just the whole concept of crypto in general.

Courtney Shrem
Well, I was introduced to Crypto working at a nightclub called EVR in New York City. Basically, that was the first prominent bar/nightclub to accept cryptocurrency as payment. So I was a cocktail waitress there and I was one of the first people to do the first transactions for Bitcoin to be accepted.

Charlie Shrem
Did you really understand what you were doing or it was just like a joke?

Courtney Shrem
I had no idea. I honestly just thought it was another payment system. I really didn't get the concept of how big this thing was…

Charlie Shrem
So just like another form of payment processing and-.

Courtney Shrem
Yeah. That was like a PayPal situation.

Charlie Shrem
Do you remember around like what year was this?

Courtney Shrem
This was 2013 for me.

Charlie Shrem
And who was the one actually buying? What were they buying and who and why were they doing it? Like what was the whole point of it? What's the difference between credit card and Bitcoin?

Courtney Shrem
Well, the nice thing about I learned with Bitcoin is that you can't do chargebacks. So for example, we would have a lot of people try and buy bottles and then say that they never bought the bottles but-

Charlie Shrem
So they show up the next day saying, “I never bought $10,000 worth of booze the night before,”-

Courtney Shrem
Exactly.

Charlie Shrem
-and then charge it back.

Courtney Shrem
And they would try and charge it back. But because it's Bitcoin, it's instantaneous cash that pools out right away, so they cannot go back on their word with that. They have already purchased the items.

Charlie Shrem
It's an instantaneous transfer, but you don't have to worry about chargebacks. And this is not like a libertarian or anarchist thing, this was a real life situation in the entertainment industry, hospitality, when you have a lot of chargebacks. So from a nightclub perspective, someone comes in and spends 10 grand, and even if you have them on camera, even if you have them spending the money and literally like swiping the credit card on camera and you could tell like all the proof you need, they can still come back and up for… you're fighting them now for 60 days with a credit card and that's money that you don't have. But with bitcoin, it's instantaneous.

Courtney Shrem
Yes.

Charlie Shrem
It's very interesting. And tell us a little about yourself and where are you grew up, and how you ended up working in that nightclub?

Courtney Shrem
So I'm originally from York, Pennsylvania. I moved to New York City in 2001. Basically, I was a dancer. I was signed with a dance agency for about two years and then crossed into acting. So then I did a lot of on camera commercial print work, modeling, acting and so forth. I had done a couple of feature films that you can check me out on IMDB.

Charlie Shrem
I've watched them.

Courtney Shrem
I know you have. And then honestly, 2013, I ended up just pounding the pavement, looking for a job in the dead of winter, and this door that didn't even have a label on it happened to be EVR later on. And that's where my life has changed.

Charlie Shrem
And that was a crazy place because that nightclub was one of the first locations to accept bitcoin for payment. And this was 2013, and it was partially owned by myself, Eric Voorhees is, my listeners know who's the founder of Shapeshift and was the founder of Satoshi Dice, and also worked at BitInstant. He's a very well-known libertarian and bitcoiner. It was also owned by Yifu Guo, owned a piece of that place too. And Yifu would show up with-

Courtney Shrem
Champagne showers.

Charlie Shrem
-the champagne showers. But Yifu was, while he wasn't spraying champagne on people, he was founding the first ASIC and Yifu fundamentally changed mining as we know it, because before he invented the ASIC, the application specific integrated circuit machine, which is 99.9%, but if not 100% of all bitcoin and other, all coin mining is done on ASICs today. It was done even by Satoshi himself on CPUs, on your laptops, computers or on graphics cards, which are also computers, but people set up mining firms.

And what Yifu invented for my listeners' knowledge, Yifu invented a type of computer, a type of chip essentially, which can only mine bitcoin. So from its outset, this chip could only mine bitcoin and do nothing else. It cannot even be a calculator. It can't do one plus one equals two. So if bitcoin cease to exist, these machines that are worth… that costs tens of thousands of dollars each are literally just paperweights. And what would Yifu do on his free time at the club?

Courtney Shrem
I mean, free time? He would have a drink and buy bitcoin with it.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, that's what this place was.

Courtney Shrem
And buy tables.

Charlie Shrem
And so people would hold court at the club, and you'd get a lot of… do you remember any stories of any bitcoiners coming into the club and people wanting to use bitcoin?

Courtney Shrem
Oh, it was crazy, especially in 2013. It was probably, I would say two or three months into me working at EVR, people were just constantly coming in and asking about this concept, and that they wanted to use this bitcoin. I think there was a big promotion or something that EVR did to get people to keep coming in and then it was a buzz word, and then the press started coming in. And then I was like, “Wow, this is actually bigger than I ever anticipated it to get.”

Charlie Shrem
Was it really easy to accept bitcoin? Was the process difficult to do?

Courtney Shrem
No, it was very easy. You just take an iPad, QR code and match up their phone with the QR code, and instantaneously, comes out of their account.

Charlie Shrem
And for those who have read Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich who we just had on the show, how we got together and our whole first date and everything is in the book. Can you tell that story of how we first got together?

Courtney Shrem
Okay. So I was working at the nightclub one evening and basically, our friend Alex, which was my boss at the time and part or owner of EVR, which was your best friend or is your best friend? Our best friend now, basically was like, “We're all going out for drinks tonight and I think Charlie's coming, would you want to come?” And I said, “Oh yeah, sure. Whatever.” So well, I ended up going to meet at the bar that we were supposed to be meeting at. You go and meet up at the bar that we're supposed to meet at, and then no one else showed up. So we were-

Charlie Shrem
It was just us.

Courtney Shrem
It was just us. They set us up.

Charlie Shrem
Before you tell the rest of the story, what was going on was, I was driving home from work and Alex called me about all of us hanging out. And Yifu was in the car with me, and we either had to make a left to drive back to Brooklyn or make a right to go to the club. And I said, “Yifu, do you want to go to the club for a drink?” And he said, “No, I want to go home.” And I said, “Well, I want to hang out with this Courtney girl,” and Yifu said, “Drop me off. I'll take a train.” And if he hadn't said that, I probably would have driven him back to Brooklyn because I promised him a ride.

Courtney Shrem
It was that fork in the road.

Charlie Shrem
It was that fork in the road and I made the right turn. I dropped him off and I made the right turn instead of the left turn. And then we hung out that first night together.

Courtney Shrem
And then you threw up all over and it was awesome.

Charlie Shrem
I did. I did. I should never drink Jameson or do any of that because I'd throw up all over you. But when-

Courtney Shrem
I gave you the benefit of the doubt though, because you were nervous.

Charlie Shrem
When I came back from the bathroom, you didn't leave, you were still there.

Courtney Shrem
Nope. I thought I'd give you another chance.

Charlie Shrem
And the rest is history.

Courtney Shrem
The rest is history. Absolutely.

Charlie Shrem
So we got together, we started dating and these were really some crazy days in the early bitcoin world where the space was figuring itself out. Right? I mean, we didn't really know what to do. In fact, one of the first bitcoin conferences you were at, it was called Bitcoin in 2013 in San Jose, California. And what's interesting is I was helping plan this conference run by the Bitcoin Foundation and I have to be honest with you, we didn't know if people would show up.

This conference, we didn't have the confidence that it would actually take off because up until that-

Courtney Shrem
It was so new.

Charlie Shrem
It was so new. But up until that point, nowadays there's a Bitcoin conference every day. Right now there's probably a bitcoin conference or a crypto conference, or a Blockchain, or whatever going on somewhere in the world. There is guaranteed at least 50 people congregating somewhere in the world today talking about crypto.

Courtney Shrem
Absolutely.

Charlie Shrem
But back then there was none like zero, because it only existed on the Internet. And so-

Courtney Shrem
Is there still meetups?

Charlie Shrem
There are meetups every day. There's crazy stuff going on.

Courtney Shrem
Impacts?

Charlie Shrem
As you know, we went to Fort Myers, Florida a few weeks ago just for a weekend vacation and a little… Fort Myers is not a big city by any means. It's not in the top 20 places you go when you want to say, “I want to visit Florida.” It should be though, it's beautiful. But we were able to get 40 something, 50 people together, all paying a hundred bucks to have dinner just to hear me talk. I mean that's how big crypto is today.

So going back to this conference, you traveled with me. We had first started dating and I'm asking you, we were like dating for like maybe three, four months. And I'm asking you to travel with me to California. We barely knew each other. So it is like Geeko nerdy conference in San Jose with all these other bitcoiners. Why did you say yes?

Courtney Shrem
Well, obviously, I fell for you as soon as I met you. Honestly, you're actually the first person that I or the first guy that actually would be like, “Okay, I'm going to travel to these three states,” and not really know him that well, but I'm just going to take a leap of faith and just see how it goes. And people say, if you can travel with someone and you don't want to kill each other, then you're on the right track.

No, but I was just so intrigued by the whole bitcoin crypto space, and I was just so inspired by the innovation and the way people had so much different visions of bitcoin and crypto, and it wasn't even just about money, it was about changing the world. And I just was just blown away and drawn to that, and just enjoyed the ride, and still enjoying the ride. It was just amazing.

Charlie Shrem
Well, so, but you related really well to the people. So bitcoin back then and still today, it's not just about the space, it's about the people in it. And your background as you've been hustling since you've been 18. You're an actress and you've booked major films on your own without even an agent. You've been paid to travel to places like Denmark, film movies, live there and have these movies in theaters and you book this stuff on your own, right? Like if that's not making it, if that's not hustling, I don't know what else is.

And the crypto space, very much so back then and even now is filled with people like yourself, like hustlers, right? Like people that we don't fit in anywhere else and we need to make it. So you fit in really well. Like all these people accepted you with open arms when a lot of people don't get as much as a warm reception as you got, especially in 2013. What was that like?

Courtney Shrem
It was interesting. In the beginning it was intimidating because I didn't really know much about the space, per se, as much as everyone else. I just knew-

Charlie Shrem
I don't think anyone knew about the space.

Courtney Shrem
I just think there was a certain concepts I knew from working at the nightclub that I can relate to when they're talking about a QR code or the PGP key, or something like that. But meeting the people throughout this whole bitcoin lifestyle, it's been amazing. People are so creative and just so warm, and so just they don't really care what people think. They do what they love, they do what they believe in, and you're either on that ride or you're not, and that's what I love about it. There's no judgment.

Charlie Shrem
Any specific scenarios or people that you remember that stick out at you?

Courtney Shrem
Oh my gosh. Well, Eric Voorhees, obviously, him and his beautiful wife, Michelle. Oh my gosh, you name it. Bruce Fenton. Roger Ver-

Charlie Shrem
For better for worse.

Courtney Shrem
Yeah. Anthony, Anthony-

Charlie Shrem
Tony Gillespie.

Courtney Shrem
Tony Gillespie, Anthony from-

Charlie Shrem
Oh and yeah, from Canada at the essential. Anthony DeOreo.

Courtney Shrem
DeOreo.

Charlie Shrem
The names slip. Anthony is a great character too. We spent time with him in Argentina before he… and I remember, and one of the big regret is, so we're sitting in an Argentina. So it was me, you and him sitting in Argentina and he was pitching me this concept of Ethereum, and I was like, “Oh, I'm just all bitcoin for life. Like I don't know what this Ethereum crap thing is.” And I had an opportunity to get in at the Ethereum token sale and I bought a little bit, but not as much as I wish I did. So that taught me a valid lesson of keeping my ears open and actually listening to people even though if I don't agree with them.

Courtney Shrem
Right, right. Brandon Goldman. Oh my gosh, you're just putting me on the spot. I just know all these people.

Charlie Shrem
I need to write this down because these are some great people I need to get on the show later. So I'm going to write this down. But we've had some crazy times. So that bitcoin 2013 conference was like the first real conference and then we ended up after that traveling to some crazy places together, meeting some crazy people. And had your perception start to change? Had you had any first impressions that you said, “Maybe I'll have to give it a second thought?”

Courtney Shrem
No, I think I was with you the whole way, Charlie. I think I just… what you believed in, I believed in, and I saw what you saw, and it's just, like I said, it just intrigued me the more and more bitcoin grew up.

Charlie Shrem
And it did grow up. I felt like when we first started dating, bitcoin was maybe going through its early high school years trying to figure itself out. I wouldn't even put it at that. I would say it's still elementary school, and now bitcoin is… well, crypto in general is probably in college now. It's still figuring itself out. What's the next step? Will it exist? Coming up with all these names. And when you're in college or university, you're being pulled in a lot of different directions and a lot of people are trying to influence your decision, especially if you're someone that people want to be around.

And those of us who have been to university, we can relate to that time in our lives when we're being pulled in different directions and being influenced by different people and things. That's where crypto is at at this point. It's trying to be influenced by outsiders and we have to be very careful with that because we don't want to lose the impurities and we don't want to forget why we're actually here and what started this all. And that's one of the reasons I decided to do this show because I wanted to remind people where we came from.

And you're a very integral part of that. And I wanted to remind people where we came from and why we're here. Because really in order to understand where we're going and to have direction, even Gandhi said it, you need to remember where you came from.

Courtney Shrem
The one sad part about the space is that in the beginning everybody was so excited and so determined to change different things that are going on in society. But a lot of people had the money to go to their head. And I feel like a lot of people are in it for the wrong reasons. And I'd like to see that turn around and go against itself, and go back to when people were excited and happy, and not going into the drugs not doing… you know what I mean? Like it was just-

Charlie Shrem
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. A lot of our friends succumb to that problem with drug because we've lost a few great people along the way. Like Jake, may rest in peace, wonderful guy. We've lost people and it's a shame because it happens. And a lot of people change their whole attitudes towards with money and things like that. But I feel like I'm a victim of that too when we first started dating, and I started after a year or so of us dating, there was the first bitcoin bubble, and that really I went from having no money to a few hundred thousand dollars, and I would walk around like my shit didn't stink.

And so definitely, we rose together very high but then everyone knows about the media, the crazy crash that we dealt with. And you were with me when I got arrested.

Courtney Shrem
Yes, I was.

Charlie Shrem
We were together, so everyone-

Courtney Shrem
JFK Airport.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, what happened that day?

Courtney Shrem
We were coming back from Amsterdam. You were speaking in Amsterdam and we were on a family vacation. My mom and a friend of ours, a family friend was with us, and then our friend Tom Holsinger and his girlfriend at the time. And when we were coming back, we were in the airport, and all I remember is that we were at customs and they were looking at our passports, and looking at us and like saying, “Welcome back,” blah, blah,. And then this other woman didn't even say a word and she just put her hand up. And I was like, “Well, that's weird.”

So she put her hand up and as soon as she put her hand up, a whole plethora of agents, DEA, you name it, came. And that was like the most horrible experience ever.

Charlie Shrem
I know. I don't like to recount it either.

Courtney Shrem
I didn't even know what was happening. And basically, they just took you in a holding room and they wouldn't let me talk to you. I mean, at the moment that I just try to bury-

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, we don't like talking about it.

Courtney Shrem
It's not something that we can, but we rose from it-

Charlie Shrem
We did.

Courtney Shrem
-and we've really come a long way. And you've learned from your mistakes. And I think going through that with you too, I learned my mistakes too as far as like

Charlie Shrem
Which were what?

Courtney Shrem
The partying and like just… it was a whole different perspective of life when you weren't at your sabbatical but then so when you quit smoking and you quit drinking, well, I didn't quit drinking but I quit smoking.

Charlie Shrem
You quit partying.

Courtney Shrem
I quit partying and because when you are going through that situation, I was going through my situation at home waiting for you to come back home.

Charlie Shrem
So you moved back home.

Courtney Shrem
I did.

Charlie Shrem
And when I went into prison, you left New York too and moved in back with your mom. So because that prison was only like an hour and a half drive, and we wanted to be close to each other, I mean-

Courtney Shrem
And plus, my grandmother was very sick and she moved in with my mom. So I chose to go back and help my take care of or help mom take care of grandma.

Charlie Shrem
You took a sabbatical from your own career, which was doing very well at that point, being an actress and now a voiceover artists. But you actually booked a national commercial while living in Pennsylvania, which was great.

Courtney Shrem
I did.

Charlie Shrem
I felt good about that because I was living with the guilt of that you had taken a break from your career. Everyone knows how hard it is once you take a break from a career. And I'll always love you for that.

Courtney Shrem
I love you too.

Charlie Shrem
You moved home and we were able to see each other twice a month, which was a lot because most people, you don't get to choose what prisons you go to. And so a lot of the inmates I was in with had their family in places states away, and it's obviously very expensive to travel twice a month and leave your jobs and your kids, and everything to visit your loved ones. So I had friends who hadn't seen their families in months and we were able to see each other. And I was very grateful for that.

When I was in prison, I didn't have a lot of communication other than talking to you every day, and then some people write me letters, which I would read some of them to you and everything. But even my email was very limited. I could only email 10 people and these were pre-selected people.

Courtney Shrem
You could talk to two like three minutes.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, we only have 10 minutes a day.

Courtney Shrem
10 minutes a day.

Charlie Shrem
But from what you told me, I had a lot of support from people on the outside, people who had reached out to you.

Courtney Shrem
Absolutely.

Charlie Shrem
What type of stuff went on while I was in prison?

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What type of stuff went on while I was in prison?

Courtney Shrem
Well, I do remember the bitcoin being at the 230 mark and it-

Charlie Shrem
It was at its lowest point.

Courtney Shrem
It was at lowest point.

Charlie Shrem
The ultimate haul.

Courtney Shrem
I was like, “Charlie, it's a 230. This is a great point right now. It's going up. It's going up.” But I don't know, I just, I think like you said, you had a huge support system and you didn't even realize it. And I do remember you saying to me on numerous occasions that you were afraid that you were going to be forgotten. And I told you-

Charlie Shrem
That was the biggest fear I had.

Courtney Shrem
I know. And I told you, you mark my words, “You will not be forgotten.” You've changed a lot of lives. You're still changing lives. I mean, look at where you are today. Look where we are and I just can't express how proud I am of you. And just you inspire me every day because of where you've been and where you are today.

Charlie Shrem
I think to be honest though, thank you. But I think more, to be honest, I think our listeners are going to be more inspired by you than they are going to be inspired by me, because it's one thing to be out there and blindly following your vision, but it's another thing to be the wife of someone who's blindly following a vision or have you girlfriend at the time. We didn't get married until two years ago. And people give credit to Gandhi, I look up to him a lot, but not enough people give credit to Gandhi's wife. Behind every great man is a great woman behind every great woman is a great man. And that's very important for us to recognize because we were like the blind leading the blind, but that should be inspiring for people. And-

Courtney Shrem
Let's just say like in the beginning, I just thought it was a payment system and then starting to date you, and then as our life together just kept progressing, and I kept seeing more and more of the crypto space and what it does for people, it just made me have that vision as well. And it's not just about a payment system, it's I see a lot more now.

Charlie Shrem
What is it?

Courtney Shrem
I mean like basically just look at the non-profit place, like people that don't have a payment system in all these third world countries, they're able to send money to their families because they don't have a bank.

Charlie Shrem
The fees are crazy right now…

Courtney Shrem
And the fees are crazy. So it's just little things like that. And Tony Gillespie's sister-

Charlie Shrem
Bickev.

Courtney Shrem
Yeah, Bickev. I mean, look what they're doing. It's just all these different things and it's just really inspiring to watch. Yeah.

Charlie Shrem
So you started doing voiceover work a few ago. You started training and booking gigs for that, and-

Courtney Shrem
My first child was I booked by Federal Freightliner-

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, you did.

Courtney Shrem
I did the animation video.

Charlie Shrem
And voiceover work is a little bit harder because with acting on camera, it's a lot of bit harder. Acting on camera, you can convey emotion using your facial expressions, your body expressions, your voice and everything. But with voice over work, you have to convey a message and emotion just through voice. And we're on a podcast right now, they can't see us, but they can hear us. And I hope I do a good enough job that to convey this stuff. But what was that like transitioning from, not that you've left on-camera work, but you realize that you're actually pretty damn good at voiceover work and you fell into it accidentally.

Courtney Shrem
Yeah, I got into it. I was actually studying at Florida studio theater here in Sarasota, and I just thought I'd just get my feet wet and just try this eight week course of voiceover setting with John Burr from Voiceover Dynamics. And I ended up really loving it. And when we got married, I got an email from John Burr personally saying, “I saw a lot of potential in you. Would you like to study individually?” And I was like, “Sure. Why not? Whatever.” But mark my words, I almost walked out because it is so frustratingly hard. It is not easy and it's just something I'm not a quitter, so I literally didn't walk away and I ended up progressing very fast.

Charlie Shrem
You have a very good voice on the audio. I can hear it now and close my eyes, I'm listening.

Courtney Shrem
So yeah, and I like voiceover because you get to play and there's no judgment because they can't see you as far as like if you're playing like a children's voice or you're playing sultry, or whatever it is, they can't see what you look like. So you can sound completely different than what you actually portray on camera.

Charlie Shrem
How can people find you and book you if they wanted to?

Courtney Shrem
You can find me on a bookcourtney.com, which is my website,

Charlie Shrem
B-O-O-K-C-O-U-R-T-N-E-Y.com, bookcourtney.com.

Courtney Shrem
And you can also find me on Facebook, Courtney Shrem. And then my Twitter, which is at courtmwarner.com or handle @courtmwarner. So yeah, so yeah, basically that's how you can find me.

Charlie Shrem
Where do you see this crypto space going in the next five years from now?

Courtney Shrem
I don't see bitcoin dying. I think there's too many people involved and too many people that are true believers in it that I think it's not going to be the prominent type of payment system, but I think it will be alternate. I think it will be another alternative.

Charlie Shrem
Well, we talked, and this is a general theme on the show, is that us versus them and the old space versus the new space. And for better, for worse, it's changed. I think it's changed for the better, but definitely miss the old comradery that it had. It's still there. We've had guests like Marshall Long on the show who talked about this and we had Moe Levine. Moe Levine runs the-

Courtney Shrem
Great guy.

Charlie Shrem
Great guy. Moe runs the big… excuse me…Thank you. Moe had started one of the first bitcoin conferences around the time of Bitcoin 2013. He actually started his first conference a few months later after that, but his conference every year, Bitcoin, Miami, is the conference where everyone goes. And no matter who you are or where you are in the world or the space, we all reconnect to reconvene at Bitcoin, Miami in January. And so, I don't even know what we're doing this January, but more than likely we're going to be going to Bitcoin, Miami. And we go every year except we missed one year because that was actually a few days after I was arrested. And Moe told the story of him getting on stage.

Courtney Shrem
He played that joke.

Charlie Shrem
No, well, he told the true story and then the joke after, but he told the story on another show, how he had to go on stage and be like, “I don't know where Charlie is.” And then a year later we were actually at the conference, Moe got on stage, “I don't know where Charlie is.” And everyone was like, “What again?” And I was like, “No, no, I'm here everyone.” But he told that story and that's a great conference that we love and we've had some fun times at those events.

Courtney Shrem
I do want to say don't anyone take offense if I couldn't name everyone that was in space. I was just put on the spot there.

Charlie Shrem
On that note, have you seen a change in the type of people that show up to these events? Because you've traveled to dozens of these conferences now, what type of changes do you see that there were before and versus what there is now?

Courtney Shrem
I'm seeing a lot more venture capitalists in the game, which is actually refreshing, but at the same time we don't want them taking…either. But I think when people see those types of people in this space, I think a lot more people grow respect because it's more of a legitimate, it's in their eyes, which we know it is legitimate but you know what I'm saying?

Charlie Shrem
Yeah. It's one of the things that the crypto is face locked early on was that legitimacy. You get left out of every investor office, you couldn't raise any money. And then in the early crypto conferences, there were no venture capitalists. There were no investors. There were no like big banks or anyone represented like that. It was just a bunch of geeks. And that's definitely changed a lot. And even the dress code, one of the things Moe talked about was he wanted to make his conferences where you can wear shorts and flip flops. And I still wear shorts and flip flops to all the conferences because I can.

But what Moe talked about on our episode here of Untold Stories, was that he tries so hard to make sure people feel comfortable wearing whatever they want, but the dress code has changed. Like now you look out in one of his conferences and it's like people in suits and people wearing shoes, and there are still a lot of people wearing flip flops and sandals, and stuff like that, and tee shirts. But it's definitely changed a lot.

Courtney Shrem
Yeah, definitely. It's interesting because in the beginning, it was more of a social experiment, which pretty much I think it's not as social anymore because it's more… unfortunately, people are more money driven with it. Where I'd like to see more of a social aspect to come out of it again.

Charlie Shrem
What can we do?

Courtney Shrem
I mean-

Charlie Shrem
Because you need that. That social comradery is what drives people. You could just be driven by money to an extent.

Courtney Shrem
Well, look at Jason King with his whole foundation, like that's-

Charlie Shrem
He runs across America to raise money everywhere.

Courtney Shrem
Yeah, exactly, but it's for the homeless and look at the homeless being fed because of bitcoin. That's awesome. I mean, that's a social experiment right there…

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, this whole thing is a social experiment, but you can be driven by the wanting to earn money just to an extent, but really we're driven more by social validation reasons than we are for money. And I feel like that's why we care about how many Facebook likes we have or how many Twitter retweets we have, because of the end of the day-

Courtney Shrem
Validation.

Charlie Shrem
-we want social validation from our other human beings. And so that social camaraderie or that friendship and that wanting to make the world a better place is really what brought bitcoin and crypto to a point. And up until like 2015, I think 2015, that bear market or 2016 was like a such a pivotal point because when bitcoin started going to 20,000 from 500 around 2016, it's recent, that really was a pivotal moment because during that bear market of 2014 to 2016, you lost a lot of early people, but you also weighted out a lot of people. And then the newer wave of people that came in are driven more for capitalistic reasons. And that's okay, it's a new word for social reasons.

And you saw that change. We've lost friends, but not just by death and stuff like that, we've lost friends because they've gotten burned out and left the space. We've had some of those people on the show, but some of those people don't even want to come on the show just because they're completely a burnout. Have you seen more females enter this space?

Courtney Shrem
Oh, absolutely. I remember in 2013 in San Jose, there was barely any female in this space.

Charlie Shrem
You were the only one really.

Courtney Shrem
I felt like I was the only one. Except for the news reporters.

Charlie Shrem
Yes, those were the only ones.

Courtney Shrem
No, but honestly that was actually really refreshing to see too as the years gone by, that there was more and more females in this space.

Charlie Shrem
And that's a great by-product of this now because you want to have more of an inclusive, but it's not just females, it's you see more Asian people coming to American conferences, you see more Russians, you see more people are more open in terms of who they are in this crypto. You're not afraid to be who you are, you know what I mean? Like it doesn't matter your race or your religion, or your sexual preference, or what gender you decide to… what's the word I'm looking for? Whatever gender you decide to say you are… not say you are, what's the… I can't remember the word.

Courtney Shrem
That labels you?

Charlie Shrem
You could choose your own labels, basically. You can be whoever you want to be now and that that inclusion has gotten better. Okay, so that's one thing that in the world has gotten worse, I feel like, but in the crypto space, the inclusion has gotten better and that's such a great by-product. That's something great to see. Right?

Courtney Shrem
Absolutely. I also like the fact that Bitcoin, I have so many friends now because of bitcoin where I didn't think that I would. And because they're your friends too, but like you said, they were very warm and welcoming, and just they didn't care who you were or what you looked like. It was just you all had this one thing in common that it just made you grow as friends, and that's what was really cool to see too.

Charlie Shrem
And you think I'm crazy because a lot of-

Courtney Shrem
I don't think you're crazy.

Charlie Shrem
Like even coming up, we have people coming and staying at our house for like one or two nights. So we have Dr. Puna McCormick is going to be coming and staying with us for a night or two, just him. Then you have Ian Bellina and his whole group of four people. But I mean they're getting an Airbnb because it's a lot of people, but they're coming to visit too. Ian, we've met before, but like Dr. McCormick, we have no idea who this guy is. We've never even met him. Hopefully he's not like a serial killer…staying at our house. No, he's not. He's a great guy and everyone loves him. And he runs another podcast called whatbitcoindid.com. Our listeners can check it out.

But how many people have we had that have come stayed at our house that we have no idea who they are. Like husband and wife that just randomly show up from rush and-

Courtney Shrem
And then they end up being really cool.

Charlie Shrem
And they ended up being really cool. And we ended up… Victor from Trust Wallet, right? Another great person. Him and his wife came down and stayed at our place for a night. We've had Constantine from Uttama, Guatemalan and Changelly stayed with us, stays with us all the time. We've made so many friends-

Courtney Shrem
Jeremy Gardner.

Charlie Shrem
Jeremy Gardner, he comes in every month.

Courtney Shrem
He comes and goes.

Charlie Shrem
He just shows up randomly and he's actually starting a new show called Crypto Chronicle, The Crypto Castle Chronicles and he was in Miami now. That crypto-

Courtney Shrem
It's not based on his story or his life in the-

Charlie Shrem
It's his life. Yeah, it's the story of his life. But that whole space has gotten… So a lot of people like to talk about the negative, I like to talk about the positive and the negative, but I feel like the positive has really gotten better in those respects. What takeaways do you have for our listeners? Some people that are listening to the show and are first getting into crypto, into bitcoin, and they're nervous to jump in, what would you say to them?

Courtney Shrem
Honestly, I would just tell them there's nothing to be afraid of. This is something that is making history, that's already made history. And if you do invest in bitcoin or any kind of alternative cryptocurrency, don't put money in that you don't have.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, we will take out…

Courtney Shrem
-don't put a mortgage on your house and just get your feet wet. Don't go all in and just see how it goes and see if it works for you.

Charlie Shrem
Are there specific jobs or roles that you see people can be filling? What are we missing? In terms of the female perspective, are there women in crypto groups that people can join? Should they be afraid at all?

Courtney Shrem
I don't think they should be afraid…if anything, they're representing the female, like girl power. Like that's a big thing. And especially when women weren't in it in the beginning as much, and now it's spreading more and more. I think that's a huge accomplishment in a lot of ways.

Charlie Shrem
I think, if anything, if this industry goes away tomorrow and bitcoin ceases to exist, when it's being written about in the history books, I know for those listeners, I don't hope that… I don't think that'll happen. I just like to always…

Courtney Shrem
I'm feeling I will be.

Charlie Shrem
Yeah, it's definitely going to be around forever. But I like to show like the worst case scenario, the history books will write how inclusive our community is and how this community in this industry empowered people, still empowers people to be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do. Because crypto is so new and so crazy still, it still is crazy. It still is like what the hell is are we doing? What the hell is going on? What are we? Who are we?

And so I look forward to meeting the people and to going to the conferences with you, of course. And you travel with me everywhere. So I just want to say thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Courtney Shrem
Thank you very much. This is a pleasure.

Charlie Shrem
I know you're doing auditions and things like that. You're very busy. But I appreciate you coming to the studio with me here and talking, and coming on the show. And I think our listeners are really going to love what you have to say.

Courtney Shrem
Thanks love.

Charlie Shrem
I love you.

Courtney Shrem
I love you too.

Charlie Shrem
Hey everyone. Thanks for listening. This episode of Untold Stories is sponsored by Scott Offord, the creator of Crypto Mining. Scott's a broker of ASIC mining gear and helps people buy and sell their miners. He created a bitcoin mining profitability calculator and an interactive ASIC hardware comparison chart that you can find at cryptomining.tools. It's the only free online tool for calculating profitability and days to ROI. That includes the impact of the bitcoin block reward having. The calculator lets you put in your estimated uptime to give you a more realistic profit projections. So check it out and find Scott on telegram and Twitter at O-F-F-O-R-D S-C-O-T-T.

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New episodes go live every Tuesday at 07: 00 AM EST. links to our Apple and Spotify channels are in the show notes. You can also follow me on Twitter, Charlie Shrem to continue the conversation. See you next week.