The Bitcoin Foundation has accepted the resignation of Charlie Shrem, the Bitcoin entrepreneur who was charged Monday with violating money laundering laws. Shrem, founder of the Bitcoin startup BitInstant, is accused of facilitating illegal drug transactions on the underground market Silk Road.
"As a foundation, we need to remain focused on our core mission to standardize, protect, and promote the Bitcoin core protocol," Bitcoin executive director Jon Matonis said in a foundation news release. "While Charlie has contributed a great deal of personal effort and resources to enhance the adoption of Bitcoin worldwide, a prolonged legal dispute would inevitably detract from advancing that core mission."
Matonis said Shrem's departure from the board was "mutual." He also emphasized that the government's charges focused on Shrem as an individual, and not the broader Bitcoin community.