The Blog

In Bitcoin's Barry Silbert, A Prosecution Waiting To Happen

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

As readers may already know, I used my space here to draw attention to Barry Silbert's Ethereum Classic scam. You can read that coverage here and here.

A source assures me Classic meets the loose definition of a scam: it is in no way Ethereum. It is just an insecure orphan chain which is being promoted by a wealthy guy in New York, relentlessly, in a way that would be absolutely illegal if "Ethereum" were a publicly traded company or commodity - which it may well be one day soon, in some form.

Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin has publicly pledged "100%" of his support to ETH, the main blockchain for the Ethereum community.

Especially in light of Mr. Silbert's prior cryptocurrency run-in with the S.E.C., my source suggests a second look from authorities might result in more than a slap on the wrist this time, especially since CoinDesk - a leading cryptocurrency media outlet wholly acquired by Mr. Silbert's Digital Currency Group recently - has shifted to a "discernible" and "biased" promotional strategy for Classic since the acquisition.

"Kathryn [Haun] owes you a drink," the source joked, referring to assistant U.S. attorney Kathryn Haun, who heads up the digital currency crimes office for the United States Dept. of Justice in San Francisco.

Nearly a week after our first stories about Mr. Silbert broke, he finally responded to my multiple public inquiries asking for an explanation. "Yeah, I care what you think," Mr. Silbert tweeted to my personal Twitter account.

It's not what I think that remotely matters, Mr. Silbert. It's the Ethereum investors, the Ethereum developers, the American and international corporations developing on Ethereum, and the law enforcement community - they are the ones who want answers, not me.

I couldn't care less.

Disclosure: At time of publication, I hold some bitcoin, ether, US dollars, and gold in my long term portfolio. As I held ether at the time of the fork, I also have a "Classic" position by default but have not sold any - Classic is a scam and I am uninterested in profiting from the sale of duplicate tokens.