Bitcoin Pioneer Charlie Shrem Launches New Blockchain Venture

Months after his release from prison for money laundering violations, entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has announced a new blockchain venture.

AccessTimeIconNov 23, 2016 at 4:23 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 6, 2023 at 2:59 p.m. UTC

"You're going to have bitcoiners owning stakes in septic tank companies."

If early bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem's newest venture (his first since his release from prison earlier this year) goes to plan, the results could offer new – and unusual – ways for digital currency users to invest.

Called Intellisys Capital, the startup (co-founded by CEO Jason Granger) intends to offer a private equity investment portfolio in which tokens representing shares in a portfolio of "middle market companies" are issued on the ethereum blockchain.

Announced at CoinDesk On Tap in New York today, the venture is Shrem's first since his first startup BitInstant shut down amid regulatory concerns.

Intellisys Capital, he said, now intends to issue tokens representing blockchain-based shares in manufacturing, real estate or even sanitary waste firms that are profitable and low risk.

Shrem told the audience:

"We'll be selling ownership and shares in this portfolio of companies on the blockchain, so a token won't be based on speculation. If you own the token, you'll be owning a piece of hard assets, a piece of these companies."

Blockchain will be used to administer and decentralize the fund, he added.

As explained in a press release, the fund will be called Mainstreet Investment LP, and 30% will be owned by token holders and a controlling stake. The remaining 70% will, in turn, be owned by Intellisys Capital.

Using this strategy, Intellisys Capital hopes to begin generating dividends, which it will then issue to token holders and invest in blockchain technology companies to build a portfolio. (Shrem cited this ability as a key reason Intellisys is using the ethereum platform).

"The strategy is designed to create symbiosis between blockchain assets and traditional finance and to help many traditional sectors move toward state-of-the-art improvements and efficiencies," a press release said.

Expected to launch in the next few months, Intellisys will raise funds through the sale of an ethereum-based token called 'mainstreet investment token', slated to be sold starting 15th January, 2017. The sale will only be open to both global investors and accredited US investors.

Elsewhere, Shrem discussed his life after prison, as well as his perceptions on current industry events and issues with Cooley LLP blockchain lead and industry legal veteran Marco Santori.

Overall, Shrem was positive about both the bitcoin and blockchain industry and the new venture, adding:

"I could've went [to jail] and the technology could have died, and it did the opposite."

For more of Shrem's talk, watch the full stream of the inaugural CoinDesk On Tap event below.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the crowdsale would not be open to US investors. This has been corrected.


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