Crypto Economics Consulting Group (CECG) has launched a project that aims to supply people convicted for cryptocurrency crimes with paper literature. Anyone can offer their suggestion regarding the books to be sent.

The group also suggests donating for the project in the form of money transfers or Amazon gift certificates. The organisation explains that it is prohibited by law to give prisoners hardcover books, as well as “anti-government” materials or literature containing escape instructions. 

As an example, CECG names some titles that have already been sent: “The Way of Men” by Jack Donovan, “Convict Conditioning” by Paul Wade and “Solitary Fitness” by the (in)famous British artist, poet, sportsman and robber Charles Bronson, who served a long term in jail. All these books are supposed to benefit the prisoners physically and spiritually.

The group does not refer to the addressees of the programme as “fraudsters”. Instead, CECG calls them “political prisoners incarcerated for cryptocurrency-related thoughtcrimes”. With this phraseology referring to Orwell’s “1984”, the organisation displays sympathy towards the prisoners and hints at the tyrannical nature of governments.

The group names John Powell, Robert Faiella, Ross Ulbricht and Charlie Shrem among the people serving time for bitcoin-related frauds. All of them were convicted in 2014 and 2015.

Ross Ulbricht was the founder and owner of the anonymous darknet market Silk Road. He is now serving a life sentence for drug trafficking, money laundering conspiracy and hackering.

Charlie Shrem, CEO of BitInstant, received the sentence of two years in jail for supplying Silk Road users with bitcoins and helping them with money transferring. Faiella, sentenced for 4 years, was his co-conspirator.

John Powell is now serving a 4 years’ term for illegal money services: according to the prosecution, he exchanged cash for bitcoins, thus helping anonymous illicit operations.

CECG positions itself as an organisation aimed at creating a global bitcoin-based economy. The group uses quite a harsh language to describe the present day financial system, calling it “obsolete, incapable and unfair”. Co-founder of the IT company Dydra Arto Bendiken and Founding Board Director of the Bitcoin Foundation Jon Matonis are mentioned, among others, as members of the CECG team.


Andrew Levich