Many are curious about Charlie Shrem’s Crypto Investor Network. The interest is mainly due to two huge factors.
A series of firsts
First, the editor is a controversial figure in the crypto and financial world. Fortune's 2015 article headline on Shrem goes like this:
Bitcoin’s first criminal goes to prison today
How's that for shock value?
According to the write-up, Shrem was arrested in 2014. He was charged with failing to report suspicious banking activity, laundering money, and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.
The article also acknowledged his role as an "early advocate of the bitcoin community." So even if we do read about this case, we also get to know that he is indeed among the first in this investing space.
We emphasize this because when we hear about the "first" this and the "pioneer" in that, such only come from press releases. With this one, we get it from an objective news article.
Meanwhile, finance and crypto info platform CoinDesk used this as a headline:
Bitcoin's 'First Felon' Charlie Shrem Begins 2-Year Sentence
Also, it narrated that the 25-year old felon will serve his time in Lewisburg Federal Prison Camp in Pennsylvania.
According to CoinDesk, Shrem was the CEO of BitInstant, a bitcoin exchange. He was just 22 years old then.
However, he was dealing then with "BTCKing" Robert Faiella. Faiella was supplying $1 million "in digital currency to people buying drugs on the now-defunct online marketplace Silk Road."
Apparently, this violated provisions of the law concerning such transactions. Faiella was even charged to four years in prison.
In addition, both investors paid the U.S. government $950,000 each as a condition of their plea bargains.
In fairness to Shrem, he did acknowledge the severity of his actions when he was sentenced. The crypto pioneer admitted that he broke the law "badly" and had no excuses for it.
The Reuters article on the issue added a few more critical details.
In charge of the case was U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan. According to the writeup, the judge had this to say:
Rakoff said Shrem, 25, was not “some kid making a one-time mistake,” but someone who “excitedly” participated in a novel crime involving bitcoins that contributed to drugs sales.
“The very innovativeness of it made it a danger to controlling drug trafficking,” Rakoff said.
There are more recent developments from Shrem, but more on that later. For now, though, we are sure you already have an idea why he and his service would merit attention and curiosity.
But is this kind of publicity helpful for him and his service? "Bad publicity is still publicity," right? "There's no such thing as bad publicity," right?
Let's slowly unpack what the implications are throughout this review. Remember, Luke Lango is also an editor in this newsletter. So it will not just be about Shrem.
The second reason why there's much talk about the service is more obvious.
Cryptocurrency is in everyone's mind right now. People in cafes, office hallways, and government offices all have something to say about the new currency.
Today, there are even Super Bowl commercials that promote it heavily.
Celebrities are also in on it, which drives more people to ask and research about it. Based on the current supply of information, it's clear that there is demand for such news.
Some are confused, others are skeptical, but for sure, everyone is curious. It's relatively new, and its proponents are very loud about the so-called compelling benefits of getting into crypto.
There seems to be no shortage of warnings and disclaimers, though. We see articles, news reports, and commentary about being careful about investing everything into the volatile currency.
Crypto for dummies
A crypto article on CNBC details instructions on how regular people can try it. Of course, there is a significant emphasis on the risks involved.
The first guideline is to "make sure you have a strong financial foundation."
According to the article, to withstand the potential losses in the space, you must have enough financial buffer. Do not go all in right away (or ever) because there is still a lot to know about it.
Moreover, you should not get money from your savings and emergency funds. This move will not be wise as you will likely encounter volatility with your investment.
The second guideline involves choosing which platform to use.
There are traditional financial apps from which you can buy cryptocurrency. PayPal apparently also allows people to buy four kinds: bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and litecoin.
The trading app Robinhood, meanwhile, offers seven cryptocurrencies. SoFi, a personal finance service, "allows for crypto purchases of 21 different coins and crypto tokens."
If you prefer something where your choices are not limited, you may opt for centralized exchanges. Examples of these are Gemini, Kraken, and Coinbase.
The article also says that users can go through crypto trusts if they prefer dealing with traditional brokerage accounts.
Diversification is the final reminder from the CNBC article. It says that the wise move here is to allocate only a maximum of 10 percent of your portfolio to crypto.
This strategy will safeguard you from any loss you may incur from the investment space.
These are just among the reasons why people like you might be looking for a quality review of the newsletter. Continue reading the article as we have a lot to cover.
- Name: Crypto Investor Network
- Editor: Charlie Shrem and Luke Lango
- Publisher: InvestorPlace
- Website: www.investorplace.com
- Service: Investment advisory on cryptocurrency, specifically focusing on blockchain and altcoins
- Cost: $99 annual subscription fee
Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem teams up with Luke Lango of InvestorPlace for the service. According to them, this is the world's first crypto investor network advisory.
Previous promos name Matt McCall as Shrem's partner. Now, the editor does not seem to be connected to InvestorPlace anymore.
What's unique about this is that Shrem and Lango are focusing on blockchain technology and altcoins.
In addition, the two investors say the original price for the research is $3,500. However, since they are kindhearted editors, they have decided to bring the price down to $199.
But for a "limited time," they still brought it down to $99. What a steal, right? Huge savings from the original price of $3,500 to $99. Well, that's if you believe in what they are saying.
When you subscribe, you will get "incredible stories, research, and investing opportunities unfolding throughout the blockchain and cryptocurrency world."
Since you will be the first to hear about them, the editors claim this will ensure that you have an advantage over other investors.
Another feature that you could enjoy is access to the model portfolio. With this, you will be able to "keep tabs on current positions and review the newest crypto recommendations."
The publisher, InvestorPlace, rates this service as "Aggressive."
Green Bull Research reviewed previous teasers of the editors. Reading about them will give you more in-depth information:
What is Crypto Investor Network?
Based on the website, the advisory focuses on crypto blockchains. The editors believe that explosive growth will come from this investing area.
The teaser on its website also states that the service has a keen interest in altcoins. Shrem and Lango believe that altcoins' rise has even more impact than bitcoin.
The underlying technology behind both is blockchain. Since all of these are interconnected, the newsletter will give them special attention.
Once you subscribe, the tandem will make their crypto recommendations available for you. These include research and stories so you can learn more about the space.
In addition, you will have access to a portfolio, along with some special reports.
Who Runs Crypto Investor Network?
Although the majority of the attention is on Shrem, the main guy at the helm is still Luke Lango. He is also InvestorPlace's Chief Investor Strategist.
We previously reviewed his Innovation Investor newsletter on this site. Read our article to give you more insights about him and his services.
According to his bio, he was the top stock picker in 2020, as per TipRanks. This means he outperformed about 15,000 Wall Street analysts and power players.
According to the same rating agency, his success rate was 82 percent at the time. In fact, he had an average yield of 59.6 percent.
Moreover, Lango claims to be an equities analyst and investor specializing in growth stocks.
According to his LinkedIn biography, he earned a name for himself by consistently recognizing next-generation small-cap companies and cryptocurrencies with tremendous upside potential.
His technical expertise and "big-picture" investment mindset were critical to his success.
As a result, many publications routinely list Lango as one of the finest stock pickers in the world, according to InvestorPlace.
He claims to have jumped into a significant emerging megatrend – blockchain and cryptocurrency – after following his instincts about technological advancement.
The editor also argues that these are the most revolutionary technology since the internet. He's coupled his ability for discovering exploding small-cap stocks with his sharp sense of what's fresh to create it.
In addition to investing, Lango conducts extensive research on venture capital and technology startup opportunities.
But for this advisory, he willingly shares the limelight with someone who has more name recall than him.
Some of the descriptions of Shrem include "one of bitcoin's first tycoons," "Bitcoin royalty," and "crypto visionary."
Of course, as we have discussed earlier, people also regard him as "Bitcoin's first criminal."
Indeed, he is a well-known figure in the bitcoin community and an early supporter. He created BitInstant, a bitcoin exchange, in 2011. It even got on board several reputable investors, including the Winklevoss brothers.
Shrem, born in 1989, was a senior student when Bitcoin first appeared in 2011. He began investing in crypto at that time, but he lost a lot when his storage provider went down.
In part as a result of this occurrence, Shrem formed BitInstant with Gareth Nelson, a friend and fellow crypto enthusiast. They founded the firm as a simple way for users to change their money into Bitcoin.
BitInstant was a considerable success, accounting for about 30 percent of all Bitcoin exchanges at one point. From September 2011 to July 2013, the company was in operation.
Shrem identified himself as a "Bitcoin purist" during the BitInstant craze.
He was a fan of the digital currency and endorsed the technology heavily. Why? He saw that it has greater security and freedom over conventional banking institutions.
Eventually, he became Bitcoin Foundation's vice chair during the growth of BitInstant. Shrem's personal wealth also increased dramatically during BitInstant's meteoric rise in popularity.
However, in January 2014, authorities arrested and charged him in court.
Shrem's legal issues were mostly about questionable banking activity. Authorities also accused him of laundering money from BitInstant accounts. Another charge was that he was operating an unregistered money-transmitting company.
The crypto pioneer reportedly worked as a dishwasher after being released from prison. Apparently, he lost most of the money he had made through BitInstant due to legal bills and penalties.
He continued to be an outspoken supporter of Bitcoin and crypto since his release from prison in mid-2016.
Shrem even stated that he intends to continue investing in the cryptocurrency field. However, he will diversify his assets and spend his Bitcoin income in real estate.
He's also re-entered the sector with many new initiatives and businesses.
Shrem launched the Untold Stories podcast in 2019. It's a show that takes a deeper look into the stories around crypto's leaders.
He is also a loud voice online. The editor's narrative has been told in numerous books about cryptocurrency. To this day, many still frequently refer to him as the "first felon" in the industry.
Although Shrem's involvement in the bitcoin sector has evolved since his days as the CEO of BitInstant, he remains a solid and vocal proponent of Bitcoin.
In fact, many seek him out as a lecturer on cryptocurrency-related topics. He also continues to serve as an advisor to many digital currency-related businesses and organizations.
InvestorPlace claims to be one of the country's biggest and most successful independent financial research companies. Tom Phillips, an entrepreneur, started it nearly 40 years ago.
It provides in-depth analyses as well as financial recommendations. The firm then makes these available to self-directed investors, financial advisors, and money managers through its services.
InvestorPlace also asserts that, unlike many financial institutions, it does not receive compensation from the companies it covers. It also refuses to accept bank fees.
Moreover, company executives claim that they just express their views to inform people. If they could improve regular investors' financial standing, that would already be a bonus.
If you are interested in its services, you can choose from a wide range of services. InvestorPlace wants to accommodate as many types of investors as possible.
You can choose from Accelerated Profits, Crypto Investor Network, and Ultimate Crypto if you are into active trading.
Meanwhile, it has Breakthrough Stocks and Daily 10X Stock Report for those into small-cap services.
If you are the type who is most interested in growth investing, choose among Growth Investor, Early Stage Investor, or Innovation Investor newsletters.
However, if you fancy macro trends, InvestorPlace offers Investment Report and The Speculator. There's also Power Options and Strategic Trader for those into options trading.
The company also has Private Deal Group and an invitation-only service called Platinum Growth Club.
InvestorPlace further claims that its consumers stick with them because they deliver results. The firm also claims that this kind of fundamental, transparent model since the 1970s attracts investors.
It also claims that a lot of prominent media outlets throughout the world pick up its concepts over the years.
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNN, among others, also publish the work of its experts.
InvestorPlace even has collaborations with the likes of Georgetown University, Harvard University, and New York University.
How it Works
Shrem and Lango do not give specifics on their process. Unfortunately, most of the pitches were on their reputation and record.
If you are an investor keen on looking at what's under the hood, you'll be disappointed. In fact, we have already looked at two teasers.
Both do not detail how the editors come up with their analyses. Since both are well-known in the space, they deem their judgments as enough hook for subscribers.
What do you think about this? Are you inclined to subscribe based on their word alone? Do tell us in the comments section below.
What You Get
With every subscription, the two editors guarantee insightful ideas and recommendations. Do note that the inclusions below may change by the time you check the publisher's latest offers.
- One-year membership to the Crypto Investor Network - The advisory contains research and recommendations. Most of them will be on blockchain and crypto.
- Full access to the Crypto Investor Network Model Portfolio - You can keep track of all the altcoin recommendations here. InvestorPlace promises to make this user-friendly.
- Special Reports:
- Four Altcoins to Buy Now for 1,000% and Beyond - According to the editors, these are the must-buy altcoins for the best gains.
- The Altcoin Millionaire's Playbook - The primer contains the rationale for investing in altcoins. It's supposed to help you build wealth quickly.
- Altcoin Investing for Beginners - This special report details how to start in the investing space. As per Shrem and Lango, every investor needs to read this.
Cost and Refund Policy
The annual subscription costs $99.
As per the editors, the service is actually worth $3,500, and people would still gladly subscribe. However, they brought it down to $199 to benefit more people.
Apparently, Shrem and Lango are feeling generous, so they convinced the publisher to give it for just $99.
Do you believe such a shtick? The point here is that it's affordable and worth much more than the price. That should just have been the line — no need for all the pretense.
Depending on the offer page you click, you would get different refund structures. One gives you one whole year as a leeway to think about the quality of the service.
At any point in those 12 months, you may ask for a refund, and they will return your money.
The other offer, however, offers only up to 90 days.
Either way, we think it is a massive plus for the service to allow subscribers to opt out if they are dissatisfied with the service.
Track Record and Reviews
The publisher is rather careful in the newsletter's promotional teaser on the website. Though there are a gazillion success stories, a line often appears in the text.
Again, these are some of Luke's best calls from across his entire career, not from this research service. For reference, the average gain of Charlie and Luke's research service in 2020 was 36.5%.
To fact check any of our data, please visit our Disclosures and Disclaimers page.
Whenever there are proofs of past success, the editors quickly put a disclaimer. So we checked the page to which they refer.
We found refreshingly honest sentences. We will post them here verbatim for your appreciation.
Investing always involves the risk of loss.
As you surely have heard before, the past isn’t necessarily a guide to the future.
The first thing to know about our business is that we are NOT money managers, brokers or fiduciaries of any kind.
As we will regularly remind you: It’s your money, and it’s your responsibility. Our lack of fiduciary responsibility might cause you to second-guess our work. That’s fine with us.
We are human. We make mistakes. Sometimes our ideas and hunches turn out to be wrong. Sometimes our “timing” is off.
Clearly, the purpose of these is to temper subscribers' expectations. We believe all potential subscribers should read such text. This way, they will have more realistic expectations of advisories.
We believe the promotions rightly merit such disclaimers since the newsletter promises a lot. Unfortunately, it is rather thin on proof of concept.
In the whole presentation, we have not seen enough convincing data. There were no sections that focused on how the newsletter was able to help subscribers in the past.
Even if it were a new service, we expected at least one solid example.
As of this writing, there is no specific page for the service in Stock Gumshoe yet. However, there are a few microsites that ask about the newsletter.
In asking a question, one reader noted the reputation of the two editors.
Unfortunately, there are not too many insightful comments on the thread, save for one.
Based on the comment, it seems the recommendations looked decent at that time.
We checked another Stock Gumshoe microsite to check for other insights. One particularly constructive comment is from user cpcutx.
After discussing their opinion on approaching crypto, the commenter said the recommendations looked good. However, they will not make any substantial investment in the space just yet.
As always, such comments are relative and subjective. But they can give you ideas in which direction to go. In the end, however, it will still be up to you if such reviews will sway you.
We tried to look for more reviews for the advisory. However, our trusted third-party sites have not featured the service just yet.
Pros v Cons
- The price point may encourage more people to check out and learn more about cryptocurrency
- Shrem and Lango both have experience and track records in the space
- Not too many available reliable reviews online
- Does not specify the editors' specific methods
Conclusion - Can you entrust your crypto future to the duo?
In this review, we have given you all the information you need. We also did not hold back on the unpleasant facts about the service. There were vital details as well on the editors, as they are crucial in your decision.
Are you comfortable having Shrem as your editor? He does have the distinction of being crypto's first felon. But then again, many consider him as a pioneer in bitcoin.
So this does have merit since he would know the ins and outs of digital currency. We can consider him as somebody has seen it all, even the dark side of the trade.
We can assume he has gained wisdom through his experiences. He would already know what to do and what not to do. Since he may be eager to prove himself again, he might also have the drive to excel again.
Of course, Lango joins him. InvestorPlace emphasizes that he became number one at TipRanks. That accounts for something, for sure.
Even those who inquire about the service on Stock Gumshoe acknowledge the editors' competence.
However, we lament the lack of details on their process. Do they have a system at all when they determine which companies to invest in? Or is it just their gut feel?
Either way, are you the type of investor who needs to see specifics? Or will you be okay with two "experts" speculating which investments will yield high gains?
Aside from giving their recommendations, the tandem promises quality research and even background stories. If they keep this promise, it will be beneficial for the industry in general.
We all need accessible information on altcoins, blockchain, and the like. Since many people offer "investment opportunities" in the space, being educated would shield us from scam artists.
We talked about a lot, and we hope you absorbed all of the information we presented. You may share our review with your friends so they can know more about the service and the factors around it.
Given everything, will you subscribe to Luke Lango's and Charlie Shrem’s Crypto Investor Network? Kindly tell us your thoughts below.