Silk Road Founder Moved to Another Location

Family members of Ross Ulbricht, founder of the notorious Silk Road darknet market, tried to visit their beloved family member in the early days of July at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York.

Unfortunately, they could not find him at his assigned correctional facility. Instead, the family learned that the authorities decided to transfer him to another location.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

corridor in a prison at night showing jail cells
Earlier this month, the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was transferred to another correctional facility without any notice.

In response to this disturbing development, the family took to Twitter to inform the public of what they had just discovered.

They did so through the hashtag #FreeRoss. Ulbricht contacted them the following day informing them about the transfer. The family also tweeted about this development.

The family members have expressed a great deal of concern over the correctional facility that would house Ulbricht.

They feel that it might be hostile to him. For example, the July 6 tweet suggested that Ulbricht deserves a prison that has a safe and secure backyard.

Ross Ulbricht’s Vision & Philosophy

Ulbricht, a Penn State University graduate, wanted to build a dark web site using Bitcoin and Tor.

Tor would help him hide his IP while Bitcoin would help him hide the connection between his identity and his online wallet. He thought that this kind of anonymity would help him evade enforcement officers.

In 2010, Ulbricht embarked on his dream. More specifically, he started building the dark web market called Silk Road, where he would use Dread Pirate Roberts as his login name.

As indicated in his diaries, he wanted to turn 2011 into “a year of prosperity” through this Silk Road venture.

On his profile description for his LinkedIn page, Ulbricht hinted that he envisioned the world as a place that should operate without coercion or aggression.

Silk Road’s End

In October of 2013, Ulbricht was arrested in connection with the darknet marketplace he had built.

An IRS investigator, Gary Alford, first suspected that Ulbricht was in fact running Silk Road under the Dread Pirate Roberts screenname.

Alford’s suspicions started in mid-2013 when he was working with the DEA on the Silk Road case.

Upon his arrest, Ross was charged with money laundering, computer hacking, procuring hitmen for murder and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

Those who used his website accessed it via the Tor browser, after which they could buy anything, from jewelry to raw milk to narcotics. Then they would pay for these products using Bitcoins.

After his arrest, the Silk Road founder was put on trial where he would respond to all of these charges except the one for murder.

The prosecutor removed the murder charge but the people who procured various products from his site did not commit any murder with the goods they bought.

In May 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Post-Arrest Events & Subsequent Trial

Early in 2016, Ulbricht’s lawyers submitted an appeal claiming that the DEA’s evidence of the Silk Road investigation was illegally withheld by the prosecutor.

And in October 2016, there was an oral hearing of the appeal.

But in May of this year, the Court of Appeals ended up denying the appeal, confirming the judgment of life imprisonment.

However, Ulbricht argued that he was wrongly convicted and that the district court that arrested him violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects victims against unreasonable searches and seizures.

He claims he was denied the motion to suppress evidence. He also claims that he was deprived of the right to fair trial.

Ulbricht started his life imprisonment at the MCC in New York, but as of July 2017, he was moved to another location.

Dread Pirate Roberts’ Life in Prison

letters life prison barbed wire.frame
Family members said that Ulbricht deserves a prison that has a safe and secure backyard

Before Ulbricht was moved to an unknown correctional center early in July, reports from his family members indicated that the Silk Road founder had learned how to adapt to prison life.

Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’s mother, campaigned for her son’s release by telling the story of how he planted a seed in one corner of his cell and then used damp towel to support it until it sprouted.

Unfortunately, it was taken away by a prison guard and placed on the counselor’s desk.

Ulbricht’s Life Before Prison

Before he was nabbed, Ulbricht used to travel the world visiting some of the most beautiful beaches and engaging in surfing.

The drug kingpin and dark web mastermind looked like any other regular tourist. You would not have imagined him to be the Dread Pirate Roberts.

However, when he was not in the water surfing, he would be busy using his hotel room’s free Wi-Fi to manage his dark web site.

Conviction Actually Feeds Darknet Market Trends

Though the Silk Road kingpin was seized by law enforcement, drug trafficking has not stopped.

In fact, illegal trade on the dark web has seen an increase in sales after the news came that Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment.

From such results, one can only conclude that the media coverage of Ross Ulbricht and Silk Road only publicized his works.

Read More

Silk Road 3 has Upgraded to Silk Road 3.1

The Evolution of the Silk Road Brand

The Original

Founded in 2011 by Ross Ulbricht, a.k.a. Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road was the first and definitely the most popular darknet market. But, back in 2013 the FBI arrested Ulbricht, sentenced him to two lifetime sentences and seized the website.

Ever since, people have tried to revive the original brand, and build their success on it, but all of them failed big time.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

The Revival

Upgrade upgrading software program symbol blue computer keyboard
Just when we thought that we won’t see the Silk Road anymore, the new version is out, and it’s named Silk Road 3.1.

Just after the arrest of Ulbricht in 2013, a second version of the site appeared and claimed that it was run by the administrators from the original website. The admin of the new version was also called Dread Pirate Roberts, even though Ulbricht was already in prison.

People simply assumed that Ulbricht’sassociates wanted to make the government believe they had the wrong guy.

The same year, the FBI arrested two staff members of Silk Road 2, while the mastermind abruptly dissapeared promising to reinstate the website. The next year, its user accounts were hacked and $2.7 million worth of bitcoins were stolen, marking a definite end of the second version of the market.

Version 3

Keeping in mind how version 2 ended, it is understandable why Silk Road 3 received so many negative reactions when it launched in 2014. A host of users claimed that the third version of the marketplace was a scam.

So, the admins launched a new and improved version of the market.

Silk Road 3.1

According to the official website, Silk Road 3.1 was created because its predecessor was shut down and allegedly, most vendors moved to the new version of the market.

Now, if you want to access the site, it’s important to make sure you have all the precautionary measures in place—install Tor browser and opt for a decent VPN application.

When registering to Silk Road 3.1, you will be prompted to type in your username, password, pin code and to provide the correct captcha. You will be shown your personal recovery key; make sure you copy and paste it somewhere safe.

After the registration, simply log in using your credentials and you’re all set to browse the marketplace.

But before that, you’ll be greeted with a message prompting you that you’ll be able to reclaim your lost bitcoins if you were a user of the previous version of the site. Simply fill out the form and submit your request.

Keep in mind, though, that your old username won’t work so you’ll have to come up with a new one.

When it comes to user interface, the 3.1 iteration is quite similar to the previous version. At the top of the page, you’ll see the usual menu: home, messages, notifications, profile, orders, support, settings, uchat, faq, forum and logout, respectively.

Just below the dashboard, there’s a search bar, but if you are more into browsing, you can find your desired item(s) arranged in nine categories on the right side of the user interface.

What Can Users Buy on the 3.1 version?

Currently, there are more than 30,000 listings on the market. You can purchase the following types of drugs:

  • Cannabis
  • Opioids
  • Stimulants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Psychedelic
  • Dissociatives
  • Prescription drugs

Aside from drugs, you can also buy fake money, eBooks, various accounts, etc. on the Silk Road 3.1.

Forbidden items on the market include weapons, child pornography, poisons and terrorism-related items. Also (interestingly), Russians are not welcome on the market in any capacity, to sell or to buy.

Of course, to purchase an item on the Silk Road 3.1, users have to make a bitcoin deposit. And similar to other markets, there’s a review system for both vendors and customers.

Admins recommend using the escrow payment system at all times, especially when buying from new vendors.

There is also the refund option, but only if it turns out that the vendor was a scammer. If the package is seized by the police, the buyer will not be granted a refund.

The Future of Silk Road 3.1

Text upgrade button, 3d rendering
Just after the arrest of Ulbricht in 2013, a second version of the site appeared and claimed that it was run by the administrators from the original website.

Most of the site’s old users claim that each attempt to revive the concept is in vain and that the brand is dead. After the Silk Road 2 fiasco, it will take a lot of time for any variant to again win over users’ trust.

As for the Silk Road 3.1, the darknet marketplace’s future is probably not very bright according to customer reactions. But, on the other hand, the ability to reclaim any lost bitcoins from the previous version is definitely a nice gesture which might just result in customers’ good will to forgive and forget. We’ll see!

Read More

American Kingpin: A Book on the Man behind the Silk Road

In 2011, a 26-year-old programmer by the name Ross Ulbricht yearned to create something that would reach the heights of global renown.

Driven by this need to succeed, the Texas-born Ulbricht would proceed to create Silk Road, a simple website hosted on a part of the internet known as the dark web.

The website initially served a purpose most deemed reasonable, if not salient. Ulbricht’s Silk Road started as a form of protest towards hypocrisy embedded deep into the system.

It made it possible for people to get access to psychedelic mushrooms and marijuana from a place that was well distanced from the government’s grasp.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

This idyllic utopia would not last long.

Book.
Nick Bilton speaks about his forthcoming book “American Kingpin,” which documents the rise and fall of the online drug marketplace.

‘American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road’ documents the journey of the young programmer and his brainchild, the Silk Road — throughout its growth, its eventual corruption and its inevitable demise.

Penned by New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton, the book portrays not only the Silk Road’s development into a haven where cyber criminals could interact and conduct business undeterred, but also Ulbricht’s eye-opening transformation into a full-fledged crime lord who would willingly spill blood to protect his empire.

A Drug Empire Run from Coffee Shops

During Silk Road’s heyday, as Bilton learned through those involved in the drug-fueled enterprise, Ulbricht lived and worked from Glen Park, San Francisco, and would occasionally run his business from a number of coffee shops frequented by the writer.

According to Bilton’s account of the saga, one of the world’s biggest dark web empires was being operated under everyone’s noses.

Bilton drew from a number of sources in writing the book, including over two billion words in the form of private chats, images and journals that were left behind after Ulbricht’s arrest.

A building he habitually passed while walking, the Glen Park Library, would later become the place where the young programmer would be met with the arm of the law, as Bilton explained.

Dread Pirate Roberts

On his helm of power, Ross Ulbricht ran his business as Dread Pirate Roberts. This pseudonym might have been coined initially to serve as nothing more than a screen name but by the end of his tenure as creator of the original Silk Road, it had an ominous ring to it.

The bigger Silk Road grew, the more determined Ulbricht was to protect it, according to Bilton.

The corruption of the bright young mind was inevitable. By the time of its demise, Dread Pirate Roberts had made $1.2 billion in sales and an estimated $80 million in commissions.

Most of his wealth was stashed in bitcoin, the digital form of currency that made all transactions on the dark web possible, according to the FBI.

It was only a matter of time before money and power corrupted his morals.

Dread Pirate Roberts authorized a hit on one of his former employees, Curtis Green, who he suspected had been stealing from him.

Green had also been nabbed in a failed cocaine deal and now posed a threat to him and the continuity of his business as well.

Bilton captured the online exchange between Dread Pirate Roberts and Green’s would-be assassin, demonstrating that the former participant showed no remorse at all.

In fact, he claimed that Green’s lack of integrity had forced him into paying for his death.

Abominably, he retained a picture of what looked like a dead Curtis Green on his computer as proof of the murder.

Dread Pirate Roberts made his first and, ultimately, most consequential error in hiring an assassin who was actually an undercover DEA agent to do his bidding.

The Dark Web Thrives

Dark Web concept for inaccessible web addresses with white text - Dark Web - on a black enter key on a white computer keyboard viewed at a high angle with blur vignette for focus. 3d Rendering.
Driven by this need to succeed, the Texas-born Ulbricht would proceed to create Silk Road, a simple website hosted on a part of the internet known as the dark web.

Ulbricht has been referred to as the modern day Pablo Escobar many times after his arrest, a title befitting of a man who currently shares a prison with the infamous El Chapo.

The 33-year-old has already appealed his sentencing of life in prison and has a strong following behind him, spearheaded by his mother Lyn Ulbricht.

They believe the sentencing was too heavy-handed, an injustice committed on a promising young mind with ideas that could well usurp political state matters.

Ulbricht was ultimately sentenced as a mafia boss. This served as a warning to anyone who dared take the same path he did, a warning that remains unheeded.

Silk Road will forever remain a trailblazer; a template from which others can learn from to avoid making similar mistakes.

Darknet marketplaces have sprung and died, while others thrived to become ten times bigger and even more profitable than Ulbricht’s Silk Road.

Based far from the United States government’s reach, marketplaces such as AlphaBay may employ the same principles used by the now defunct Silk Road.

But they are ultimately more impenetrable and virtually untouchable. The dark web lives on.

Read More

Former Silk Road Agent Waived His Right to Appeal His Case

In a surprising change of events, Shaun Bridges, who was appealing his six-year sentence for his actions during the takedown of Silk Road, has decided to waive his rights to do so – hence the counsel has decided to dismiss the case.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business.

The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Silhouette of a mysterious man in a vintage style wide brimmed hat in a close up black and white head and shoulders portrait.
Shaun Bridges, who was accused of bitcoin theft during the Silk Road investigation, has chosen to waive his appeal with the judges having accepted it.

During a brief discussion by the three-judge panel, they went through the case and everything that had happened so far in association with Bridges, who is under custody for Bitcoin theft.

When Bridges applied for a waiver on his appeal, the panel didn’t have to think twice because it has already been part of the plea agreement submitted in 2015.

Charges include money laundering and obstruction of justice.

The hearing also allowed Davina Pujari to withdraw from her position as counsel for Bridges.

After going through the case, Bridges was awarded a 71-month sentence for his interference in the Silk Road investigation.

There is no respite from the period as the panel clarified that the defendant didn’t produce any pro se briefs or even an answer to support his appeal claim.

In their statement, they added that the person has already waived off his right to appeal.

There is no way to bring him out of conviction for his theft of Silk Road evidence, and the sentence that he is supposed to serve for the specified period.

The issue dates back to the first hearing and the appeal made by Bridges apart from the allegations that he agreed to having been involved in.

Bridges admitted during the August 2015 investigation that he made use of his position in the Silk Road task force to steal bitcoins.

According to his statement, the investigator made use of the administrative access to Silk Road and stole 20,000 bitcoins from various users who used to regularly purchase items on Silk Road.

In US currency, his Bitcoin theft was worth at least $800,000 at the time, which was diverted to his account.

When the allegations were proved with evidence, Bridges was sentenced to nearly six years in prison in December 2015.

Based on the court documents, it can also be confirmed that he had to forfeit $1.1 million and the agent, who is also the defendant, appealed after he was sentenced in the case.

Later in 2016, the public defender refused to represent Bridges because of conflict of interest, and the position was taken by Pujari to continue the appeal on behalf of the former investigator.

After Pujari took over the case, she went on to file a motion to withdraw in August.

In her appeal, she confirmed that the records have been examined, the case law and relevant statuses that the motion was based on had been verified.

The prosecutor made sure to explore all the possible ways that could deter Bridges from having his appeal getting sanctioned.

Vector of Bitcoin, hacker and its transaction.File contains Clipping mask, Transparency.
During a brief discussion by the three-judge panel, they went through the case and everything that had happened so far in association with Bridges, who is under custody for Bitcoin theft.

The case focused on Shaun Bridges transferring bitcoins from Silk Road in order to have a suspect in the case and to prove the illegal transactions Silk Road had been making.

A victim named Curtis Green was produced in the court, who was later termed as a ‘surprise victim’ who came out of seemingly nowhere and has been making rather drastic claims.

The judge panel opined that the legitimacy of the victim is questionable, and there is no point in trying to include their statements in the plea agreement.

Continuing with his plea agreement, Bridges argued that the surprise victim or the judgment will in no way affect his plea agreement, as it belongs to a different part of the law.

He further argued that the losses incurred during the alleged Bitcoin theft from Silk Road has been significantly increased, leading to the large sentence.

Bridges is not the first investigator to be accused of Bitcoin theft.

He is the second person, as the first complaint was filed against Carl M. Force – a special agent who worked with the U.S.

Drug Enforcement Administration. He decided to plead guilty in 2015. He was accused for the theft of $700,000 worth of Bitcoin with the help of his Baltimore team, and was sentenced to 78-months in prison.

Force and Shaun Bridges worked in the same team to take down Silk Road, a site on the dark web run by Ross Ulbricht, more commonly known by his pseudonym of Dread Pirate Roberts within the community.

The first federal prosecution took place in 2015.

Ulbricht, who was accused in the case for selling drugs and other illegal materials, was sentenced to life in person.

Read More

Alleged Silk Road Admin Seeks a Supreme Court Appeal

It has been nearly four years since the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the original Silk Road, and cases related to the infamous darknet market are still in development.

An Irish man who has been accused of playing a vital role in the administration of the Silk Road market planned another appeal to the Supreme Court after his extradition to the United States was ordered.

US authorities want 28-year-old Gary Davis of Johnstown Court, Wicklow to face trial on charges of distributing narcotics, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit computer hacking.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business.The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Gary Davis, the alleged Silk Road administrator, planned to appeal to the Supreme Court following the order for his extradition to the United States.

If Gary Davis were to be convicted in the United States, he faces the possibility of a life sentence.

Davis was indicted by the United States government in 2014 following the takedown of the Silk Road darknet market.

He has been out on bail since he was apprehended in January 2014.

His appeals have mainly focused on the fact that he suffers strongly from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

Going by the details of the formal charge by the Dublin High Court, Gary Davis was accused of being a Silk Road administrator under the pseudonym “Libertas.” Silk Road is said to have enabled the dealing of drugs including but not limited to crystal meth, crack cocaine, marijuana, and cocaine.

Allegedly, Gary Davis received a weekly sum of $1,500 as compensation for his services at Silk Road.

This is according to a payment log discovered in a computer belonging to the incarcerated Silk Road founder, Ross William Ulbricht.

Davis’ responsibilities at Silk Road included addressing vendor queries and indexing the drugs for sale on the darknet market.

Two other administrators of the Silk Road, Andrew Jones (Inigo) and Peter Nash (SSBD), were also indicted by the FBI.

An Irish High court ordered for his extradition in August 2016.

Gary Davis filed an appeal against that order.

His appeal was dismissed by at the Court of Appeal by a three-judge panel in a final hearing on February 28, 2017.

Justice Alan Mahon confirmed that the law does not permit the appeal since its subject matter was not based on a point of law, although he did voice concern for Davis’ condition.

Davis was indicted by the United States government in 2014 following the takedown of the Silk Road darknet market.

He touched on the daunting nature of Davis’ incarceration, but made an assurance that his concerns would be addressed by US authorities within their mandate and capabilities

The panel ordered his extradition after deliberate consideration of evidence pertaining to Davis’ medical condition and the US federal prison system.

Due to his medical condition, Davis felt that detention in a US federal prison would be inhumane and degrading.

According to his representative at the Court of Appeal, John O’Kelly SC, individuals with a severe form of this syndrome rely heavily on the support of their loved ones.

He reiterated that extradition to the US would have a significant impact on his physical and mental well-being.

According to reports, psychiatrists Michael Fitzgerald and Simon Barron-Cohen both confirmed that Davis was indeed afflicted with severer Asperger’s Syndrome.

However, the initial proceedings at the High Court in 2015 revealed that the Silk Road administrator had not been diagnosed with the condition prior to his arrest.

Davis’ chief council, John B Peart, stated that the defense sought to appeal to the Supreme Court within the limited 15-day window following the court date.

This is the standard time period where authorities cannot extradite a defendant.

Reports indicate, however, that Davis acquired information about a possible early extradition.

Justice George Birmingham denied this claim forwarded by John O’Kelly.

Given the 15-day allowance to appeal a court decision according to extradition conditions, it is quite surprising that the US marshals picked up Gary Davis before the expiration of this period.

According to Davis’ solicitor, Lana Doherty, no information was availed relating to that development.

At the moment, there is no information on how the Silk Road administrator planned to plead in the United States.

Read More

Silk Road Vendors Indicted for Online Drug Trafficking

Three major Silk Road drug vendors have been indicted on counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances across the United States and Australia.

The latest triumph for the US Drug Enforcement Agency involves the arrest and conviction of three high-profile Silk Road drug vendors.

The three, Julian Villa-Gomez Lemus, Fadhle Muqbel Saeed, and Alfonso Bojorquez were arraigned in a Florida court where they pleaded guilty of drug distribution using darknet markets such as Silk Road.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

31-year-old Lemus was the last of the three to be convicted within the same week for near-similar crimes that involved the sale of illicit substances.

Although they were all pinned for a catalogue of slightly dissimilar charges, the trio was ultimately linked to a similar charge, and that was the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

It was a good week for the DEA, who spearheaded the investigations with the help of the now highly-resourceful USPIS, and the state of California where the three Silk Road drug vendors resided.

The Trio was Involved in a Drug Distribution Conspiracy

Each of the three Silk Road drug vendors was indicted on two counts, the first one being the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances such as marijuana, hydrocodone, and also methamphetamine.

The apparent associates were also charged with aiding and abetting each other and other drug vendors and criminals that remain unknown to the court.

Initially charged with the conspiracy to distribute only the three aforementioned substances, a subsequent announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida revealed that the group was also heavily involved in the sale and distribution of steroids and cocaine as well.

The announcement revealed that the three were part of a drug trade that spread across the United States and some parts of Australia.

The Three Silk Road Drug Vendors Considered “Heavy Hitters” in the Digital Drug Trade

Drug trade that spread across the United States and some parts of Australia.

Based on the DEA’s testimony before the federal jury in Orlando, Florida, the trio was not a small-scale drug cartel.

They ran a massive drug empire using Silk Road as just one of their platforms, and, according to the DEA, had carried out a total of 1,300 transactions up to the point of arrest.

Purported to have started their operations back in October 2012, the trio had amassed a total of $1.9 million in their years of operation.

In addition to the upcoming sentences for the three, they will also have to forfeit the proceeds of their drug operation, which may be equivalent to the above-stated amount.

Questions Raised Over the Indictment of the Three Silk Road Drug Vendors

The indictment has sparked a lot of interest on Reddit (/r/DarkNetMarkets), with a lot of questions revolving around Fadhle Muqbel Saeed.

Arguably, most of the controversy is centered on why this particular Silk Road drug vendor, despite his numerous aliases on different darknet markets, had gone unnoticed by law enforcement for so long.

Consequently, the general consensus was that the government should have made the arrests a lot earlier considering the scale of the operation ran by the three convicts.

As a result, it took a substantial amount of time to go through all these three men’s associated cases.

For instance, Saeed’s profile came attached to three different monikers from three different darknet markets.

He went by the nicknames “darkexpresso,” “Damien Darko,” and “bonappetit” on his various accounts.

He was also ranked among the top 11% of drug vendors with 100% positive reviews on Silk Road, and had conducted an upwards of 300 transactions on Silk Road in the short span of a year.

Sentences to be Delivered Shortly

The six-count indictment holds a maximum sentence of up to 20 years for each of the men in a federal prison.

The men will be awaiting their respective sentences, which will be delivered on the March 23rd, 2017 according to Attorney A.

Lee Bentley the Third. The charges for all three men involved both their state of residence, California, and Florida where the hearing has been taking place.

The USPIS has been credited for being instrumental in the DEA’s investigation, which was set into motion on the May 11th, 2016 after being signed off on by the necessary authorities.

Read More

American Black Cross Inspired by the Silk Road Creator’s Case

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case; many people still believe he’s a political prisoner jailed for victimless crimes.

Bitcoin users are encouraged to donate towards their noble cause which champions the release of such unfairly imprisoned people.

All contributions will help in fighting the war on drugs, victimless charges and also promote overall internet freedom.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.
The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ulbricht was given a double life imprisonment sentence for hosting Silk Road, a darknet marketplace that dealt in prohibited drugs.

The war on drugs has ruined the lives of many individuals and their families.

It started in the 1980s when the government launched a campaign dubbed “Say No to Drugs,” this operation saw the U.S. prison population multiply by up to 5 times.

Statistics show that around 86% of the entire population of prisoners in federal incarceration are jailed for victimless crimes; these charges include drug offenses, public disorder and other illegal activities that don’t infringe directly on other citizens’ rights.

Ross Ulbricht is the most widely recognized figure arrested for a victimless crime; he was arrested in October 2013 for operating the Silk Road drug marketplace.

Despite his incarceration, many cryptocurrency users and those within the libertarian communities hold it that Ross’ trial lacked fairness, plus the prison sentence was quite extreme.

Apart from receiving a double life sentence, the Silk Road founder was also not given a chance for parole.

Ulbricht’s family believes their son was hurriedly prosecuted without any solid evidence from the government on the Silk Road case; they claim it was a legal atrocity and have since been campaigning for his release, including millions of other people who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ross’ family has fully endorsed American Black Cross; they recently reminded well-wishers at the end of 2016 that one of the ways they can help Ulbricht is by making tax-deductible donations to the organization.

Founded in 2015, the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity organization’s main goal is championing the rights of U.S political prisoners, a class of individuals that’s rapidly growing by the day.

The institution accepts payment in various forms such as bitcoin donation and credit card transfers; all funds are channeled towards legal aid as well as defense funding for criminal charges where certain civil rights have been denied.

Political prisoners or their respective families can submit their requests for help from the charitable organization.

If you’re facing a victimless indictment similar to the Silk Road, or represent a person who was imprisoned while resisting the federal government, Black Cross can offer some assistance, especially if you believe the case might have a greater impact beyond the litigants’ interests.

All submissions would be checked by the Review Committee for consideration, and if they believe your case is strong enough some assistance or funding will be provided.

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case
A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case

The American Black Cross consists of a group of volunteers and human rights activists, whose main goal is to defend the prisoners of American Imperium such as Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road, promote humanitarian relief and also abolish the nation’s industrial jail systems.

According to them, Black Cross acts as a civil liberties protection organization, focused on defending those who’ve opposed repressive government policies via the internet.

Their recent plan currently is committing funds towards assisting the legal efforts of the incarcerated Silk Road creator.

The organization considers Ulbricht’s conviction bitterly unfair and is actively involved in helping him with the ongoing appeal.

Political cases like that of Silk Road have a tendency of shaping precedence in future rulings; that’s the reason why many people in the cryptocurrency community are supporting Ulbricht and Free Ross organization.

Various aspects of the case including investigations, arrest, server shutdown and even double life sentencing leave a lot of questions to be asked.

Read More

The Silk Road Creator In His Prison Journey

Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.
Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.

Ross Ulbricht recently sent a letter and a poem that gave his supporters and family an in-depth revelation of his true character and personality.

The Silk Road founder, in the poem written by William Henley, described that the phase he was going through in his life was as dark as night. Ross uses the poem and letter to reveal the gratitude he felt towards a sovereign being for the strength in his soul.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Ross, through the poem and letter, illustrates that he just happened to be a victim of circumstance but still chose to remain strong.

Ross still chooses to remain unwavering by the waves of injustice. The poem states “my head is bloody but unbowed.” The Silk Road founder chooses to have hope and belief in his inner strength.

The poem describes the future as unpredictable, but he still refuses to feel afraid of what the future held for him.

He's grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.
He’s grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.

Despite all the Silk Road founder was going through, he describes himself through the poem to still be in control of his destiny and life, even behind bars.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road creator, in his letter, stated that the poem literally described his life in prison and helped him grow more steadfast in his fight for justice.

Ross narrates in his letter that since he got to prison, the perspective of his life became a little bit thinner than before.

He says that his contact with the outside world was limited to an hour visit each week, 300 minutes phone call, letters and whatever was in the media.

Ross Ulbricht comments on the diet that it was not what he would have preferred but still was grateful for life.

Ross Ulbricht also described in his letter that he went into isolation for the first 6 weeks as he tried to adjust to his new life. Ross says that the difference between the life he was used to outside and the locked up kind of life was too vivid.

He began to swallow in his reality when he was set free from the solitary to the general population. The Silk Road creator states that it was when the war within him truly began.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder, describes in his letter that the life in prison was boring. He says there were only but a few things that could distract him from the harsh reality.

Ross states that he worked on his defense; he played games of ping pong and read quite a lot.

Ross in his letter even said that he started practicing yoga, and consequently, the distractions became less effective giving room to panic.

Ross says that in prison, many before him had been in the same state, causing them to venture into distractions like gambling, while a fraction became slaves of their misery.

However, the Silk Road founder talks in his letter of a few inmates who made a positive and profound impact in his life behind bars.

Ross tells of his new acquaintance, who had already served twelve years of his time in maximum security facility.

Ross noticed that the guy was never in a rush and that whenever they interacted, they had quite long chats that were never boring.

The Silk Road founder acknowledges the fact that his new prisoner friend taught him how to accept and face the situation he was currently facing.

He even gave Ross a few tips on how to conquer his fears, which Ross Ulbricht says marked a turning point in his life behind bars. It set him on a journey of acceptance and inevitable growth.

Ross Ulbricht, in the letter, wrote that he now realized that even being contained behind bars, the authorities had no say over his soul.

The only souvenir he had of the outside world, were memories that he could refer to quench his nostalgic bouts.

In conclusion, in the letter Ross Ulbricht sent, he even mentioned that he was still grateful for the life he was living and he loved it.

Ross says that the other inmates thought he was crazy when he talked passionately about that life, but Ross Ulbricht reminds them that it was the only way he could get through it, by accepting his reality even if he never got the chance to walk free again.

Read More

Bitcoin Entrepreneur Linked to Silk Road Talks about his Prison Experience

Charlie Shrem, the co-founder of the now defunt bitcoin exchange, BitInstant, was released from prison a few months ago. He knowingly transmitted money used to facilitate criminal activities on Silkroad.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Charlie Shrem, the founder of BitInstant shares his past and prison experience after being released.
Charlie Shrem, the founder of BitInstant shares his past and prison experience after being released.

Silkroad

Silkroad was a darknet marketplace where drug dealers bought and sold illicit drugs. Users of Silkroad used the cryptocurrency bitcoin to conduct transactions. The original Silkroad was shutdown in October 2013.

Charlie Shrem

All through his childhood, Shrem had a special interest in technology, computers to be precise. He was a geek.

The bitcoin entrepreneur began his entrepreneurship journey at quite an early age. At only 18 years old, he founded the Daily Checkout, an online platform where he sold refurbished goods.

It was during his college education that Shrem encountered the laissez-faire school of thought, and the possible elimination of government and third party intervention.

He then decided to put the economics theory to practice, through the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Bitcoin is simply a digital currency that enables transactions to be carried out without government or third party intervention, exclusively used on the Silkroad website.

Shrem in an interview, revealed that he first heard about the concept of bitcoin on an online forum that he was a member of.

At that time, there wasn’t any website or anything, only a white paper referred to the research paper released under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakimoto, which he said unveiled the concept.

Bitcoin Entrepreneur Linked to Silk Road Talks about his Prison Experience
Bitcoin Entrepreneur Linked to Silk Road Talks about his Prison Experience

Nevertheless, Shrem’s curiosity was awakened, and he, therefore, proceeded to purchase bitcoins. He bought a few thousand bitcoins that were not worth much that time.

Consequently, he brainstormed and finally found a way of making the purchasing of bitcoins much faster and accessible to consumers, that it became popular on Silkroad.

That marked the dawn of the Bitcointalk.org, through which he managed to launch BitInstant.

Charlie Shrem partnered with payment processors that had physical locations such as at Duane Reade, CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and even 7-11.

The online site enabled consumers to purchase small amounts of bitcoins, with an average ticket size costing about $300-500. They then charged a small fee for each transaction. Such transactions were of huge amounts on Silkroad.

The concept gained popularity and in a few months, BitInstant made millions of dollars also through Silkroad transactions.

People were able to purchase the bitcoins from all over the States. Tremendous growth was experienced and Shrem confessed to having transacted transactions worth a million dollars in one day, as Silkroad users grew by the day.

The lucrative growth definitely attracted investors. It caught the attention of investors like the Winklevoss twins and Roger Vere.

Shrem admitted during the interview that they experienced huge growth over a span of few months. However, he let success get to his head. He began to drink too much.

The fall of BitInstant was as rapid as its rise. In the period of March 2013, new legislation that defined and outlined what institutions were to be regarded as money transmitters.

BitInstant, with its cryptocurrency, was operating without a license hence had to shut down its dealings. Shrem said they could not risk operating illegally.

Several months later, when Shrem was traveling to Amsterdam to speak at a conference, he was intercepted at the JKF airport by dozens of law enforcement officials, among them the FBI, IRS, and DEA.

Silkroad Bitcoin Transactions

silkroad-bitcoin-transactions
Bitcoin Transactions

The police accused him to have knowingly facilitated bitcoin transactions to Robert Faiella, whose clients were using Silkroad.

Silkroad was an online website where drug dealers bought and sold illicit drugs using bitcoin.

Shrem’s undoing was that he knew of the illegal dealings, but did not file a single report with the United States Treasury Department about Faiella’s illicit activity on Silkroad.

He pleaded guilty when arraigned in court and was sentenced to serve two years in prison for indirectly helping to sell $1M in bitcoins to Silkroad users.

Shrem on podcast speaks of his prison experience. He says that it was no country club. Where he says one out of every ten inmates was a white-collar criminal; senator, judge, few law enforcement officials were among his group.

The fear Shrem says wasn’t as great as in the maximum security prisons as the inmates were non-violent.

The bitcoin entrepreneur confessed that behind bars, he found life difficult. There was no Google or internet, which the computer geek so much relied on.

The information went round by word of mouth. However, his firm belief in cryptocurrency was strengthened, even as Silkroad was no more, while in prison by one thing.

He says that prison also had its own form of currency, bartering mackerels, like bitcoins for Silkroad users then. This was because the inmates were not allowed any form of cash.

Now out of prison, bitcoin no longer has the hype as it had before. The rise of the bitcoin entrepreneur was as swift as his fall.

Read More

Captcha Not Working on Silk Road 3.0

Users on the Silkroad 3.0 are complaining that they are having captcha issue on the site. Initially, captcha was working just fine, and one could even drag it into a new tab and jot it down.

However, a few moments later after submission people started noticing increased loading times, later followed by total rejection of their submitted data which was labeled as “incorrect.”

Putting the code on a new tab is also not working for most people; neither changing their Tor identity.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Silkroad 3.0 has developed a captcha problem that’s making it difficult for people to log in; the issue might have been caused by a temporary maintenance.
Silkroad 3.0 has developed a captcha problem that’s making it difficult for people to log in; the issue might have been caused by a temporary maintenance.

Most people are reporting total frustration and anxiety with this particular situation.

All attempts to log in simply result in a full restart of the page, followed by a message indicating that information provided is inappropriate.

Due to their frustration, many Silkroad 3.0 users have tried all manner of techniques to solve the captcha problem, such as using different VPN and image drag trick. But unfortunately, none of them has been successful.

Nevertheless, there are those who are more optimistic claiming that the servers might be down, and once they come back up again, things would be fine.

They say Silkroad 3.0 is probably doing some temporary maintenance work which will soon be over.

But this is unlikely considering that the Silkroad forum is also down.

Though things are not looking good for Silkroad 3.0 traders, there seems to have been a previous warning sign which people didn’t take quite seriously.

Silk Road 3.0 Captcha Not Working
Silk Road 3.0 Captcha Not Working

Before the captcha problem arose, the messaging system was slow, and there also seems to have been an increased surge of traffic, resulting in orders being queued long hours for processing.

These were clear indications that there was a problem somewhere forthcoming.

Most people who tried placing orders during this period before the Silkroad login issues emerged experienced hours of delay in processing, probably because there was a surge of too many individuals buying at the same time.

For a moment, some individuals were able to get past the captcha issue, though later on they were rebooted off and taken back to login page, which according to them was really weird.

It’s also emerging that there’s a site that can close down urls for up to four days, in order to track data typed in by users.

This is probably why people are finding it hard to access the Silkroad login page because the captcha code serves as a form of protection for the site.

However, not everybody is satisfied with these particular developments; they claim the problem has caused them a lot of money, particularly considering that they seem to be re-emerging over and over again with time.

As the issue persists, some people have tried getting into the Silkroad 3.0 site by using three different Tor identities, luckily one of the hidden searches showed a Silkroad page.

Though users could access it, the site looked strange and had a green background instead of the normal black and blue.

Some users could login in from their typical Silkroad 3.0 username and password, thus making it difficult to understand what was really going on.

Despite this, other users raised concern that it might be a fake replica of the Silkroad 3.0 and hence people should tread carefully.

Read More