ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silk Road Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silk Road 2.0.
Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the original Silk Road has been convicted on Wednesday on multiple criminal charges, most of which were narcotics related. He was convicted for his role in running an underground marketplace that allowed for about $200million of drug sales using a virtual currency called Bitcoin.
The 30-year-old was convicted by a Manhattan federal jury on all of the 7 counts that were put against him, following a more than three-week trial that came about of the U.S. investigations of the use of the virtual currency bitcoin for drug trafficking and other offenses.
The jury consisted of six women and six men, who took more than three hours of deliberation, has found Ulbricht guilty of charges that included computer hacking, conspiracies to commit money laundering and drug trafficking.
Ulbricht has now found himself facing up to life in prison. Many people have shown support for Ulbricht’s cause, including some who suggest that the U.S. government is actively attacking Internet freedom.
After the verdict had been read out, Ulbricht faced towards his supporters and lifted up his hand as he left his trial. One of the supporters in the court shouted that Ulbricht was a “hero”.
The illegal drug marketplace had been running from around January 2011 up until October 2013, at which point the site was seized by authorities and Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco.
According to the prosecutors, Ulbricht had been operating the darknet site under the name of “Dread Pirate Roberts”, an alias that he took from a movie called “The Princes Bride”. (1987).
The entire operation of the site was reliant upon the Tor network, which enables its users to communicate anonymously, and took payments through bitcoins, which assisted in hiding the locations and identities of people that bought products.
By the time Silk Road was shut down, it had apparently managed to generate almost $214million in sales, which consisted of around $13.2million of profit.
Prosecutors told of how Ross Ulbricht was taking radical moves to defend Silk Road, calling for the murder of those that posed a threat to his operation. Despite that accusation, there is no evidence for the murders being carried out.
Ulbricht admitted to creating the Silk Road website, and Joshua Dratel, his lawyer said that the intention was for the marketplace to be a “free market site” where everything aside from a handful of dangerous items could be sold and bought by users.
However, Dratel went on to say that the site had become too much of a stress for Ulbricht to run, prompting him to hand it over to other people. Ulbricht then said that he had been lured back towards its end, afterwards claiming that he was a scapegoat for the real operators of the underground marketplace.
A prosecutor then called Ulbricht out, saying that his claims were “absurd” because of the substantial amount of evidence that suggested that he had been running the Silk Road website from its beginning to its end.