ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silkroad 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.
Ross Ulbricht, now a convicted mastermind of the darknet marketplace Silk Road was painted as a mastermind engaging in illicit activities. Even so, it was quite easy for an expert specializing in cyber-crime to track his transactions. A senior director with the litigation consulting firm FTI Consulting testified in the trial of Mr. Ulbricht. In the testimony he gave, Mr. Yum explained his role while handling the investigation of the Silk Road. He clearly described how he linked Ross to this network while following the bitcoin trail. He quickly pointed out that the Silk Road Bitcoin Trail did not take any complex analysis.
Prosecutors confirmed that the marketplace made use of a “bitcoin tumbler” for the purpose of masking the source and the destination of online transactions performed in the network. It was easy to find the link between Silk Road and Ross since Mr. Yum did not tumble transactions he made while moving money from the network. Basically, Ross Ulbricht could have possibly created a complex network for hiding transactions inside the marketplace; however, it was rather easy to discover the transactions as he extracted funds out of the network.
During the seizure of bitcoins and servers connected to Ross Ulbricht and the marketplace by the FBI, Mr. Yum was fully involved. During the proceedings of the trial, he testified how he transferred the Silk Road bitcoins to a bitcoin address linked to the government.
Mr. Yum is quick to admit that there are lots of marketplaces that work as alternatives to the Silk Road. They still make use of virtual currencies. They are being developed with better underlying bitcoin technology and the creators are finding even better ways of obfuscating transactions. If tumblering is done successfully during a transaction, it would be possible to determine the person sending as well as the person receiving the funds;however you can’t actually see the money trail without the back end.