Ex-Silk Road Secret Service Agent Alleged Of Additional Thefts

Shaun Bridges, one of two ex-US feds accused of going rogue during the Silkroad investigation, the other being former DEA agent Carl Force. Both were members of Baltimore Silkroad Task Force who abused their roles and former Silkroad Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges dauntlessly pursued even more alleged corrupt acts linked to the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

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 Theft

Silkroad TheftFormer Secret Service agent Bridges pleaded guilty in August last year to money laundering and obstruction of justice, in connection with Bitcoin theft during the investigation of the most sought after online black market at the time, the Silkroad.

Upon admitting that he stole approximately 20,000 Silkroad Bitcoins amounting to about $350,000 back then, he was sentenced in the month of December to nearly 6 years in prison. It was between March and May 2013 that he liquidated the digital currency into $820,000 and transferred funds to his personal investment accounts.

Bridges confessed that he stole money from Silkroad underground drug bazaar accounts, and framed someone else for it. The witty frame-up act had led to Silkroad creator and operator, Ross William Ulbricht, to contract a murder for the thief. Ulbricht, aka “Dread Pirate Roberts,” ended up guilty of charges and is currently serving life in prison sentence.

Two-fold Stolen Bitcoin Cases

4Bitcoins have been allegedly stolen by Shaun Bridges in two other different instances. How he managed to do so after having been initially arrested and the fact that he already pled guilty to online dark market Silkroad related charges is an interesting controversy.

Apart from stealing the Silkroad money seized by the government, Bridges is alleged man behind the theft of an estimated $700,000 worth of Bitcoins sourced from a Secret Service account. This occurrence is noted three months after his access was supposed to be blocked.

Unsealed court filings indicated that the Justice Department unraveled last April the possibility of Bridges holding a private cryptographic key. If he had, it would have granted him easy access to a Bitcoin wallet wherein the $700,000 worth of Bitcoins seized by the Silkroad task force was stored.

The department states that they have urged to block his access, but unfortunately was not done by the U.S. Secret Service. Thus, the funds were stolen and something that would have been overlooked if not with the court order to pay a portion of Bitcoin seized back to its claimants.

According to federal prosecutors, the government is running an ongoing investigation of determining if Bridges executed theft of approximately $700,000 on July 28th, only to be followed by more stealing of $20,000 Bitcoins on September 10th of 2015.

It can be noted how the document does not definitively state that the suspected former Silkroad Secret Service agent indeed took the money; however, prosecutors tell of the only individual conclusively known to have access, is no other than Shaun Bridges.

In February, right on the day before he was up to start serving his prison sentence, Bridges’ second arrest was accomplished at his Laurel, Maryland home. Officers found luggage containing a notarized copy of his passport, records for three offshore account, bulletproof vests that were issued by the Secret Service and probably stolen, which altogether appearing to be items for use in an attempt flee the country.

Currently, Bridges is in detention at the Terre Haute, Indiana prison. The Secret Service and his lawyer Steven Levin chose not to comment.

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Silk-Road-Related Auction Partly Accountable For Drop In Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin recently took a huge hit across exchanges, falling below $700 in a significant 10% dip in recent price advances. The crash culprit? Bitfinex timeout and an auction that’s linked to the Silk Road, amounting to about $19 million.

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 <<

From as high as $760 over the weekend last week, the Bitcoin price tumbled down to a lowly $698 come Monday, June 20th. This drastic occurrence of the BTC/USD price plunge is thought to be due to the Bitfinex trading outage and auctioning off massive Silk Road-related Bitcoins in Australia.

Bitfinex Unscheduled Downtime

Bitfinex Unscheduled DowntimeBitfinex is a fast-growing worldwide exchange, achieving its position among the highest ranks regarding of raw trading volume. The Bitcoin exchange holds the biggest USD trading volume at 37% of all their trades in USD.

Despite the leading Bitcoin trading platform’s scheduled maintenance done on the 17thof the month, which lasted for approximately an hour, trading was paused starting around 5PM Eastern Time. Bitfinex cited “server migration issues” as the main source of the maintenance delay, compromising their projected re-launch a couple of times. This allowed bursts of cancellation requests while they were attempting to fix the issue.

The initial update stated that they were recovering from the internal network issue, followed by an identified status revealing an ongoing investigation of a trading-impactful infrastructure issue and likewise clarifying that it did not involve funds or system security. Another update showed an investigating status as they are experiencing platform problems, altogether coming with the assurance of resuming operations in the soonest possible time.

The downtime continued to the night causing a lot of panic and several Bitcoin traders’ dismay, with some having lost their investments since deals could not be closed, and considering the millions involved in Silk Road-related auction. It went up again by 9:50, but had to be taken down again on June 21stdue to instability in the network within their data center, letting traders know that they are working with their hosting provider during this second halt on Bitfinex services.

Australian Auction

australia-bitcoin-auction-dinbits-2016June 20th marks the same day of the flooding of $19 million Bitcoins in an Australian auction associated with the Silk Road. These are proceeds of the crime connected to the closure of the Silk Road drug marketplace and Ross Ulbricht’s conviction in 2015, forming part of the civil forfeiture of Silk Road Bitcoins. Bidders of the 48-hour sealed auction include digital asset managers, digital currency exchanges, mostly American and European investment banks as well as hedge funds.

A Reminder

The outage that could have been triggered by the vastness of Silk Road Bitcoins in an Australian auction was only temporary but served as a reminder of Bitcoin’s volatility amidst its growth. Bitfinex has since reemerged online and trading exchanges are resumed.

Prices and volume are expected to increase once again to their pre-outage levels and continuously recovering from the uncertainty. Bitcoin price showed signs of immediate recovery with a strong sell-off, albeit would go a long way for several more weeks especially with traders exhibiting cautiousness and giving more attention to detail and potential risks.

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Bitcoin, A Tool For Prosecuting Crimes

Bitcoin is an online digital currency that has for long been used by libertarians, computer scientists and even criminals as was the case in Silkroad. Just 3 yrs. ago, it seemed like anyone could use this cryptocurrency to make purchases without being tracked down by law enforcers. At that time people thought the digital currency was totally anonymous and FBI didn’t have a chance of finding out who was transacting it.

Bitcoin, A Tool For Prosecuting Crimes

However, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other law enforcement bodies had a rather different opinion. They found ingenious ways of seizing Bitcoin and even making arrests where possible. Ross Ulbricht, a 31-yr.-old Texan responsible for creating Silkroad was captured by cops. His Silkroad marketplace was estimated to have facilitated sale of narcotics worth $1 billion. The Silkroad creator was given a life sentence in 2015. Others criminals from various places around the world were also incarcerated for similar charges.

Though most people who use Bitcoin currency are law-abiding citizens motivated solely by privacy concerns, the anonymity it provides can also be a powerful tool for facilitating crime as was witnessed in Silkroad. Academic researchers helped create the data encryption and software systems which make Bitcoin possible, they are now helping authorities nab criminals such as those behind Silkroad.

Sarah Meiklejohn, a computer scientist at University College London, says that these experts operate in a new field incorporating aspects of economics, forensics and computer science. There aren’t many of such experts and they all know each other. She mentions when Bitcoin first emerged, law enforcers were “panicking,” with most officers thinking the technology was dangerous and making it difficult for them to perform their task.

But as arrests and convictions were slowly being made, with one example being the Silkroad case, there emerged a steady shift towards viewing cryptocurrency more as a tool for nabbing cybercrimes. FBI Assistant General Counsel, Brett Nigh, earlier said in an interview that even though Bitcoin operated in a new strange world, investigators could still follow the money without much ado.

This was evident in how the Silkroad investigations were carried out and Bitcoins seized. Investigators had collected every piece of data from Silkroad – from images and text describing Silkroad products to Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain.

Unlike standard money issued by Federal Reserve banks, cryptocurrency like Bitcoin doesn’t have any physical form or gold backing hence making it rather untraceable. This is why Silkroad managed to survive for many years before it was finally shut down. Created back in 2008 by a mysterious man named Satoshi Nakamoto, it has been labeled an “intellectual artifact” and modern frontier of economics.

Bitcoins are amounts associated with certain addresses, unique strings of letters and numbers. For instance, “1Ez69SnzzmePmZX3WpEzMKTrcBF2gpNQ55” represents almost 30,000 BTC seized from the Silkroad site. They were estimated to be worth nearly $20 million at the time. The U.S government auctioned off these Silkroad Bitcoins after seizing it.

Those Bitcoins have since been split up and changed hands several times, but there’s a consistent recording showing their every movement. Both past and present ownership is documented in a “blockchain,” this being a popular public ledger available across the internet.

The task of keeping this cryptocurrency running smoothly and preventing cheating is left to a volunteer workforce, known as Bitcoin miners. They crunch the numbers required to verify the transactions, and also apply a math calculation formula known as “proof of work” to ensure individual miners are honest.

The calculations needed to pass a Bitcoin transaction are so thorough that only specialized computers are used. However, all this effort doesn’t go unrewarded as the act of authenticating a 10-minute transaction chain earns the volunteer miner 25 new Bitcoins. This is how the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is minted.

cryptocurrency Bitcoin

Just like any other currency, the digital currency Bitcoin’s real-world value comes as people who use it to trade for products and services as was the case when Silkroad was still in operation. If you’re not already a miner, the only other way of acquiring Bitcoins is from somebody who owns them. Several companies have come up that sell Bitcoin at a fee, and also provide ATM machines where users can convert them into cash.

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Mysterious Creator Of Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Revealed

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

The identity of the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of the world’s first cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has finally been discovered! Or has it?

According to Wired and Gizmodo, the person behind the well-known pseudonym is no other than an “Australian finance geek”, Craig Wright.

Bitcoin is a digital currency which was introduced back in 2009. It can be “mined” by dedicated computers that perform some complex mathematical operations; the “miner” gets reworded with certain amount of Bitcoins. It is estimated that Satoshi Nakamoto has accumulated around 1 million Bitcoins, equivalent to impressive £250 million!

Soon enough, after the appearance of Bitcoin, a new “space” on the internet started blooming – the Dark Web, and when the most notorious market, the Silk Road started in 2011, it introduced Bitcoin as the only valid payment method.

In fact, there are some notions that the Silk Road creator, Dread Pirate Roberts, was linked to Satoshi Nakamoto prior to Silk Road project. Allegedly he was given quite a number of Bitcoins soon after their invention. Not only that, the origin of these Bitcoins given to him is rather symptomatic as well – apparently there is evidence that they came from an account directly associated with the earliest Bitcon mining! Could it be that the Silk Road founder and Satoshi Nakamoto knew each other way before the Silk Road affaire?!

Who is Craig Wright?

Craig Wright According to journalists who managed to capture the information about Wright from his LinkedIn profile before he deleted it – he is an “Australian IT and security consultant.” From the same account it could also be drawn that he’s somehow linked with the government institutions among others and that he’s an academic at Charles Sturt University.

As said earlier, he is a computer security expert, running his own company, living in Sidney, Australia with his wife and children; a common family man, one would think. He doesn’t even own a house or an apartment; he lives in a rented place! Being an adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University, it gave him the credibility to write for the Conversation.

According to Dr. David Glance, contributor to Conversation interviewed by Guardian Wright cannot be Nakamoto:

“There’s absolutely no way in hell that this guy is involved. He was full of himself back then.

He never talked about bitcoin, he never wrote about it. He was a sort of security person, a consultant to the industry, and he kept writing articles about how Anonymous were evil, and the evils of hacking – all the rest of it.”

Apparently, Wright was writing about Anonymous and hackers as bad guys, which is not strictly speaking the expected viewpoint of someone who just invented the first cryptocurrency in the world. Or perhaps he just didn’t like the idea that his masterpiece – Bitcoin – had its biggest usage on Dark Web Markets; for, in just 2 short years of its existence, it is estimated that the Silk Road marketplace was worth several million Bitcoins!

Clues that Support Wright-Nakamoto Connection

There are a number of symptomatic clues to support the idea that Wright is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto.

First of all, Wired and Gizmodo remind us that at one point Wright wrote a book review on Amazon.  The book was called Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin by Nathaniel Popper, a journalist for the New York Times. Apparently, Wright got really annoyed that the book proposed Satoshi Nakamoto to be an American.

A month later, someone hacked into Craig Wright’s computer and sent the hot information to Popper. The hacker implied that the info was linking Wright to Nakamoto. However, Popper “didn’t find it convincing at that time” and he ignored it.

Hacker next offered this piece of intelligence to Wired and Gizmodo and needless to say – both have found it interesting enough.

One of the incriminating clues the hacker shared with Wired and Gizmodo is a transcript of an interview conducted at the Australian Taxation Office. It remains unknown whether the transcript is genuine and how the tipster came into its possession, but according to this document, Wright complained that “I did my best to try and hide the fact that I’ve been running bitcoin since 2009 but I think it’s getting – most – most – by the end of this half the world is going to bloody know.”

A subject for discussion here is the meaning of the term “running” – what does it refer to?! Does it mean being responsible for creating and running the Bitcoin or it simply means mining the Bitcoin?

A somewhat new event is also rather symptomatic – there have been some notions that Satoshi Nakamoto might have been nominated for the Nobel Prize! Only if he wasn’t so anonymous. This again annoyed the temperamental Craig Wright and he made some quite interesting comments on Twitter: “‘Identity’ is not your name. Where people go wrong is that they do not see it to be the set of shared experiences with other individuals. We are a product of the things we create. They change us.”

There is also a video showing Wright skyping into the Bitcoin Investor Conference and it’s more than interesting to observe his reaction when the moderator asks him who he was and how he first learned about bitcoin?

Why was Wright’s House Raided?

Wright’s House RaidedAs soon as the link between Wright and the Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto saw the light of day, his house was raided by Australian Police. They searched through his garage and cabinets looking for evidence in a case they are conducting against him. According to Police spokesperson, this case has nothing to do with Wright being the Bitcoin creator. However, the spokesman also said that “if the raids are not linked, the timing – shortly after Wright’s name was made public – is likely to continue to raise questions.”

Wright wasn’t present at the time of the raid. In fact, nobody really knows where he is or his family. His landlord said that Wright was talking about moving to London.

It remains uncertain whether Craig Wright truly is Satoshi Nakamoto. And, despite of the overwhelming hope of Bitcoin enthusiasts all over the world that its creator is finally found; it is still too early to be certain of anything.

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Four Winners In The Last Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

 US Marshals Service just announced that its fourth auction of the Silk Road bitcoins (which was also the last) ended with four winners. This announcement verified the speculations that were surrounding the event held on 5th November. During this event, there were 11 registered bidders who were competing for blocks that were totaling to 44,000 BTC. They were valued at around $14.6M. The previous auction of 50,000 bitcoins was held in the month of March 2015. Two more auctions were held in June and December in 2014. The US Marshals Service revealed that the auction held on 5th November was the final auction.

Bitcoin

It is only one of the winners who have been unmasked so far. Most people hope that the others will be unmasked sooner rather than later. iBit, a New York based bitcoin company has confirmed that it has successfully secured 5 blocks on behalf of a group of investors and clients. However, the figures that were provided by the US Marshals Service (USMC) shows that the total amount garnered by iBit was surpassed by another entity which is yet to be unmasked. The unknown entity garnered above 24000 BTC (this is roughly equal to $8.1M). The other unknown bidders claimed smaller fractions of the total. The agency said that the bidders won approximately 4000, 6000, 10,000 and 24,341.

The participation this time was once again down compared to the first auction held in June 2014. The June 2014 event attracted 45 bidders who placed 63 bids. The third bitcoin auction held in March 2015 also attracted more bidders than the latest event. There were 14 bidders who placed 34 bids.

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Former Mt. Gox CEO Charged With Embezzlement

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

The Mt. Gox and Mark Karpeles are in news again. Those who had been following the Mt. Gox saga wouldn’t be surprised to know that after nearly six weeks of his arrest, Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the bitcoin exchange, have been charged with embezzlement.

Mt. Gox has been embroiled in speculation and controversy since its bankruptcy in early 2014. The New York office of the U.S. Attorney General reportedly issued a subpoena for determining factuality of the missing funds reports. Investigators have been trying to ascertain the whereabouts of millions of dollars and the reason for their disappearance. Also, Japanese prosecutors launched a special investigation into Mt. Gox, which resulted in the arrest and now framing of charges against Karpeles.

Alleged crime of Karpeles

MtGoxAs reported by Japan’s Kyodo News, Karpeles is suspected of moving money into his own company’s accounts from the accounts of his clients. Allegedly, he transferred the money from Gox’s bank account to other accounts in October 2013. The total amount transferred is around $2.7 million.

Apparently, he used most of the money for buying licenses for 3D-rendering software. However, some of the money was also spent on a highly expensive “custom-built bed.” Karpeles had denied any wrongdoing at his company before he was arrested in August. According to him, he did everything to prevent any wrongdoing but it still happened. He blamed hackers for the loss of bitcoins and the eventual collapse of Mt. Gox.

Although this is the first time Karpeles has been charged for a financial crime, he had been a suspect in a cybercrime before. In Feb, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special agent Jared Deryeghiayan disclosed that during 2012 and 2013 Karpeles was pursued as a suspected operator and owner of the Silk Road. At that time, Mark Karpeles was the CEO of Mt. Gox and the Silk Road was a massive online drug market.

Bitcoin bubble and Mt. Gox bankruptcy

BitcoinThe tech industry was captivated by the bitcoin bubble in late 2013 to early 2014. Over the period of two months the price of bitcoin rallied from nearly $118 to around $1000. Several rags to riches stories emerged, and many more people started getting interested in the quick earnings that bitcoin seemed to offer.

During this time, Mt. Gox emerged as the largest bitcoin exchange in the world. Therefore, becoming one of the most visible sign of the bitcoin bubble. Until it filed for bankruptcy citing losses of tens of millions of dollars.

Experts believe that the lack of control and regulation in the bitcoin market makes it a highly risky investment. However, Mt. Gox claimed that it fell into bankruptcy because more than $450 million disappeared. They alleged that the money was stolen by hackers. However, investigators found that another $2.7 million were absent from the company’s bank account, for which its CEO Mark Karpeles was arrested.

Conclusion

Karpeles is still in the custody of Japanese authorities, and he has the right to file for “release pending trial” petition in the court. Whether he exercises this right or not remains to be seen. Although complete details of the prosecution’s case are not yet known, the odds are stacked against Karpeles as the conviction rate in Japan is nearly 99 percent. In the Silk Road investigation, Mark Karpeles came out clean. Let us see whether Karpeles can come out clean of this case as he came out of the Silk Road investigation.

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The Effect Of Silk Road On Bitcoin And Tor

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

The aftermath of Silk Road was that the Tor project and the Bitcoin were specifically used for illegal activities. Some people have even gone ahead to dismiss Bitcoin as a criminal tool while Tor as a tool used in the dark world of hackers to commit criminal activities. However, this was not the case when the two were discovered. Tor was originally designed by the US Naval Research Laboratory for the primary purpose of protecting government communications online. As for Bitcoin, it is a digital currency invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. It was meant to cover exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system and most importantly was the fact that it was meant to be decentralized such that no institution controlled it.

Tor and Bitcoin

When building Silk Road, getting the drugs was the easy part but the hardest part was discovering a way to sell the drugs online without being discovered by the authorities and this is how the site’s creator decided to settle for the Tor software. This was going to guarantee his invisibility in the web. This also allowed websites to be set under similar curtain of obscurity.

The second tool that came in handy was Bitcoin. With Tor alone, any customer could visit site and buy what they want without being tracked. However, the creator realized that some customer would want to pay for the drugs without having to send money through the mail. Bitcoin was the best option since the blockchain ledger on Bitcoin would indicate that the coins are moving but the recipient’s bitcoin address and the name will still remain anonymous on either end. Hence, the people involved in the trade will still remain unknown.

Silk Road Marketplace

This is how the two ended up being the main tool used in Silk Road to carry out the trade of illegal drugs hence tarnishing their purpose.

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Ireland Men Busted For Selling Drugs On The Silk Road Site

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

McManus and MilliganOn April 2015, two Northern Ireland men who ran a drugs “party pack” international business with the use of an online underground marketplace called the Silk Road were jailed. Ryan Thomas McManus, 31, and Ryan Michael Milligan, 29, who had been arrested in August 2013, were given seven year sentences – half of it to be served in prison and the other half on license upon release. The sentences were passed by Judge McFarland after the two pleaded guilty of all the charges against them.

During the court’s hearing of the case a week earlier, the Crown Prosecutor’s report explained that McManus and Milligan were arrested and a search was conducted on properties linked to them and drugs were seized. The report further explained that du ring the 18-month period of offending, the two received packages of drugs brought to addresses that were affiliated to them. They also transacted using a virtual mailbox facility in Belfast. An account with the company was opened by McManus using fake credentials and parcels were subsequently sent to the account. An investigation was later launched and McManus was caught leaving the company with a white package via surveillance.

On 5th August 2013, a courier’s attempt to deliver a parcel at an address in Dunwellan Park in Newcastle but nobody answered his call. The package was sent back to the depot and was opened and a large number of tablets were found in it. A search was conducted at the Dunwellan Park address and Connor Devenney, the occupant, was arrested. Later that day, McManus was arrested after police connected with the search spotted a vehicle registered under his name parked near an alley in the area. The officers approached him when they saw him walk out of the alleyway. In the vehicle, they found the key to a garage which they searched and found ’42 exhibits’. Also searched that day was Milligan’s Dundrum home where he was arrested for suspicion of drug offences. The three were taken to police custody for further interrogations.

When the men were arrested and the unraveling of the Silk Road happened in 2013, the FBI seized little under 40 orders of class A and B controlled drugs awaiting dispatch to recipients in Israel, Ireland, Greece, Sweden, Russia, USA, and within the UK. Mr. Conor Devenney, who died on the eve of the day the case was set out, was employed as the courier. He was responsible for the movement of the drugs out of and into the UK.

McManus and Milligan used aliases Blackwater86 and Sonicdrone and would order drugs through instant messaging services, website forums and emails, using North America, Netherlands and China-based suppliers. They paid for drugs and accepted payments from customers using virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

FBI

When officers searched their properties, they seized computers, phones, printers, iPads, banking details and passports, packaging and large amounts of controlled drugs such as amphetamine, 4-MEC, ecstasy, cannabis and LSD substitute tablets with “Sponge Bob Square Pants” face printed on them. Computers seized were analyzed and the result showed that they use the Silk Road site to advertise their business to the worldwide market. The approach really worked as they facilitated around 300 bespoke orders between May 2012 and July 2013. The transaction list revealed that they were mostly dealing with clients from Sweden, India, Italy and Russia.

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Bitcoin Entrepreneur Begins His 2-Year Sentence

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silkroad 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Silk RoadBitinstant CEO and founding board member of the Bitcoin Foundation, Charlie Shrem began his stint in prison on March 30th 2015 having been sentenced on 19th December 2014 to 2 years in prison. Shrem had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Charlie Shrem, 25 will serve his time at USP Lewisburg in Pennsylvania. It’s a high security federal prison, but Shrem will be in the minimum security satellite camp.

Shrem was arrested at JFK Airport on January 26 2014, while returning to the United States, after attending a convention in Amsterdam. Shrem along with Robert M. Faiella were accused of selling more than $1 million in bitcoins in a money laundering scheme that involved users of Silkroad – the notorious online black market that was ultimately shut down. Shrem was also accused of wilfully failing to file suspicious activity and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Charlie Shrem used his Bitcoin exchange, Bitstant, to transfer money deposited in bank accounts by clients of the Silkroad.

Shrem’s co-defendant, Robert Faiella, was sentenced to four years in prison in January 2015 after he pleaded guilty to operating an illegal money transmission business. Faiella had been operating a bitcoin exchange on the Silkroad website.

BitcoinsAccording to court documents, between December 2011 and October 2013 when Silkroad was seized by federal agents, Faiella, operating under the user name BTCking on the Silkroad website, allegedly obtained Bitcoins through BitInstant, and then sold them at a profit to drug sellers and buyers on the Silkroad website. Bitcoin was the only form of currency that was used on the Silkroad website to buy drugs and other paraphernalia that were marketed through Silkroad.

Shrem hopes that he’ll only have to serve 9 or 10 months of his 2-year prison sentence. During his stay at the Lewisburg Federal Prison Camp, he’ll share a cell with 2 or 3 inmates. Shrem will be able to stay in contact with the outside world through e-mail, and has requested that people send him messages during his prison time. Additionally, Charlie asked for people to send him magazines and books, letters and articles. He is also encouraging the bitcoin community to send him money that he plans to use to pay for food, e-mail and stamps, phone access and other items.

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What Is The Impact Of The Silk Road Trial On Bitcoin?

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silkroad 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 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.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

HackerPopular culture has considered the crack-down on illicit darknet sites by the US government an indication that Bitcoin, the choice currency for transactions on online black market sites such as Silk Road, is open to exploitation by criminals looming in the dark recesses of the web. The logic for this conclusion is quite damaging to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, and quite misleading.

It turns out that the Silkroad trial had a very small impact on bitcoin. If anything, it is the digital currency that had a significant impact on the Silk Road trial. After all, without this digital currency, the Silk Road would have essentially being a regular criminal trial about a marketplace that dealt in contraband and other illegal services. So, bitcoin made the trial more interesting.

BitcoinThe trial may have in fact helped bitcoin gain legitimacy. When Silkroad founder was nabbed and millions of bitcoins seized from him, it was demonstrated that bitcoin is not an easy way for online criminals to avoid the rule of law. Bitcoin can no longer be considered as a currency that favors criminals because of its alleged impenetrable anonymity. Bitcoin blockchains leave a trace, and this means that the identity of the users can ultimately be established.

Frankly, despite what most people think, the Silk Road has not ruined bitcoin’s public perception. The trial has proven that bitcoin is a legitimate currency that does not favor the sprouting of online criminal enterprises by offering perfect anonymity. Because of this trial, people now realize that bitcoin transactions can be traced, and this means that criminals can still face the law. Law enforcement authorities just have to learn the technicalities of this technology and eventually gain the skills required to enforce the rule of law where for crimes involving the use of bitcoins.

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