itBit Wins 5 Blocks In The Latest 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 <<
The auctions arising from the seizure of the Silkroad marketplace in October of 2013 have finally finished, and with it end one of the final chapters of the world’s first darknet market.

The Silkroad marketplace had started out in February 2011, as an online space hidden behind the Tor browser that offered anonymity in Internet purchases. It used Bitcoins, the world’s first cryptocurrency to trade, and pseudonyms for buyers and sellers, thus making all exchanges virtually untraceable.

Unsurprisingly, Silkroad became a hotspot for dealing in illicit substances, and was soon on law enforcement’s radar.

Silkroad unravelling began in 2012 when the Baltimore Silkroad Taskforce began undercover operations designed to unmask the person behind the infamous marketplace.

Due to the work of authorities, Mr. Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirate Roberts, the originator of Silkroad, was arrested in October 2013 for his handiwork in founding and overseeing the Silkroad site. Following his arrest officers confiscated 26,000 BTC from the site, and then later 144,000 BTC from the laptop belonging to Ulbricht.

Silkroad Bitcoins Are Being Auctioned?

Book and Hammer
These Silkroad bitcoins have been slowing getting sold off in auctions conducted by the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

The first lot of seized bitcoins went up for sale in June of 2014, and came to a total of 30,000 BTC overall. The currency was split up into “blocks” and attracted 45 bidders placing a total of 63 bids.

Following rounds of auctions saw an increase in the number of bitcoins available, but a decrease in the number of bidders. All bidders were expected to make a US $100,000 per block deposit before entering the bidding process.

Who Have Silkroad BTC Gone To In Previous Rounds?

The winner of the majority of the blocks in Silkroad first round of auctioning off was Tim Draper. Draper is a venture capitalist with investments in companies such as Hotmail and Tesla. He cited his reasons for bidding as “wanting to strengthen cryptocurrency markets for international countries that have weak currencies.”

A syndicate helmed by venture capitalist Barry Silbert was the major winning bidder in the second round of Silkroad auctions totaling 50,000 BTC, where 11 bidders made a total of 27 bids.

In the third round of Silk Road auctions, totaling 50,000 BTC, in March of 2015, itBit reported that they had managed to win 3,000 worth of bitcoins.

Who Are itBit?

itBit is a financial services company specializing in bitcoins that first came on to the scene in April of 2012. They are a forward-thinking institution that strives to provide an accessible, legitimate and relevant service for those wanting to trade in cryptocurrencies.

Following itBit’s win in the third round of auctions, they applied for bitcoin’s first banking license, and in May 2015 were granted it by the New York Department of Financial Services.

In the fourth and final round of the Silkroad auctions held over six hours on November 5, itBit managed to outbid its competitors in grabbing a maximum amount of five block of the 44,000 bitcoins auction, which resulted in a win of approximately 10,000 BTC.

What Does This Mean For The Bitcoin Market?

Cash
Initially, before the completion of the first auction, analysts were uncertain of the anticipated effect of the auction on the price of bitcoins. If extra currency suddenly entered the market, then this would usually signal a drop in price.

However, the bitcoins weren’t immediately used.

If we can go by the history of what has happened in the price of bitcoins before, during and after the markets, then we needn’t be too worried. Following the end of the first Silkroad auction the price of bitcoins actually rose substantially, from 585 dollars beforehand up to 600 dollars following.

Prior to the second Silkroad auction the price of bitcoin plummeted, and remained low for a short time before recovering to previous prices.

A similar effect occurred in the third Silkroad auction.

Due to the knowledge that is it unlikely any of the winning bidders bitcoins will end up flooding the market anytime soon, we can be somewhat reassured that the price of bitcoins will remain on its course at present.

Read More

Silk Road Mastermind Sentencing Has Been Postponed

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 <<

Ross UlbrichtRoss Ulbricht, the man behind the Silkroad darknet market, after being convicted on February 2015 for seven crimes, including money laundering, computer hacking, and assassination conspiracy, has had his sentencing postponed from the May 15 to May 29.

New allegations have emerged that six people died of drug overdose from drugs purchased on the Silkroad black market site. However, the defense argue the prosecution haven’t shown sufficient evidence, and this extra time may help the defense to discredit the allegations.

The dark-web mogul first made headlines after creating an online platform for the illegal sale of drugs called Silkroad, making an untraceable world that remained inaccessible to the FBI and law enforcement officers until his arrest was made in the San Francisco public library in October 2013. They seized his laptop and discovered that $13.4 million of bitcoins could be traced back directly to the Silkroad server.

It took the jury less than four hours to convict Ulbricht earlier this year, and his defense team quickly admitted he had created Silkroad. But the twists and turns of the Silkroad case never seem to end.

FBIFirst of all, Ulbricht’s lawyer Joshua Dratel accused the prosecution of basing their evidence on “exhibits rather than testimonies.” With this claim, they requested a new trial stating that his fourth amendment rights were violated by the FBI when they searched the Silkroad servers.

Another twist occurred when two federal agents were charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin. Carl Mark Force IV and Shaun Bridges were found to have been involved in money laundering, wire fraud, and theft of government property.

The messy case continued to churn out new revelations almost daily, including fake murders and a witness taking the fall for an agent’s theft. With estimated sentencing of 30 years to life, we await the final verdict on the Silkroad mastermind or the latest twist.

Read More

Will The Arrest Of The Ex-Feds Help Ulbricht’s Case?

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 <<

Ross UlbrichtCarl Force, a former Drug Enforcement agent, and Shaun Bridges, a former Secret Service agent, who helped the government shut down the online drug marketplace Silk Road have been charged with stealing Bitcoins from the darknet market during the course of the investigation. However, the criminal complaint filed against the two federal agents is definitely not the Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card that the convicted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s defense is looking for even though the voluminous accusations are disturbing.

However, this can torpedo the murder-for-hire and make it far more complicated. Further, this good news/bad news situation could disturb the sleep of several unidentified drug dealers on the Silk Road. This is because the fed is likely to track bitcoins much more seriously than before as a result of the charges filed against Force and Bridges. Unfortunately, the case would not either help start a new trial or affect the murder-for-hire charge against Ross Ulbricht in any manner whatsoever for the following reasons:

The prosecution has already convinced the judge that the behavior of Force was not exculpatory to the defense. Therefore, the argument that Force made an attempt to frame Ulbricht becomes irrelevant.

The arrest of the feds is not something out of the blue; it was a development that was already under consideration.

In the New York investigations, Force was not involved. While the investigation at New York was focused on identifying the server and technical analyses, the focus of the Maryland case was infiltration into Silk Road. The two teams were not on speaking terms.

The prosecution in New York did not bring up the references to the murder-for-hire case in order to show criminal intent because of double jeopardy concerns.

In simple terms, accusation by the defendant that another person other than him/her has also committed a crime does not hold ground in the absence of any evidence of connection between the crime and the perpetrators. Further, the context is also important.

Read More