Darkness In Subtleties: The Silk Road
As the United States Primary Election has the world gripped in uncertainty, a specific news story associated with blockchain has gone completely under the radar; this story emphasizes the unfortunate amalgamation of cryptocurrency and the Silk Road. For viewers unfamiliar with the Silk Road, like the Ancient Silk Road, it is a series of trade networks where individuals can trade services and products, with one vital component that differentiates these two networks. The contemporary Silk Road was shut down by the United States in 2013, as this Silk Road has an extremely dark history; not to the surprise that it was a pivotal component of the Dark Web.
The Silk Road was an anonymous market place for killers-for-hire, illicit drug trades, human trafficking and illicit firearms trades; in essence, the Silk Road was the largest online black market website on the Dark Web. Unfortunately, the sins of the Silk Road have stained the contemporary libertarian ethos of cryptocurrency, as Bitcoin was utilized as the primary method of payment on the Silk Road until its shutdown. The site was designed to utilize Tor for anonymity purposes and Bitcoin as the currency due to its anonymous nature; utilizing Bitcoin as a method of payment made it extremely difficult to track individuals utilizing, purchasing and selling services on the Silk Road.
Who is Ross Ulbricht: The Creator Of The Silk Road?
If cryptocurrency was a religion that included a devil or entity of darkness, the name Ross Ulbricht would be associated with Lucifer, Asmodeus, Satan, Azazel etc. Ross Ulbricht was the creator of the Silk Road in 2011 and operated the website until his arrest in 2013. Ross Ulbricht was convicted on a number of charges which include money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic fraudulent identity documents and conspiracy to trade narcotics by means of the internet. Ross was subsequently sentenced in May 2015, to two life sentences plus forty years without the possibility of parole; one of the most severe prison sentences in United States history. Mr. Ulbricht is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona. At the time of his seizure, Ross was worth approximately 29 million dollars because of his operations within the Silk Road. Ross utilized Tor on the Silk Road because Tor is a network which implements protocols that encrypt a users data and routes internet traffic through specific intermediary servers that anonymize IP addresses before reaching a final destination, which allows for increased amounts of privacy for individuals who utilized the services on the Silk Road.
The Great Seizing Of Digital Assets: The Largest Seizure To Date
What happened today in the blockchain ecosystem has been easily overshadowed by the uncertainty, panic and fear of civil strife in the United States due to the ongoing 2020 election, however, today, we will analyze the largest seizure of digital assets in cryptocurrency history. Earlier this week, observers noticed about 70,000 Bitcoins being moved from a wallet address associated with the Silk Road. To put that into perspective, 70,000 Bitcoins are approximately worth 1,050,000,000 dollars; yes, that is 1.05 billion dollars worth of Bitcoin. This event was the largest seizure of digital assets since the inception of Bitcoin and blockchain nearly 12 years ago.
As Ross Ulbricht was indicted over 5 years ago, the DOJ utilized a third party company to analyze Bitcoin transactions that occurred on the Silk Road, and this seizure of assets could be the answer on where all the money went after the site went down nearly 7 years ago. A hacker by the pseudonym “Individual X” was named as the individual that hacked the Silk Road marketplace and stole the funds. Approximately 54 transactions in Bitcoin were left undetected that occurred on the Silk Road amounting to the 1.05 billion dollars worth of BTC, until this seizure. Ross Ulbricht supposedly found out who this individual who stole the funds was and demanded the funds be returned to him, instead “Individual X” kept the funds but did not spend it. “Individual X signed a Consent and Agreement to Forfeiture with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California. In that agreement, Individual X, consented to the forfeiture of the Defendant Property to the United States government.” (Source, The Block Crypto). Not only was Bitcoin seized during this investigation, but Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV were also seized as well.
Conclusion: Brought To Light: Destroying The Dark Stain Of The Dark Web On Blockchain
The ethos of blockchain and cryptocurrency has always been to bank the unbanked and perpetuate a monetary revolution that provides inclusivity, transparency and a trustless monetary system free from human avarice and intents of greed. The Silk Road, emphasizes that the algorithm itself is never evil, however, dark entities can assist in the collapse of the reputation of Bitcoin when it is put into the hands of those who perpetuate malevolence. It is incumbent to remember that Bitcoin and all blockchain networks are here to perpetuate a global payments system that enables cross-border payments without the need of a centralized intermediary. It is absolutely crucial to remember these ethos’s of liberty, equality, equity and monetary inclusivity that has embodied the notion of Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency as a whole since its inception.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency investing requires substantial risk, do not invest more than you can afford to lose! I am not a financial adviser and I am not responsible for any of your trades. It is incumbent that you always do your own research before investing in anything!