Blog Archives

Online black marketplaces Silk Road 2.0 and Agora struggling against “very sophisticated” DDoS attacks

Posted on 15th September, 2014

Two of the largest bitcoin-using online black marketplaces, Silk Road 2.0 and Agora, have spent most of the last week fending off “very sophisticated” distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by an unknown entity. In both cases, the attacks have resulted in service interruptions, with both sites currently offline. Both marketplaces already use highly advanced security measures, […]

FBI claims no illegal techniques used in Silk Road case, security experts disagree

Posted on 10th September, 2014

On Friday, the FBI released a 58-page filing outlining the various investigation techniques used to unearth the details that ultimately resulted in the closure of online black marketplace Silk Road and the capture of its alleged mastermind, Ross “Dread Pirate Roberts” Ulbricht. The filing, written by FBI agent Christopher Tarbell, was a response to a […]

Details emerge on Charlie Shrem’s plea deal

Posted on 6th September, 2014

Former BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem appeared in a New York courtroom on Thursday to formally enter a plea of guilty on charges that he aided and abetted an unlicensed money-transmitting business, processing over $1 million in bitcoin payments for Silk Road vendor Robert “BTCKing” Faiella. The appearance was part of a plea deal with federal […]

Charlie Shrem reaches plea deal in bitcoin money-laundering case

Posted on 30th August, 2014

Charlie Shrem may soon be a free man. Reuters reports that the former BitInstant CEO has reached a plea arrangement with federal prosecutors over his role in converting bitcoin to cash from deals on the now-shuttered black market website Silk Road. Shrem had been charged with a variety of felonies, including conspiracy to launder money, […]

Ross Ulbricht faces new narcotics charges in Silk Road case

Posted on 22nd August, 2014

Prosecutors have added three new charges to the case against Ross Ulbricht, the man the Feds believe to be “Dread Pirate Roberts,” the mastermind behind the now-closed online black marketplace Silk Road. Ulbricht, 30, will now face additional charges of narcotics trafficking, distribution of narcotics by means of the internet, and conspiracy to traffic in […]

Judge says bitcoin “clearly qualifies as money” in case against accused money launderer Robert Faiella

Posted on 20th August, 2014

In January, Federal prosecutors charged Robert Faiella and Charlie Shrem with a scheme to launder more than $1 million in drug money through now-shuttered online black marketplace Silk Road. A significant portion of case hinges on the idea that Faiella and Shrem were operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, even though that transmission largely took place […]

Ross Ulbricht’s defense claims FBI violated Fourth Amendment in Silk Road case

Posted on 4th August, 2014

The case against alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht is already causing a serious rethinking of what existing statutes mean in the age of cryptocurrency. While there is little doubt that the Silk Road was a haven for recreational drug sales and other decidedly illegal services, there are still many open questions about how existing […]

Donations to skyrocket after Roger Ver’s Twitter pledge

Posted on 7th July, 2014

In the excitement about the U.S. Marshal Service’s auction of millions of dollars in bitcoin seized from the Silk Road, the situation of its alleged mastermind has gained less attention. Ross Ulbricht, the man the FBI claims ran the Tor-obscured website under the name “Dread Pirate Roberts,” has been awaiting trial since his arrest in […]

Venture capitalist Tim Draper revealed as winner of Silk Road auction

Posted on 2nd July, 2014

Earlier today, venture capitalist and angel investor Tim Draper announced that he was the sole winner of the nearly 30,000 BTC auction of bitcoins seized from the Silk Road. Draper’s firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is extremely well known in investment circles, backing high-profile projects like Skype, Hotmail and Tesla Motors long before they were known […]

Prices recover as U.S. Marshals’ Silk Road auction begins

Posted on 27th June, 2014

For the last two weeks, the bitcoin community has been abuzz about the auction of nearly 30,000 BTC by the U.S. Marshal Service. The bitcoin, seized last October from the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace, is being offered in 10 blocks. The “Dutch”-style auction is built around sealed-envelope system, removing most of the human drama from […]