‘This could be it. This could be the killer application for bitcoin’ – Free Talk Live host, March 2011

Old School Silk Road... it came a long way

Old School Silk Road… it came a long way

Whilst researching the early days of Silk Road for my book, I came across a wonderful little piece of history: a radio show by Free Talk Live which ran a comprehensive piece on Silk Road on 17 March 2011 – around six weeks after Silk Road had launched and a good two-and-a-half months before Adrian Chen’s Gawker article. At the time, Silk Road had 151 registered users, 38 listings and 28 transactions to date. By the time it was shuttered in October 2013, it had just shy of a million registered users.

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VICE is onto the documentary, yours truly is bringing a book out. But who would’ve guessed that the most notorious online black market in the world could be coming to a theatre near you?

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Emerging playwright Alex Oates plans to bring his one-man play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. Like many young writers, he’s hoping to raise the funds for it – at least GBP11,000 – via crowdfunding. But his approach is a little different.

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Games Pirates Play

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Pirates
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Servers in North Korea, America (fuck yeah!) and literally in the clouds, buying their own country and winning an eBay bid to buy… well eBay. The Pirate Bay guys had some good times.

Sometimes Yo Ho Ho became Hee Hee Hee

Sometimes Yo Ho Ho became Hee Hee Hee

Last month I attended a Q&A session with the cofounder of The Pirate Bay (and User No.7), Tobias Andersson. He was one hell of a speaker and entertained the Melbourne Hack’n’Tell group for well over an hour, his speech peppered with jokes and wry observations.

Although Tobias answered questions on all manner of serious subjects thrown at him about copyright, the future of The Pirate Bay and government surveillance, he was most animated when talking about the fun times and practical jokes they played over the years.

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A surreal story has been playing out in the last 24 hours or so, ever since Newsweek promised the biggest story of the crypto-year. The unmasking of Satoshi Nakamoto. And the Real Satoshi may have just come out of the woodwork to respond.

50 minutes ago, this post appeared on the P2P Foundation forum, the same place Nakamoto unleashed his White Paper on Bitcoin in 2009:

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Most likely a joke on the part of the administrators of the forum. But what prompted the post? A series of events that have reached high farce.

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I have a new PGP key…

Posted: February 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have a new PGP key. It can be found in the ‘About’ page of this site.

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I took may Mac to the Genius Bar recently and the genius decided I need to do a full clean reinstall. I had done a Time Machine backup before going, so I didn’t think much of it.

Unfortunately, I foolishly neglected to export my private key to a USB before doing the reinstall. I thought I would get my key back by restoring from the backup. Newsflash: that doesn’t work.

So I can’t decrypt anything encrypted to my old key. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes.

SSBD had no role to play in the Silk Road marketplace where drugs were bought and sold.  He was a moderator of the Silk Road discussion forum, which had its own URL and was hosted on a different server to the marketplace. So why is the US so determined to extradite someone who may or may not be him?

Peter Philip Nash has been sitting in a Brisbane jail cell since 20 December 2013.

He is facing extradition to the United States to face allegations of narcotics conspiracy (maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years); conspiracy to commit computer hacking (maximum 5 years) and money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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According to the US Indictment, Nash was known online as “samesamebutdifferent”, better known to Silk Road members as SSBD. SSBD was a well-loved moderator of the now defunct Silk Road discussion forums (new forums, colloquially known as SR2, have replaced the old). His job was to answer questions, explain the rules, move posts to their proper forum (with over a million posts, many were bound to wind up in the wrong place) and generally attend to banal administrative tasks.

In any event, Nash may or may not be SSBD.  But even if he is. What exactly was SSBD’s crime?

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Nod with the Bitchin’ Tar

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sorry I’ve been too busy to update my blog recently, but for now, do yourself a favour and head over to the Daily Dot, where the talented Patrick O’Neill has written up an astonishing story of Nod, Silk Road heroin kingpin, DPR confidant and Homeland Security informant:  The final confessions of a Silk Road kingpin.