Posts Tagged ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’

If the Bitcointalk hackers are reading this, can you please let me know if I’m a lousy journo and missed the smoking gun, or if it was part of a deleted post?

I originally wrote the below in response to a lengthy, well thought-out comment by a reader on a previous blog about the changing face of Dread Pirate Roberts. But then I figured, why waste what became the length of a blog post in itself? So here is my comment, recycled and slightly amended.

I’ve been mulling over the conclusions I drew in my blog post a few weeks ago, “Which Pirate is That?” in light of revelations from the FBI documents following the arrest of Ross Ulbricht.  Clearly, if the FBI docs are accurate – the gmail address was linked to altoid in 2011 and they swooped on Ulbricht as he was logged in as DPR – then it looks like there was only ever one DPR.

Allegedly the previous 'nym of Dread Pirate Roberts

Allegedly the previous ‘nym of Dread Pirate Roberts

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Whilst many vendors and buyers have migrated to Silk Road’s two remaining competitors, Black Market Reloaded and Sheep Marketplace, other members have been working around the clock to develop and launch Silk Road 2.0.

Soon this will be Silk Road 2.0

Soon this will be Silk Road 2.0

Ex-Atlantis mod, Heisenberg2.0, claims to have counted “at least 5 publicly stated projects with the said aim of becoming “Silk Road 2.0″ and many more gathering info and building alliances.”

The main contenders are a team of allegedly trusted and verified Silk Road vendors who are working together to recreate the black market virtually identically. A forum has already been created that mirrors the original and its members have been given a sneak peek at the layout of the new marketplace, which will operate under the same philosophy and rules as the old one.

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According to FBI documents, Dread Pirate Roberts claims to have carried out one hit and was haggling on price for another. But was he the victim of an elaborate hoax?

Did DPR really fall for a hitman hoax like this?

Did DPR really fall for a hitman hoax like this?

According to the FBI’s Criminal Complaint, Silk Road’s owner, the Dread Pirate Roberts, sought to engage a hitman to deal with a blackmailer who was threatening to expose names and addresses of some of the site’s top vendors. DPR allegedly exchanged messages with someone called “redandwhite” who offered to carry out the hit for between $150,000 and $300,000 depending on whether DPR wanted the hit to be “clean or unclean”.

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And so timezones screwed me over and I’ve just woken up to the news that the Dread Pirate Roberts has been arrested. I haven’t even had my second coffee yet, nor have I been able to digest what’s happened, but I’m pretty sure my blog is well on its way to most hits ever for a day.

What you'll see if you try to go to Silk Road today

What you’ll see if you try to go to Silk Road today – note the Silk Road Camel watermark

I’m getting quite a few hits from the UK’s Telegraph that is inventing weird stories about Silk Road providing access to real-life gladiator fights (not only do they not exist on the dark web, SR never even tried to scam anyone into believing they could provide access)

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My latest Fairfax feature appears in tomorrow’s edition of The Age, but is already up online.  I briefly mention the Rialto BASE jumpers and D.B. Cooper, but the article mostly focuses on father of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto and Dread Pirate Roberts of Silk Road fame.  Banksy also gets a look-in, but I was originally going to say a bit more about him. I didn’t mostly because of space constraints but also a tiny bit passive-aggressively because his office never got back to me with a quote.

A rather cool Banksy pic that they used for my latest article

A rather cool Banksy pic that they used for my latest article

Anyway, so I’ve got a new blog post, here’s the stuff I cut out – and it sort of goes against the grain of the article because <<SPOILER ALERT>> it pretty much purports to reveal his identity. Maybe.

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For two weeks, users of online drugs marketplace Silk Road have been unable to log in to the site more often than not, reporting timeouts, missing catchpas and other technical difficulties.  Millions of dollars in Bitcoin has been inaccessible to the site’s thousands of members and trading has halted.

Where’s my Bitcoins?

The reactions of the community have run the gamut from hopeful acceptance to threats of violence against the site’s owner, admins and other random anonymous people.  Amazon has stocked up on pitchforks and tinfoil hats as speculation on the forum has reached fever pitch.

Here are five of the theories for its temporary demise, in one easily-digestible blog:

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