For those not quite in the know, Silk Road represented the dark side of the Bitcoin revolution. It made it easy for people to buy and sell illegal drugs (and anything else you can think of) anonymously.
Though Silk Road has been shut down by federal authorities, similar sites have sprung up like magic mushrooms after a rainstorm and, powered by block-chain technology, encryption, and sheer human desire and ingenuity will never disappear again.
The founder, Ross Ulbricht, has been sentenced to life in jail after a very emotional plea for leniency.
He was facing a minimum of 20 years up to the maximum life sentence after he was found guilty of money laundering, narcotics trafficking and computer hacking. Under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts,” Ulbricht was the czar of Silk Road, an online drug marketplace that netted him an $18 million fortune. It was anonymized by the Tor network and used Bitcoins to hide transactions.
Prior to passing sentence, the judge heard passionate pleas from both parties, with Ulbricht hoping Forrest would give him “a chance to redeem myself in the free world before I meet my maker.” Prosecutors, meanwhile, demanded a life sentence, calling him the “kingpin of a worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise” and pointing out that he tried to hire a hitman on multiple occasions.
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