The trial of Ross Ulbricht, founder of alleged Silk Road, deserve to be considered entertaining and amusing indeed. It began on January 13 in Manhattan: the 30-year-old was accused of running the online marketplace known as Silk Road which permitted users to purchase and sell illegal drugs using bitcoin.
The above mentioned marketplace was created in 2011 and according to prosecutors, Silk Road made $1,2 billion until was shut down in 2013. Ross Ulbricht has pled not guilty. But in any case, the heritage of Ulbricht’s distinguished trial may strike a blow against the future of Bitcoin.
Let’s have a look at a few particular twists in the investigation process of Ross Ulbricht and Silk Road. In July of 2013, a special agent named Jared Der-Yeghiayan, took over the account of a Silk Road moderator. He has been undercover for 2 months and worked for about 10 hours per day being even paid in bitcoin.
Curtis Clark Green worked as an administrator for Silk Road. The fact is that when he was arrested being accused of drug trafficking, Ulbricht decided to kill him to solve such a problem. And guess what? The “killer” was an agent undercover who was paid to kill Curtis and then provided falsified pictures of the dead administrator.
Later Dratel (Ulbricht’s lawyer) cross-examined Jared Der-Yeghiayan, asking whether it was actually Mt. Gox owner and CEO Mark Karpeles who administrated the Silk Road. But Karpeles didn’t accept the fact of being involved in Silk Road’s business.
The trial ended early on Thursday because there were objections to Dratel’s questions eliciting evidence. Prosecutors have already filed the papers with their objections stated in a clear way.
The government addressed another point Dratel speaked about on Thursday. It’s bitcointalk.org. According to Der-Yeghiayan, it was linked to Karpeles because of the same software as Silk Road used. There’s no any evidence that Karpeles was connected somehow to bitcointalk.org. Moreover, according to the government, the software was free and available for anybody. So, this is not meaningful at all.
Another fact is that there was a website called SilkRoadMarket.org which was advertising Silk Road and which was registered via Karpeles’ Web hosting company. But it was a Karpeles’ client who registered it using a fake name and a fake address. He used Bitcoin to pay for the domain and for Web hosting.
Der-Yeghiayan’s suspicions about Karpeles are clear, but the government’s new filing lays out a clear timeline about the way he ultimately dropped that path.
Well, it’s necessary to say that Ross Ulbricht’s trial will shed light on far more than the coin he used to facilitate the drug trade. But while Bitcoin itself stay legal and popular, its abilities to compete with traditional forms of money seem unlikely to be materialized.