FBI arrests Silk Road founder, seizes US$3.6m in escrow

Silk Road (anonymous marketplace)

Silk Road (anonymous marketplace) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Bureau of Investigations has arrested the man behind Silk Road, the anonymous market place for buying and selling goods in bitcoin. The market place sold cocaine, marijuana and probably a host of other controlled substances as well as books, drug paraphernalia and devices used to skim credit and debit cards.

Silk Road’s owner went by the name of Dread Pirate Roberts, a fictional character from the Princess Bride film. After his arrest, the FBI released his true identity. Ross Ulbricht, 29, is accused in a criminal complaint of asking a man to kill a Silk Road vendor who had threatened to reveal the identities of others who used the site, according to the NY Times. He is also accused of  asking an FBI agent to kill the employee before he gave evidence to the government about Silk Road.

The US government has seized 26,000 bitcoins, worth US$3.6m placed in escrow by Silk Road customers. Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco in a public library.

What happens next will be interesting. News of the arrest has made international media streams and a whole lot more people will soon know what bitcoin is, and what it can be used for. Also, we’ll see what the US government does with the crypto-currency it has seized.

CoinEnabler.com  said this in its story about the arrest:

‘With Silk Road down and its founder arrested, maybe now Bitcoin can be seen in the mainstream as something other than a tool for criminals.’




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