As the Silk Road trials started earlier this week, a lot of Bitcoin enthusiasts around the world are waiting to see what the outcome will be. Ross Ulbricht’s trial is a major milestone in the young history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, as a lot of mainstream media is following the proceedings closely. The first shot has been fired however, as Ross Ulbricht did admit he created the Silk Road platform.
News broke earlier today (European time) that Ross Ulbricht admitted to creating the Silk Road platform in 201.. However, he also clearly stated he never operated or managed the platform, as this was done by “someone else.” Joshua Dratel, Mr. Ulbricht’s lawyer, told the media how Ross had handed over the reigns to someone else, just a few months after creating the Silk Road marketplace.
Mr. Dratel continues his statement by saying “my client created the Silk Road platform as a sort of economic experiment.” All of us are well aware how big that “experiment” turned out to be, as the Silk Road platform was a haven for drugs trafficking and other malicious activities. All of these services and goods could be purchased with Bitcoin, staining the digital currency’s reputation from that point forward.
Ross Ulbricht also wouldn’t be the person dubbed ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’; a name associated with Mr. Ulbricht by law enforcement ever since they began building the Silk Road case. To further enhance that statement, Ross Ulbricht was caught red-handed when he accesses the Silk Road administration panel from his laptop, while he was in a library. Joshua Dratel states: “ Dread Pirate Roberts is far more cautious in order to protect his identity. He wouldn’t log in to the administration panel from a public library”.
The actual Silk Road marketplace operator is still at large, according to Ulbricht’s lawyer Joshua Dratel, who also hints at the fact that the person managing Silk Road after Ross Ulbricht, is the same person who created Silk Road 2.0. That would be a surprising turn of events, considering the person behind Silk Road 2.0 has been in custody for quite some time now. However, considering the fact Silk Road 2.0 came online within two weeks of the original Silk Road platform closing its doors, it is not unlikely there is a deeper connection between both platforms.
The “real owners” of Silk Road allegedly managed to lure Ross Ulbricht back to the platform, in order to frame him for all the illegal activities and money laundering practices taking place over the last few months. According to his lawyer, Mr. Ulbricht has a sober lifestyle, which would not fit the picture of a person who “earned US$18m in Bitcoin while operating Silk Road”.
Even though the prosecution admits to that fact, they also claim that Ross Ulbricht had plans to sluice his money out of the US, and live a rich lifestyle somewhere else. Add to that fact how he was caught red-handed, and you can see why the prosecution would come to such a rather drastic conclusion. As the evidence in this case unfolds, we will find out how these claims came to be.
In regards to the alleged killing of six people, including one person who threatened to make Ross Ulbricht’s identity public, Joshua Dratel states there is no reason to assume these people ever existed. Furthermore, these allegations are not part of the formal charges made against Ross Ulbricht, and are therefore not relevant to this case.