Bitcoin has a bad reputation all over the world, as the virtual currency is often associated with scams, hacking and Ponzi schemes. Several financial experts went as far as calling Bitcoin – “the biggest Ponzi scheme of all times” – a few years ago. Unfortunately, the latest arrest of people allegedly associated with the MyCoin Bitcoin Ponzi in Taiwan will only fuel the fire.
Bitcoin has seen its fair share of “less than legitimate” marketplaces in the past, and it looks like more and more Dark Web marketplaces are embracing the digital currency for its pseudonymous nature. Just a few days ago, another Dark Web marketplace was shut down, and 11,000 Bitcoin wallets and private keys have been seized by Italian police officials.
Operation Babylon Cracks Down on Dark Web Marketplace
As soon as the topic comes up, most people will think back to the times when Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0 were around. Both of these illuster marketplaces allowed the trading of any type of goods or services – regardless of legality or morality – in exchange for the increasingly popular digital currency called Bitcoin.
When federal agents brought down the Silk Road platform, many people in the Bitcoin space hoped that using this disruptive digital currency for drug trafficking would slowly come to an end. Unfortunately, it turns out that is not the case; online drugs sales are still on the rise and pseudonymous and anonymous payment, such as Bitcoin, are still very popular in that market.
Silk Road Shut Down
Silk Road will always remain a bit of a black page in the Bitcoin history books. While the idea of an open and free peer-to-peer marketplace sounds great, there is always someone trying to use it for nefarious activities. Or, in the case of Silk Road, it became mainly used for illegal activities such as drug trafficking and other goods and services that shouldn’t see the light of day.
While most of the current focus is on the Silk Road trial, American intelligence services are still hunting down people responsible for operations conducted by Silk Road 2.0. As a result, US police has arrested a 26-year old man in Seattle who allegedly helped operating Silk Road 2.0, the “successor” of the infamous Silk Road online marketplace.
After the original Silk Road platform was shut down by US officials in 2013, it didn’t take long for the marketplace to pop up again under the banner “Silk Road 2.0”. To this date, no one is certain about the Silk Road 2.0 owner, who goes by the nickname Defcon. However, with the recent arrest made by US police, we now know who Defcon’s alleged “right hand man” is.
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.