On the 1st of October, Tuesday, 15.15. Ross Ulbricht the owner and alleged launcher of the homepage and service Silk Road was arrested in one of the state libraries of the city San Francisco. The FBI also succeeded to collect evidence of illegal action on the Internet in the bitcoin currency system that brought him after first rough estimation at least 26 000. Further investigation works brought up in the light other circumstance of the deed of Ulbricht alleged alias Dread Pirate Roberts. Under this nickname he might better known for the users of the digital currency.
The work on this case started in the early 2011 and longed more than 2 years. The agent of the FBI made purchases on the Silk Road and connected services, collected material, opinions to make a strong evidence for further arrest and custody.
Observing this case even a person far from Internet Security and cybercrime can make conclusions that Ross Ulbricht has committed too many faults and mistakes for an advanced user and digital businessman. One of the physical failures committed in real life was the attempt to hide. He stopped contact to journalists (among them a Forbes representative preparing an interview about him) and moving from city to city.
The online life of Ulbricht or the Dread Pirate Roberts was even more strange and unprofessional. On many occasions the suspect has shared his private and contact information during illegal or related actions and transactions with bitcoins. Among published data that led the FBI to the suspect was the real email address, photo and even the name. The photo was published in his regularly attended profile on LinkedIn. Even recruiting developers for an Internet startup based on bitcoins he revealed too much personal information.
The creation of a new ID and email address based on it – frosty has led even more to his real personality.
Currently the evidence is still not enough for a real crime considering the physical law of the United States. The only thing that can be surely mentioned is that the service Silk Road has stopped, but the overall amount of bitcoins transmitted via it can be assumed to be more than 9,5 million.
This case shadows the bitcoin system. The price of a single BTC has dropped. Specialists say that fluctuations of the price are very regular and this happening is not the only reason for it. Users should not be afraid to use the system in future. Some started selling them after Ulbricht appeared on the news. Advocate of the bitcoin system Rogwer Ver, as well as Vorhees does not agree that the system might undergo a collapse or even a crisis.
Experts also observe the creation of many similar services that might end like Silk Road. Some of the creators are not afraid of publicity and even lead groups of Facebook and Twitter.
Vorhees compares this situation to one already relieved on the Internet. The story of Napster is quite similar. After its collapse many other service offered music sharing and download.