One of the most persistent criticisms of cryptocurrency is their alleged use for illegal activities due to there being harder to trace than fiat currencies. Whenever this conversation comes up, one of the most commonly cited examples is the Silk Road fiasco. Silk Road was a marketplace on the dark web through which narcotics were often sold and a bitcoin-based payment system is used to hide the identities of the criminals involved. Silk Road has been shut down by the FBI and many of its participants have either gone to jail or are on trial for their crimes.
In one of the latest developments in the Silk Road case, one of the advisers of the Silk Road marketplace has pled guilty to charges of intent to distribute narcotics in a Manhattan District Court.
This information comes via a press released on January 30, 2020, from the US department of justice. According to the release, Roger Thomas Clark was a key figure in the Silk Road operation as he was a primary adviser in all aspects and even attempted to organize a murder-for-hire plot in order to cover up the crimes involved. His importance to the operation was reiterated by Ross Ulbricht, who is the creator of Silk Road and has described Clark as “Variety Jones,” and “Plural of Mongoose,” as a “real mentor”.
It is reported that Clark had advised Ulbricht to put out the false story of him selling the Silk Road marketplace to throw off authorities and had also been able to get information about the investigation that was ongoing. On top of this, he had suggested and try to procure a hitman to murder an employee who was believed to have stolen $350,000 in bitcoin.
The Silk Road marketplace ran from 2011 to 2013 until its eventual closure by the FBI. It’s founder Ross bridge was eventually jailed but has become a prominent figure within the crypto industry as he is a massive bitcoin supporter and has predicted the price soaring in the future.