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Silk Road Questions Unanswered as Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

August 13, 2018 |

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison back in 2015 for operating the Silk Road marketplace but many people believe he should be set free. The Ulbricht family, aided by his new Twitter account @RealRossU, has managed to gather close to 60,000 signatures in a petition for his clemency. Meanwhile, many questions surrounding the government’s Silk Road investigation and the sale of Ulbricht’s bitcoins.

Also read: Coingeek Speaks on Consensus Changes and Next-Gen ASIC Chip

The Many Unanswered Silk Road Questions Suppressed by the US Government

Ross Ulbricht is serving a life prison sentence for operating the illicit drug marketplace called the Silk Road (SR). Many people believe the entire Ulbricht investigation was an abomination of justice as there are many instances of law enforcement manipulation and government cover-ups throughout the SR investigation and Ulbricht’s trial. Moreover, the family has explained many times that much of the details surrounding the SR investigation and the government’s evidence remains a secret. One example is the public auctions of seized bitcoins back in 2014 that allegedly were taken from Ulbricht’s laptop. Most of the results of the auctions are unknown except for the statements stemming from some of the winners like Tim Draper. Only the auction winners were notified by the US Marshals and the public has no idea about the exact specifics of the auctions, except for what they were told by the media.

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures
The bitcoin auction Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have remained unanswered for over 4 years.

Because the auction was done by a government agency, specifically the US Marshals Service (USMS), the public has a right to know the exact specifics of these auctions. However, to this day, the USMS has not disclosed the results of the 2014 bitcoin auctions even though there have been multiple FOIA requests for the information. Essentially the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) says that any US citizen has the right to information and disclosures concerning financial transactions tied to government entities. This includes auctions tied to seized assets the USMS confiscates. In 2014 there were over 20 FOIA requests made to the USMS concerning the bitcoin auctions. According to the FOIA logs for 2014, nearly every request was answered throughout the entire list except for the FOIA requests for information concerning the bitcoin auctions. In fact, to this day the log shows each request remains unanswered except for one on August 22, 2014, that states the request was not reasonable. 

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

Ross Supporters Gather Close to 60,000 Signatures for His Clemency Petition

Over the past few weeks, support for Ulbricht has been huge since he started his own Twitter handle that posts with the aid of his family. The glaring law enforcement manipulation, the two rogue secret agents, and the unanswered questions regarding the sale of Ulbricht’s bitcoin stash paints a shady picture of so-called US justice. Which has, in turn, helped bolster support for Ulbricht’s cause even more so as many believe that his life sentence is completely unjust.

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

This week Ulbricht’s Change.org petition for clemency has garnered 59,077 signatures out of the 75,000 goal. In the petition, Ulbricht’s mother Lyn pleads with the public to help her fight for her son’s freedom and explains that the entire investigation and trial was a monstrosity.       

“Ross’s investigation, trial, and sentencing were rife with abuse — This includes corrupt federal investigators (now in prison) who were hidden from the jury, as well as prosecutorial misconduct, constitutional violations and reliance on unproven allegations at sentencing,” Lyn Ulbricht explains.

Ross did not get a fair trial and his sentence was draconian. Justice was not served.

What do you think about the many unanswered questions regarding the Ulbricht case and the bitcoin auctions? Do you think the government covered up certain elements of this case? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, FOIA requests 2014, and Twitter. 


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Silk Road Questions Unanswered as Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bizarre Scene on Busy Chicago Road: This Plane

July 28, 2018 |

Rush hour traffic was in its early stages on Chicago’s busy Lake Shore Drive Friday when a bizarre scene unfolded that most definitely did not help the congestion. A small plane with two people aboard made an emergency landing right on the road, reports the AP . Fire officials say the…
Newser

TMZ

Brewers Pitcher Josh Hader Booed Loudly In First Road Game Since Racist Tweets

July 27, 2018 |

Brewers pitcher Josh Hader got BOOED for several minutes in his first road game since his racist and homophobic tweets from seven years ago surfaced. Hader took the long walk from the bullpen to the mound Thursday night in San Francisco … and…

TMZ.com

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

July 18, 2018 |

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

When bitcoin came out, supporters believed that the decentralized cryptocurrency would decimate the banking industry. Years later, as digital currencies became more mainstream, these networks were suddenly commanding billion dollar valuations. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency exchanges, brokerage services, and over-the-counter market makers have started to look into purchasing shares of banks and even becoming the banks themselves.

Also read: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense  

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

A lot has changed since the Bitcoin network was launched back in 2009 when the cryptocurrency was a tiny little network with just a few users. Now there are over 1600+ digital assets and the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization of all of them combined is valued at $ 294Bn USD. Back in the early days, incumbent financial institutions scoffed at cryptocurrencies but now it’s pretty hard for them to ignore the massive economy growing around them.

These days some of the exchanges and market makers are becoming incredibly large and dealing with very large quantities of money. Moreover, a few businesses and cryptocurrency exchanges look like they are adopting a different kind of attitude — ‘If you can’t beat them, join them,’ by either attempting to become banks or purchasing shares of these financial institutions.

The San Francisco Unicorn Coinbase Looks Into a Federal Banking Charter

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming BanksFor instance, the unicorn cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been a digital asset heavyweight since the early days and the firm continues to make more money while expanding its services. There are those that believe Coinbase will someday become a fairly large sized ‘bitcoin bank’ with its 20Mn users that have traded $ 150Bn USD worth of digital assets since the company’s inception. Back in May, the public found out that the San Francisco exchange was recently exploring a federal banking charter, other banking licenses, and had been meeting with U.S. regulators.

Reports had detailed that Coinbase had been visiting officials at the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in early 2018. The largest U.S. exchange by volume didn’t comment on the firm’s meeting with the OCC but made a general statement about dealing closely with government officials so they are sure they have the proper licenses. A federal banking charter would allow Coinbase to offer a plethora of banking features.

Binance to Launch a ‘Decentralized Community Owned Bank’

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming BanksAnother extremely large international cryptocurrency trading platform, Binance, has become one of the largest exchanges in the world and just recently the firm purchased a 5 percent stake in a financial institution called Founders Bank. Binance says the bank based in Malta will utilize cryptocurrency tokens and distributed ledger technology. The Office of the Prime Minister of Malta’s junior minister for financial services, digital economy, and innovation, Silvio Schembri, stated during the bank announcement, “We are honored to be chosen as the location of the first global community-owned bank.”

Binance and the Founders Bank are attempting to get a license in the EU so they can operate under the correct regulatory statutes. The firm explains that token investors will have ownership over the bank and Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO, believes Malta could wind up being a hotspot for this type of financial technology.

Malta is the fusion ground for traditional and blockchain finance now.  A lot can happen in 3 short months,” Zhao explained to his Twitter followers.

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

Litecoin Foundation Acquires 10 Percent Stake in German Bank

A few days before the Binance announcement, the Litecoin Foundation revealed the organization and the firm Tokenpay had purchased 9.9 percent stake in WEG Bank AG. The goal is similar to the Binance – Founders Bank roadmap, as the German WEG Bank AG, the Litecoin Foundation, and Tokenpay will offer blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions to customers. The creator of the cryptocurrency litecoin (LTC) and the managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, Charlie Lee, explains LTC will be utilized in the deal. “I’m looking forward to integrating Litecoin with the WEG Bank AG and all the various services it has to offer, to make it simple for anyone to buy and use Litecoin,” Lee stated on July 10.

Lee divulges further on July 17, on the Reddit forum r/litecoin:

People have brought up valid concerns that we still need to work with and be approved by players in the current financial systems like Visa and SWIFT, but we definitely have a much higher chance of succeeding now that we own a stake in a bank with bank licenses.

Is the Age of Cryptocurrency Banks Coming?  

There are many other firms who are growing exponentially in size due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies these days and many of these companies move a lot of money. The cryptocurrency firm Xapo is a good example as the company claims to store roughly $ 10Bn USD worth of digital assets across five different continents. Another unicorn cryptocurrency firm, Circle Internet Financial Ltd., also wants a federal charter so it can provide more types of banking services. The Boston-based firm is also working with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to sell tokens. With all the bank purchasing and federal charter attempts, the question remains — Will these cryptocurrency banks decimate the current financial incumbents or become them?

What do you think about these businesses exploring becoming banks or purchasing a stake in these financial institutions? Let us know what you think about this subject matter in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Coinbase, Binance, Litecoin, and Pixabay.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Many fear Artificial Intelligence as the road to robots taking over the world — are they right?

July 17, 2018 |

It’s an understandable fear – and one that’s long been popularized by the movies and the media.
FOX News

TMZ

LaVar Ball Says JBA is Road LiAngelo ‘Has To Take’ to Get to Lakers

July 15, 2018 |

LaVar Ball says the pathway for LiAngelo Ball to get to the Lakers is a clear one … and it runs through the new hoops league he created — THE JBA!! L.A. — along with the other 29 teams in the NBA — passed on Gelo in the draft last month … so…

TMZ.com

Road Signs Will Warn Drivers Who Are Using Cellphones

July 11, 2018 |

Using your phone while driving in the UK? Expect a warning from a smart road sign, at least if you’re in Norfolk. The county is introducing road signs that use scanners to electronically detect the radio signals transmitted when mobile phones are connected to a call—and then flash a…
Newser

Dark Web Alleged Silk Road Conspirator Handed to US Authorities

July 8, 2018 |

Dark Web Alleged Silk Road Conspirator Handed to US Authorities

Dark web alleged Silk Road conspirator, Gary Davis of Ireland, agreed recently to be extradited to the United States. Once on US soil, he will face charges levied against him five years ago in connection with the eventual conviction of Ross Ulbricht (who prosecutors claim was the site’s mastermind). Mr. Davis, should he be convicted, would receive a life sentence.  

Also read: US Presidential Candidate Would Pardon Snowden, Ulbricht on First Day

Alleged Silk Road Conspirator Extradited to US

A visibly upset Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com, took to his personal Youtube channel, wearing a Freeross.org t-shirt. Mr. Ver set about reminding viewers of two ominous happenings in recent weeks as they related to the crypto community. Ross Ulbricht’s appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States was refused, upholding a Circuit Court decision affirming his life sentence without the possibility of parole. He, Mr. Ver also reminded, has been languishing in prison for half a decade now.

Mr. Ver also lamented news a former employee at Bitcoin.com, Gary Davis, 29, was to be extradited from his native Ireland. Mr. Davis faces charges stemming from his alleged involvement in Silk Road. Silk Road was an online marketplace, one credited with demonstrating a use case for cryptocurrency as peer to peer cash. The site matched buyers and sellers, and often those voluntary exchanges ran afoul of US law.

Dark Web Alleged Silk Road Conspirator Handed to US Authorities
Gary Davis

Mr. Davis was arrested by Irish law enforcement after US Judge James C. Francis IV, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, outlined three counts of indictment: conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. US prosecutors asked Mr. Davis be extradited as far back as early 2014.

As of late June of the present year, Mr. Davis waived his final appeal from being sent to the United States, and essentially agreed to extradition. He was forced to capitulate shortly after Ireland’s highest court ruled 5-0 the process engaged in by US and Irish law enforcement was legal. Mr. Davis had two days to further appeal to the EU Court of Human Rights. He declined.

Mistaken Identity, Isolation

Mr. Davis will be caged in New York’s Metro Correctional jail, presumably until trial or plea. In advance of just this scenario, a legal team has already been assembled in the US, sources explained. They will have their work cut out for them if Mr. Ulbricht’s plight is any indication of what’s in store. The original Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indictment pegs Mr. Davis as “Libertas,” allegedly Mr. Ulbricht’s right hand at Silk Road. The site was said by the FBI to have generated in excess of a billion dollars, with Mr. Ulbricht’s take in the teens of millions. Law enforcement officials in the US claim Mr. Davis was paid $ 6,000 a month to be a kind of customer service representative at Silk Road.  

Mr. Davis had been fighting extradition based on his Asperger’s syndrome spectrum, arguing health care wouldn’t be of similar quality in the US while awaiting justice in this matter. Speaking for the Irish Court, Judge McKechnie explained Mr. Davis’ defense did not ultimately constitute an obligation upon the government of Ireland, and cleared the way for his being handed over to US authorities.

Dark Web Alleged Silk Road Conspirator Handed to US AuthoritiesDuring his four year appeal process in his native country, Mr. Davis reportedly explained to a psychiatrist the entire case was due to mistaken identity. A copy of his passport on Mr. Ulbricht’s hard drive, he noted, was a mystery. Mr. Ver, in his video, highlighted how Mr. Davis had never been to the United States, and would essentially be uprooted from everything he’s ever known.

Indeed, Mr. Davis’ defense made a similar argument about isolation in the United States. An Irish Justice agreed, stressing he wished to emphasize how he “in no way seek to diminish or trivialise the very real concerns and worries of the appellant and his family as he faces the prospect of extradition to the United States and being imprisoned there. Such a prospect would be daunting for an individual in robust mental health let alone someone coping with a significant mental health condition.”

Is the Silk Road case an important story for the crypto community? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Dark Web Alleged Silk Road Conspirator Handed to US Authorities appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Funded Silk Road Performance Earns a Residency at Trafalgar Studios

June 24, 2018 |

Bitcoin Funded Silk Road Performance Earns a Residency at Trafalgar Studios

Last December news.Bitcoin.com reported on the theatrical version of people using the deep web in a play called the “Silk Road: How to Buy Drugs Online.” Since then the play got rave reviews after appearing at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe and the Vault festival. Now due to the show’s popularity, the performance is hosting the production at the well-known theatre London’s Trafalgar Studios for a twenty-day residency.  

Also read: The Bitcoin-Culture Invasion: T-Shirts, Hats, Candles, Mugs, and More

The Silk Road Theatre Production Written by Alex Oates Receives Rave Reviews

Just before the end of the phenomenal 2017 cryptocurrency run news.Bitcoin.com reported on a play that appeared in the UK called the “Silk Road: How to Buy Drugs Online.” The performance has been funded entirely in BTC when an anonymous person donated funds towards the production. The play, written by the well known English playwright Alex Oates, is about a 19-year old man named Bruce Blakemore who learns about the deep web and darknet markets. Moreover, the play is loosely based on the tales of the Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) alongside interviews with real Silk Road vendors.

Bitcoin Funded Silk Road Performance Earns a Residency at Trafalgar Studios

Since the play took place at the notorious Edinburgh Fringe and at the Vault Festival the production has received rave reviews.

“Like a hybrid of ‘Snatch’ and ‘Starter for Ten’, this is both an adolescent adventure and a grotesque, criminal caper. Gritty and very well written by Old Vic New Voices playwright Alex Oates, ‘Silk Road’ is the best thing to come from its namesake,” explained a Three Weeks review.

Bitcoin Funded Silk Road Performance Earns a Residency at Trafalgar Studios

A Twenty Day Residency at London’s Trafalgar Studios

The shows at Edinburgh and the Vault Festival, and the great reviews have helped the cryptocurrency-funded performance achieve a residency at London’s famous Trafalgar Studios from August 7 through September 1, 2018. According to an interview with the regional publication, the Evening Standard, Oates details in an interview that cryptocurrency’s trend within our culture is here to stay.

Bitcoin Funded Silk Road Performance Earns a Residency at Trafalgar Studios

“Back in 2014, Bitcoin was a bit of a novelty so I couldn’t be more thrilled that Silk Road (How to Buy Drugs Online), which was initially made possible through an anonymous donation of Bitcoin, is back with a run at Trafalgar Studios this summer,” Oates details.

It seems clear that Bitcoin is here to stay and it was a great honour to be the first play funded by cryptocurrency — It undoubtedly won’t be the last.

The West End London theatre Trafalgar Studios is a prestigious auditorium that once was called the ‘Whitehall Theatre,’ and the Oates play is also directed by Dominic Shaw. No one knows how much funding the writer got from the anonymous donor, but reports detail that Oates has amassed a portfolio of “multiple cryptocurrencies,” since 2014.

What do you think about the Silk Road play getting a residency stay at London’s Trafalgar Studios? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via the Silk Road: How to Buy Drugs Online Playbill, Evening Standard, and Pixabay. 


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Bitcoin Funded Silk Road Performance Earns a Residency at Trafalgar Studios appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News