Last May, Ross Ulbricht lost the appeal against his 2015 convictions for money laundering, computer hacking and conspiracy to traffic narcotics as the creator of the notorious Silk Road website, also known as the “Amazon for illegal drugs”. Before the Silk Road was shut down, $180 million worth of drug trades had been made but new sites have since sprung up to replace Silk Road that dwarf the business that it once did.
Ulbricht subscribed to Austrian Economics and to Anarcho-Capitalism. He claimed that what he was doing was a way to defuse the violence wreaked both by criminals and by the state. He once posted on the site’s forum, “What we are doing will have rippling effects for generations to come and could be part of a monumental shift in how human beings organize and relate to one another.”
Any telling of Ulbricht’s case would be more fair if it also told the story of DEA Agent, Carl Force and Secret Service Agent, Shaun Bridges who were sentenced for defrauding both the government AND Ulbricht out of well over $1M in Bitcoin during the course of their investigations.