Thursday, October 6

Black market owner sentenced to pay R$3.5 million in Bitcoin to authorities

Thomas White, 26, now administrator of the deep web’s illegal online marketplace, was forced by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to hand over $667,000 in bitcoin to authorities.

After dropping out of university to work at Silk Road, White took over when Ross Ulbricht, founder of the site, was arrested in 2013.

Despite using an anonymous network to host and access the sites, he was identified by the NCA, which tracked drug packages he had ordered through the original Silk Road itself.

Silk Road 2.0

After the site was taken down by authorities, White worked to found what would be the successor to the infamous dark net market: Silk Road 2.0. The market worked basically the same as the old one.

Users could use the Tor network (anonymous Internet browser), make transactions using bitcoin and there was the purchase and sale of illicit products such as drugs. However, the commission that White charged on sales was high, ranging from 1% to 5%.

According to the NCA, even though the administrator does not have a fixed income, it was found that he paid around 10,700 euros in advance to rent a luxury apartment in Liverpool, England.

Crimes and confession

According to the website Sky News, in 2019, Thomas White pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, money laundering and the production of 464 category A child abuse images (considered the worst category of child abuse images). After the incident, he was imprisoned for a total of 5 years and 4 months.

At a hearing last week, White was assessed as having earned more than €1.5 million from his criminal activity, while the National Crime Agency was still investigating his finances even after he was arrested.

“This proves that crime doesn’t pay (he not only spent the last two years in prison, but now he will have to hand over almost $500,000,” added NCA’s Tyrone Surgeon.

Ross Ulbricht’s Situation

Meanwhile, imprisoned since 2013, Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht has urged the bitcoin community to keep fighting for more freedom. At a Bitcoin conference held in June 2021 he called the event directly from the chain.

Ross is known as the first founder of a deep web trade that accepted bitcoin. Users were able to buy drugs, weapons and other items. Ross’s intention was to create a free market, with more privacy and equality. However, its main objective was to popularize bitcoin.