FBI seizes Silk Road, arrests Ross William Ulbricht
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has shut down the Silk Road website and arrested its alleged owner Ross William Ulbricht. Authorities said the website engaged in the trafficking of illegal goods and have filed charges of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and computer hacking conspiracy in a district court in New York.
The FBI said the site remained anonymous online because it was placed on a Tor network. This made it practically impossible to locate the physical location of the network's computers. Users not only bought and sold illegal drugs but obtained illicit goods and services from the site as well. A money trail was also difficult for authorities to track because Silk Road used bitcoins.
According to a CNN report, the site's two and a half year operations generated revenues of over 9.5 million bitcoins. In dollars, this represented a value of USD 1.3 billion. As a result of the federal bust, CNN also reported a plunge in the value of bitcoins to USD 120 from USD 141. Meanwhile, the FBI revealed that Ulbricht obtained commissions from the site and pegged his net worth at 600,000 bitcoins or USD 85 million.