A senior adviser towards the operator of the Silk Road dark web market has pled guilty to 1 count of conspiracy to spread narcotics in a Manhattan federal court. Regarding a US Department of Justice press release dated Jan. 30, Roger Thomas Clark was an integral figure in the development of Silk Road, advising on all areas of the organization, and even wanting to arrange a murder-for-hire to protect its interests.
Silk Road developer Ross Ulbricht described Clark, who also used several online aliases such as “Variety Jones,” and “Plural of Mongoose,” like a “real mentor,” who also advised about the security and running of the website.
Clark was purportedly instrumental in advising Ulbricht to concoct a cover story that he sold the Silk Road site and was responsible for gathering information on the authorities’ investigation of the website.
Additionally, Clark is accused of urging and facilitating an attempted murder-for-hire of the Silk Road employee who was suspected of stealing $350,000 of Bitcoin (BTC) from the organization, the ongoing prosecution.
Silk Road legacy continues
The Silk Road market was developed by Ulbricht in January 2011 and operated until 2013. It facilitated the sale of narcotics and various other illegal products and services, using a Bitcoin-based payment system to hide the identities of users, until its infiltration and eventual closure by the FBI.
While reported, jailed Ulbricht has a large amount of support in the cryptocurrency community, with Tim Draper recently getting in touch with for his release. Ulbricht himself has continued to be a supporter of Bitcoin, recently predicting that the price would hit $100,000 in 2020.
New data claim that the usage of cryptocurrencies on markets doubled this past year. A recent report from a New York-based blockchain analytics company Chainalysis discovered that dark web markets have significantly increased their share of total incoming cryptocurrency transactions in 2019, doubling from 0.04% in 2018 to 0.08%.