If the past two days are any indication, the trial of alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht could be one of the most fascinating in recent memory.
On Thursday, Ulbricht’s attorney Joshua Dratel questioned US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent Jared Der-Yeghiayan. Although the agent now believes Ulbricht is his guy, there was a point in 2012 in which Der-Yeghiayan had a wealth of evidence to prove that Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles was the person behind the online persona Dread Pirate Roberts.
Whether it’s true or not, the agent’s theory certainly makes a lot of sense.
As CEO of Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles was perhaps invested in Bitcoin more than anyone. Der-Yeghiayan theorized that Karpeles could use the Silk Road to ensure the price of the cryptocurrency remained robust.
Or to put it in his own words as written in an e-mail, Der-Yeghiayan said Silk Road could be a device for leveraging the value of Bitcoin and if he could create it independent of Bitcoin, he could control its value.
The evidence was so overwhelming that, in May 2013, the agent drafted a search warrant to search Karpeles’ e-mails. Investigators in Boston, however, were also looking into the matter. Der-Yeghiayan instructed them not to contact Karpeles as it might spook him, but they reportedly did so anyway. When asked about the Silk Road, Karpeles reportedly told Boston authorities that he would tell them the name of Dread Pirate Roberts.
At that point, the court adjourned with the trial scheduled to resume on Tuesday.