President-elect Donald J. Trump’s Sunday Twitter tirade, which called out SNL and the cast of Hamilton, created lots of online blog assignments on that Day of the Lord. One, in particular, might be of concern to Bitcoiners.
Mr. Trump is referring to Senator Charles Schumer, who has long been an advocate for law enforcement actions against darknet marketplaces; most famously, perhaps, calling on the closure of Silk Road and inextricably linking it to Bitcoin.
After authorities apprehended Ross Ulbricht, ultimately trying him and sentencing him to life in prison, the Senator had to call on the Department of Justice to go after “copycat” darknet marketplaces which have since proliferated. Alpha Bay and Dream Market are the most recommended today.
“[T]he Silk Road was shut down by the [FBI] in 2013, and I am pleased that DOJ is currently prosecuting its operator and holding him accountable. Regrettably, however, new sites have recently sprung up in Silk Road’s place. Senator Schumer said. “[B]oth the number of encrypted “dark web” websites that sell illegal drugs, and the number of drug listings of heroin, cocaine and meth on those sites have doubled to over 40,000 since 2013.” The Senator acknowledges the challenges law enforcement faces againts modern encryption methods.
Senator Schumer has called Bitcoin “untraceable.” He, along with New York Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, wrote in 2011 Attorney General Eric Holder and Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart to express concerns over Bitcoin and darknet marketplaces.
“The only method of payment for these illegal purchases is an untraceable peer-to-peer currency known as Bitcoins. After purchasing Bitcoins through an exchange, a user can create an account on Silk Road and start purchasing illegal drugs from individuals around the world and have them delivered to their homes within days,” the senators’ letter states. “We urge you to take immediate action and shut down the Silk Road network.”
They continued: “With illegal online drug sales on the rise, we need our federal law enforcement officials to do a top to bottom investigation of how these online drug marketplaces continue to thrive, and whether we must better prioritize combating these sales. These websites, by allowing users to rate the delivery services of sellers and by offering any drugs imaginable under the sun, are nothing less than an all-you-can order buffet of contraband that need to be investigated and targeted with more intensity.” Senator Schumer has called the digital currency a form of money laundering
“Literally, it allows buyers and users to sell illegal drugs online, including heroin, cocaine, and meth, and users do sell by hiding their identities through a program that makes them virtually untraceable,” Schumer said at a news conference Sunday. “It’s a certifiable one-stop shop for illegal drugs that represents the most brazen attempt to peddle drugs online that we have ever seen. It’s more brazen than anything else by lightyears. It’s an online form of money laundering used to disguise the source of money, and to disguise who’s both selling and buying the drug.”
Will Charles Schumer tell Donald Trump what he thinks about Bitcoin? I guess we’ll see after January 20.
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