The trial of supposed Silk Road chief Ross Ulbricht is now underway. His defense rests on the claim that while Ulbricht did found Silk Road as an experiment, he relinquished control a number of years ago and is now the "fall guy" for those who were truly in charge. According to Ulbricht's defense, he was not Dread Pirate Roberts, and that there may be a number of other people who were. One of those possible operators? According to a DHS agent who took the stand yesterday, it could have been Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès.
Mt Gox, what had been the world's largest bitcoin exchange, seems to have shut down. According to a supposedly leaked document, they're missing 744,000 bitcoins, which even at Bitcoin's current, rapidly falling price, would be worth somewhere around $300 million dollars. A collection of bitcoin businesses and markets have issued a statement. [more inside]
The Department of Homeland Security has apparently seized Mt.Gox's Dwolla account, a key US mobile payments account associated with the largest Bitcoin exchange. Mt.Gox has confirmed that their Dwolla account is disabled, but have not been party to the court order themselves. [more inside]
Jon Matonis is responding to a blog post which itself is citing a European Central Bank paper on virtual currency(pdf) [more inside]