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Silk Road 2 and Silk Road Reloaded launched shortly after Ross Ulbricht was arrested and the Silk Road, the first and largest darknet marketplace, was taken down. The drama that would unfold surrounding the case of Ulbricht would overshadow the existence of flourishing alternative markets, many of which did not have the same scruples as the Silk Road. For example, on the Silk Road, it was against the rules to traffic in child pornography. Silk Road 2 did not have such a law, and many later markets have allowed for the sale of anything – even people.

Thomas White Wanted to Run a Child Pornography Specific Market

Thomas White was sentenced to five years in prison in the UK today. He is said to have been Dread Pirate Roberts 2, the founder of the Silk Road 2, and moreover, one of his charges was “making indecent images of children” – child pornography. Police found records of White talking about founding a child porn-specific darknet website to facilitate the sale of such images.

Ross Ulbricht received two life sentences in a federal court, without the possibility of parole, for his creation of the Silk Road. No one else has received anything near that sentence in the various dark web stings. A growing chorus of influential people inside and outside of the Bitcoin space have called for Ross’s clemency.

DPR2 Receives Almost No Punishment Compared to DPR

According to Motherboard, Thomas White was arrested in 2014, but information about his case has been kept secret while investigations were ongoing. The investigation took a long time because investigators struggled to break through the encryption that White used on his various computing devices. They caught a break when they were able to compromise the password to one of his password managers, which subsequently gave them access to one of his laptops.

On that laptop, police discovered that White possessed the Dread Pirate Roberts 2 PGP private key. In cryptography, maintaining the private key to something is as good as owning it. From there they were able to build a case that White was, in fact, DPR2 and various charges stemmed from there.

Additionally, police had back-up evidence. They discovered at least a few of DPR2’s Bitcoin wallets in his possession and found packages addressed to him from busted Silk Road vendors. After a lengthy investigation, they were able to trace his activity as “StExo” on the Silk Road to his eventual role as Dread Pirate Roberts 2 in his new enterprise.

In total, White will do five years and four months in a UK prison on charges of making indecent images of children, drug trafficking, and money laundering. In the intervening years, he has been cited as an expert by outlets including Forbes, all while privately awaiting the conclusion of a severe case.


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