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Silk Road was an online black market and the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs.

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Congressional Hopeful Agatha Bacelar Talks Silk Road on the Podcast 

“It’s clear that the political establishment wants to hold back a future where economic freedom is afforded to all.” This excerpt from Congressional hopeful Agatha Bacelar’s campaign donation page echoes what many within the cryptosphere have been saying ever since Satoshi Nakamoto dropped the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008 – and what many libertarians have been trumpeting for decades. Also read: FBI Says Bitcoin Concern Is Getting ‘Bigger and Bigger’ Bacelar Lays the Smackdown The fact that Bacelar, who has set her eyes on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s seat in the California Congress, seeks to raise $1 million in crypto is significant. Stanford-educated and an engineer by trade, the 27-year-old Brazilian-American understands blockchain technology like few politicos before her, having worked with digital governance platform Democracy Earth. This nonprofit seeks to change the political system by building open-source, censorship-proof democracies, and grew out of what Bacelar describes as a “trojan horse” political party in Argentina. Uniquely, the party used blockchain tech to field candidates who were not so much representatives of the people as, well, the people themselves. Bacelar was recently invited on to the podcast and, needless to say, the topic of cryptocurrency came up more than once. “I can see why it’s very scary to introduce cryptocurrency to central banks because it kicks them in the knees,” she said. “But I think for a healthier world we need more public banking, public financing of things rather than having the power consolidated through central banks.” As for the day-to-day benefits of using cryptocurrency, they are self-evident: “Whenever I want to pay my rent it takes a week for my money to transfer to my landlord’s bank account. We could be having faster global currency that doesn’t take 10% for a middleman.” Audit the Fed Many listeners would have been keen to hear the candidate’s thoughts on how distributed ledger technologies could be used to revamp the entire system. Host Matt Aaron beat his guest to the punch, suggesting that publicly auditing the Federal Reserve might be a good place to start. “Yeah, that would,” Bacelar concurred. “Doing more participatory budgeting, letting people have a greater say on how we use our tax dollars.” “Right now, we lose information every time a transaction happens. Whereas, I would hope with cryptocurrencies, if you buy an iPhone, you would know whether this phone was made at a factory where three people committed suicide, or whether the resources were mined in a place that used human slavery or contributed to pollution in that bio-region. “You know, those things are not reflected in the cost of things today, but I think in a future world they could be. And that could lead us to a more regenerative, sustainable economy.” Not Your Average Congressional Candidate The backstory of Agatha Bacelar is a little different to most would-be politicians – just 3% of House Representatives currently come from a STEM background, for starters. As well as her experience with blockchain, she’s worked for social change organization Emerson Collective and Hope Credit Union, a banking institution that provides financial services to low-income applicants. Bacelar’s father is Herb Stephens, a software entrepreneur who, having worked in the nonprofit sector for a number of years, now acts as her Finance Director. Trump rode to the White House on a hubristic ticket, with an oft-repeated boast that – unlike the other candidates – he “knew money.” Perhaps Bacelar could also profit from knowing the future of money – cryptocurrency – and having an awareness about how the underlying technology could inform the body politic. “I would like to be a member of Congress that makes decisions informed by how people would vote on an open-source digital platform in real time,” she says, “because right now there isn’t accountability in our politics. There isn’t transparency, and people are writing off politics and or feeling so frustrated with it. But I think people can represent themselves or proxy their vote to people they trust and know in their community.” The Injustice of the Silk Road Trial At one stage in the discussion, Bacelar segues from addressing the absurdity of criminalizing drugs like marijuana to discussing Silk Road. “Ross Ulbricht is incarcerated right now for two life sentences plus 30 years for nonviolent crime, where he didn’t even do any of the drug transactions on there.” As an enthusiastic pro-crypto voice, Agatha Bacelar is a breath of fresh air. Whether she has a realistic chance of turfing out Pelosi remains to be seen. Whatever the outcome, you get the sense that Bacelar recognizes the ability of cryptocurrencies – and blockchain technology more generally – to fundamentally reshape society. For public ledgers to introduce greater accountability in corporations and government agencies. For sound access to finance to be available to all. For profit-offshoring, money laundering and tax evasion to be effectively addressed. The final word goes to Bacelar: “We need to decentralize power and get people to participate in our democracy. A democracy is strongest when most people engage in it.” What are your thoughts on Agatha Bacelar’s take on Silk Road and the benefits of bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry. The post Congressional Hopeful Agatha Bacelar Talks Silk Road on the Podcast  appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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Inside Look at How the Notorious Bitcoin Dark Web Site Silk Road Went Down

For those interested in bitcoin's history, you will have surely came across the Silk Road phenomena as it was the first-ever dark web marketplace who used bitcoin exclusively that got started in February 2011, roughly two years after the Bitcoin network began in January 2009. And now, one of the leading prosecutors and individuals responsible […]
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Lyn Ulbricht Speaks Out Against Unfair Silk Road Sentencing, Facebook and Government Hypocrisy

U.S. representative Ann Wagner noted at a recent hearing that child pornographic material has been reported on Facebook more than any other site. Lyn Ulbricht, mother of currently imprisoned Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, spoke out in a video livestream Wednesday against her son’s unfair sentencing and the hypocrisy of allowing sites like Zuckerberg’s to exist; as Ross is serving more than a double life sentence in prison for operating the basically peaceful Silk Road. Also Read: The Silk Road Investigation: A ‘Pattern of Bad Behavior and Double Agents’ Preferential Treatment for Big Tech, Prison for Free and Voluntary Trade A tool can be used for ethical or unethical purposes. This common sense understanding is likely why tech giants like Facebook are allowed to continue operating even though they unwittingly facilitate the transmission of extremely abusive and illegal content. In his recent hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was grilled relentlessly about such issues. Republican Representative Ann Wagner referenced a highly disturbing statistic, asserting that the majority of child sexual abuse related content reported to authorities was located on Facebook. The representative noted: I believe what is illegal offline should be illegal online … 16.8 million, as confirmed by the Department of Justice, of the 18.4 million worldwide reports of child sexual abuse material are on Facebook … these are absolutely shocking numbers. In her most recent video interview with Youtube channel Crowdsource the Truth, Lyn Ulbricht addresses this, saying “We’ve always said that making a website host liable for criminal activity on the site opens a huge slippery slope. It’s vicarious liability…and actually in a civil case this wouldn’t be allowed.” She goes on to note that Ross is the first person she knows of to be sentenced for such liability in a criminal case, for his online crypto marketplace Silk Road, and asserts: It doesn’t seem fair that Facebook and Craigslist and Amazon and Ebay — and I’m sure they know it — sell illegal goods. There was no child pornography on silk road. It was completely based on the non-aggression principle of no force and not creating victims. Freeing Ross Ulbricht From an Unfair Sentence Ross’s case was unsuccessful in the United States Supreme Court, and as such Lyn maintains that her organization is now focused on getting U.S. President Donald Trump to look at Ross’s case and hopefully commute his sentence or grant him a presidential pardon. She also notes there’s a “hail Mary effort” via habeas petition in New York City district court, but says that it’s “very, very hard to get” and that “what I heard is that they have their seven best prosecutors working on it against us so that’s pretty intimidating.” Ulbricht remains optimistic, however, saying “We hold out hope for everything,” and emphasizing: I really do believe that eventually Ross will be freed, but I’m just hoping it’s not so long that he has wasted in there. The video interview goes on to find Lyn discussing the pain not only of the unjustly imprisoned, like her son, but also of their family and loved ones. “Not only is it these people. It’s their families and their children,” Lyn states. “I get to know the people…and to see these children so happy to see their dad and then being torn away and sobbing and shattered…it’s got a huge ripple effect and they are statistically more likely to be part of this mass incarceration machine, and churned up in this money making, power grabbing machine that is mass incarceration now. And it’s really bad. It’s evil.” If you would like to add your voice to the Free Ross movement, you can sign the petition here, joining nearly 220,000 others calling for justice and clemency for Ross. What are your thoughts on the interview with Lyn Ulbricht? Let us know in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock,, fair use. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Lyn Ulbricht Speaks Out Against Unfair Silk Road Sentencing, Facebook and Government Hypocrisy appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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NEO, VeChain Shoots Up As China Warms Up To Blockchain

Cryptos with links to China are seeing huge leaps as the rest of the market remains relatively quiet, thanks to some recent events that suggest that the Chinese government might be finally ready to open the doors for cryptos. It’s notable that some time back, China banned all crypto-related activities in the country, prompting various exchanges in the country like Binance to leave. A recent announcement by the Chinese president seems to have fueled a rather serious price surge for cryptos like VeChain and NEO. Granted, the two cryptos have been known to have strong links to China. China’s President publicly endorsed Blockchain development in the country, at the 18th collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee held in China, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech to the members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee where he broadly stressed the importance of Blockchain as an independent innovation for technological breakthrough that must be developed in order to speed up its technological use case in the country. China Will Invest In Blockchain In a new report, it’s revealed that China is planning to invest around $2 billion in blockchain projects within the country over the next few years. This announcement caused a ripple effect, with almost the entire crypto market feeling the push. NEO gained by over 50% while VeChain has seen a cool 100% upsurge since Xi spoke. While the rest of the market also reacted positively to the news, the surge wasn’t as intense as that seen with NEO and VeChain. On average, the rest of the market managed to only gain around 17% following Xi’s pro-blockchain announcement. However, it’s still agreeable that the announcement has been very well received in the industry. In fact, following the news, Binance has expressed interest in opening up a branch in the Chinese capital, Beijing.  Chinese Media Publishing Crypto And Blockchain Content  Besides the Chinese government supporting the blockchain technology, the media, too, seems to have developed some love for cryptos. A state-owned media outlet has been publishing crypto and blockchain-related content in an effort to educate members of the public about them. In fact, one of the publications was entirely dedicated to Bitcoin and occupied the outlet’s front page.  The post NEO, VeChain Shoots Up As China Warms Up To Blockchain appeared first on ZyCrypto.

Alibaba to Reward Free Bitcoin Through Shopping App Lolli

The pace of development of the crypto sector has been nothing short of breathtaking over the past few years, and now, free Bitcoin rewards are even becoming a real thing. In a new development that would come as a massive boost for Bitcoin and the crypto space in general, Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has now got involved in the space. The company has created a partnership with Lolli, a shopping rewards app, and by way of that partnership, Alibaba shoppers can claim 5% of their rewards in the form of Bitcoin. Major Details In ... ﾿ Read The Full Article On Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges. All content provided by Crypto Currency News is subject to our Terms Of Use and Disclaimer.
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NEO Spikes 100% Thanks to China’s Surprising Blockchain PivotNEO Spikes 100% Thanks to China's Surprising Blockchain Pivot

NEO has surged 100% over the past few weeks. The bullish sentiment behind this cryptocurrency rally seems to be related to China’s decision to embrace blockchain technology. One trader says NEO may have a bright forecast. NEO, one of China’s most prominent blockchain projects, has been on a roll since Chinese President Xi Jinping announced […] The post NEO Spikes 100% Thanks to China’s Surprising Blockchain Pivot appeared first on China's blockchain pivot has launched NEO, a cryptocurrency nicknamed the "Chinese Ethereum," to a phenomenal 100% rally.

Ant Financial of Alibaba Opens Up Blockchain Testing for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

The fintech Alibaba Group firm Ant Financial is in tests for a blockchain network meant to help small and medium businesses. Its senior director for technology and business innovation Jieli Li has spoken at the Wuzhen World Blockchain Summit. He said that the technology for the Ant Blockchain Open Alliance should be live soon, three […]
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