Disgraced US Secret Service agent coughs to second Bitcoin ...

Who would win: The collective governments of the world or Bitcoin?

Who would win: The collective governments of the world or Bitcoin?
People perceive government as an extremely powerful and effective entity, and this is largely true in many aspects. Government is able to bring tremendous force against many entities to either compel them into submission or even destroy them completely.
But in order to accurately understand the situation, you need to look deeper. Governments are very good at bringing compelling or destructive force against centralized entities. Corporations, organizations, specific individuals, and other governments are all entities that have reason to fear governments based on past evidence.
But what are some areas government is not so good at, or even areas they are exceptionally weak in?
Governments seem to have a rather big problem attacking things that do not have a centralized point to target. The illegal drug market is one such example, certain terrorists organizations are another. Perhaps even the Vietnam War is a display of the difficulties a powerful government has with attacking a distributed or non-centralized entity.
Governments also seem to have great difficulty knowing how to responding to disruptive change preemptively or even in a timely manner with the appropriate counter response. Instead governments seem to respond after a threat becomes clear and does so with a response that is inadequate or even does more damage to itself than doing nothing at all. The government response to 9/11 is a good example of this, with the creation of the TSA which costs that same government over $7 billion/yr.
Also, government just seems to operate in a horribly inefficient manner generally. An entity that creates sinkholes of bureaucracy is especially ill equipped to conserve, adjust, and survive when resources are constrained or more generally to execute an effective counter strategy efficiently.
We also know that government gets a great deal of its funding through seigniorage, which would quickly be cut off as a revenue source if the dollar were to lose value. If this were to occur, it would put the government in a situation where it's resources are cut off at the very moment they need additional resources to counter attack the monetary threat.
These are all ominous factors for the governments of the world when this inevitable confrontation with Bitcoin finally occurs, but I think there is another perhaps even greater factor that will tilt the scales to the point we can know the outcome of this conflict before it occurs.
When Ross Ulbricht was arrested in a public library it seemed like a great victory for government and a display of their ability to strike decentralized targets (although this was only possible because of Ross' poor OpSec). But in the wake of this arrest, I think we see some very worrying signs for the fate of government. THREE of the agents (Carl Mark Force IV, Shaun Bridges, and a DEA Agent) that were a part of this investigation were charged with criminal activity relating to their efforts to enrich themselves with some of the seized bitcoins. These agencies are not the local corrupt police force, but rather the FBI, Secret Service, and DEA--why would THREE professional and highly-trained agents switch sides and effectively go from acting on behave their government overloards to rabidly and greedily acting in their own individual interest. I would suggest this is because of Bitcoin. When you have a drug bust, generally speaking, most (maybe) of the cash and drugs makes it way through the evidence chain without individual actors siphoning off too much, but with Bitcoin there is no need to launder the cash or sell the drugs, it is just super easy to conceal with much lower risk for the agents getting caught (though not quite low enough for Carl Mark Force IV, it would seem). In any case, Bitcoin seems to have a mysterious power to pull government actors away by tempting them to act in their own self interest. In short, Bitcoin lures government agents into defecting and switching sides to Bitcoin
So what do we expect will happen?
As Bitcoin grows in size governments will eventually move to attack or kill it. They will take this action too late (it's already too late), their action will be ineffective, and their response will eat up their dwindling resources in a time when their revenue stream is being squeezed by the bitcoin-induced fiat devaluation. Among those government uses to lead and implement its response, many of those actors will defect and switch sides to Bitcoin perhaps like how King Louis the XVII kept sending waves of soldiers to arrest Napoleon who had escaped Elba until Napoleon sent him word "please send no more troops, I have enough".
I see Bitcoin vs Governements of the world as a quintessential David vs Goliath event. But like David vs Goliath, if you had looked past the surface and understood the situation correctly, you would have known Goliath was dead the moment David stepped onto the battlefield.
submitted by ztsmart to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

More Prison Time for Ex-Agent in Silk Road Case

OriginalLink: https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/21/prison-time-ex-agent-silk-road-case/
More Prison Time for Ex-Agent in Silk Road Case
Shaun Bridges, the dirty Secret Service agent who had already landed a six-year prison sentence for the theft of $800,000 worth of bitcoins during the Silk Road investigation, just received another two-years for another bitcoin heist.
In March 2015, authorities arrested Shaun Bridges and Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force. Both men had been part of the team behind the investigation and seizure of the Silk Road marketplace. Both men had stolen substantial amounts of bitcoin from the Silk Road and diverted the money into their bitcoin wallets. Bridges later pleaded guilty to both money laundering and obstruction of justice. Force, in turn, pleaded guilty to money laundering, extortion, and obstruction of justice.
The Department of Justice settled upon a 71-month sentence for Bridges and an 87-month sentence for Force. Bridges also agreed to forfeit $500,000 to the U.S. government. “I’ve lost a lot,” Bridges allegedly told the court. “I’ve accepted responsibility…I just [want] to apologize to everybody.”
However, Bridges had not ended his desperate attempt to keep bitcoin from the government (or from the original owners). Before serving any prison time, the corrupt agent managed to divert “government-owned” bitcoin to wallets under his control. The former Secret Service agent had stolen the current equivalent of $11.3 million in bitcoin.
The incident came out of nowhere. News about the agent had dulled to a whisper. Then, on January 28, federal agents raided the 35-year-old disgraced agent’s house one day before he was scheduled to surrender himself to the prison system for intake.
The authorities claimed Bridges had posed a serious flight risk and reported finding items such as passports and packed travel bags during the raid. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg had already banned Bridges from leaving the country or changing his name; the court had given the man temporary freedom but acknowledged the significant flight risk he posed.
Later documents revealed that Bridges had used his former Secret Service position to access the private key associated with a government bitcoin wallet. The wallet had contained (at least) 1,600 bitcoins linked to a 2014 bitcoin exchange investigation. He transferred the bitcoins to multiple wallets under his control.
Bridges admitted to the bitcoin theft and signed a plea agreement that imposed a sentence of 24-months in prison for one count of money laundering. “Bridges was also ordered to forfeit approximately 1,500 bitcoin and other fiat currency, which is currently valued at approximately $10.4 million,” the Department of Justice press release added.
submitted by ThePharmaInitiative to DNMBusts [link] [comments]

Secret Service Agent Gets Extra Jail Time Over Theft of Silk Road Bitcoin

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 19%. (I'm a bot)
A former U.S. Secret Service agent has been sentenced to an additional prison term on charges associated with his theft of bitcoin seized from now-defunct dark market Silk Road. Shaun W. Bridges, who pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin during the U.S. government's investigation of Silk Road, was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to a 24-month prison term yesterday by U.S. district judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco.
Judge Seeborg ordered the sentence to be served consecutively with jail time Bridges is currently serving for the theft of the bitcoin.
He further ordered Bridges to pay a penalty of 1,500 bitcoins and other fiat currency that roughly totals $10.4 million in value, according to a press release.
Bridges had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges, following admitting using a private key to access a digital wallet belonging to the U.S. government and transferring 1,600 BTC to wallets he controlled.
Bridges was originally arrested in 2015 for the bitcoin theft, and was later arrested in February 2016 as he tried to leave the U.S. before beginning his prison term.
Later, court filings stated that Bridges stole additional Silk Road funds after having pleaded guilty to the first charges.
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Former Secret Service special agent Shaun Bridges admitted to fraudulently gaining access to a Silk Road administrator account and transferring 20,000 bitcoin to his control. ... but its value ... Corrupt DEA agents Shaun Bridges and Carl Force did more than extort Silk Road members…. The Silk Road Scandal hasn’t Ended Almost 18 months of the site’s infamous closure, a DEA agent and a secret service agent were both arrested, facing charges for wire fraud – in relations to the Silk Road website. Bridges, a former Maryland state trooper and volunteer Anne Arundel County public schools martial-arts instructor, admitted stealing $350,000 worth of bitcoin, which swelled in value to $800,000. Shaun Bridges, who is already serving a six-year sentence for nicking Bitcoins from the underground souk, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to stealing a further 1,600 Bitcoin (worth $359,005 at the time and approximately $6.6m today) during a separate investigation. Shaun Bridges was scheduled to begin his prison sentence a day later Officers found bulletproof vests officials say were stolen Shaun Bridges was prosecuted for the theft of $800,000 in bitcoin.

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