Authorities in British Columbia are part of an ongoing investigation regarding the infamous silk-road. Deriving its name from historical shipping routes between the western and eastern world, silk-road was one of the first dark-net marketplaces. Used frequently for the sale and distribution of drugs, the platform is now defunct and finds its founder imprisoned.
In 2013 RCMP raided the residence of a drug dealer. RCMP confiscated a vast amount of marijuana from the individual in question. Although he was later convicted as a drug dealer, his connections to silk-road are only allegations. The individual was never linked to actual trafficking via silk-road.
Although convicted and serving time in 2015, this situation is only developing now. Items confiscated in the 2013 raid were to be released 4 years later. Upon attempting to retrieve his property in 2017, the individual found his hard drives missing. He was informed of the ongoing investigation, and that the RCMP had now seized his hard drives, years later. The individual believes that by searching his private property, despite already being sentenced, his rights as a Canadian were breached.
This is where the situation enters a grey area. Even if his rights were not breached, without being able to prove that the BTC were a product of crime, the accused believes that the drives should be returned to him. The RCMP believes that they have no requirement to return the hard drives. They reason that even if the BTC residing within them are not the proceeds of crime, the drives contain other pertinent information to illegal acts. From here, it will most likely be a good deal of time before the situation is resolved. A line needs to be drawn, indicating what rights the RCMP and individual have. The grey area needs to be removed.
A Stroke of Luck
Despite the individuals rise to becoming a prominent dealer, his undoing came at the hands of his infant child. The Vancouver star reports the chain of events leading to this occurring. While resting one evening, his 3yr old had wandered outside. A police officer return the child home, and in doing so stumbled upon over $100,000 of marijuana in the man’s house – completely by chance.
This case will be sure to have a lot of eyes on it, as the outcome and ramifications will set precedent into how cryptocurrency will be treated in the future. With the market becoming mainstream, authorities will no doubt become well versed in how cryptocurrencies work, and their potential to be linked to crime. Despite notion echoed by a select few senators that Bitcoin is only used for crime, this is realistically not true. A very small percentage is believed to account for illegal activities. Far less than that of cash.