back to article Most of Dread Pirate Roberts' treasure still buried, say researchers

While the FBI found a Bitcoin wallet worth around $122m on the laptop belonging to a man suspected of being the “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR), two Israeli researchers believe that's only about 22 per cent of what the Silk Road kingpin would have held. Moreover, the researchers suggest a possibility that there's a link between …


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  1. Thorne

    Why would you store $122M unprotected on a laptop?

    Personally I'd would have expected Rob's laptop to be encrypted up the wazoo and hidden encrypted backups stashed around the place.

    1. asdf

      even smart criminals are stupid

      Arrogance is usually the downfall of any semi successful criminal (lol and many who aren't). They start getting away with it for some time and making big bank and they get lazy, drop their guard and just assume they will never get caught because they are too smart. Kind of like politicians. Neither usually knows when to walk away while they are ahead.

    2. bolccg

      I think it was encrypted

      From what I recall the Feds waited for him to log in and enter the decryption password and then hauled him out of his seat.

      I've seen comments elsewhere that he should've taken the battery out of his laptop such that he could literally pull the plug if he felt the long arm of the law on his collar but based on reports of his arrest I'm not sure that would've helped much.

    3. Mark .

      And then in the UK, you can spend some years in prison for not handing over your password.

      Do we know that it wasn't encrypted? Also note that Bitcoin will report on the number of Bitcoins in a wallet even if it's encrypted, the password is just needed to retrieve them, IIRC (which isn't necessarily a flaw - since all transactions are public anyway). Though yes, if I had that much, I'd be extra paranoid and put the whole thing in another encrypted file, so people wouldn't even know I had a Bitcoin wallet on there at all, let alone how much.

  2. andro

    So the research paper is claiming that everyone who was interested in bitcoin in the early days are all really aliases for satoshi, who then decided to transfer some coin to DPR in 2013? Sounds like people throwing names around to try and get some useless study published to me.Could the link be any weaker at all? Is it even a link?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Paranoia Agent

      Sound like the plot of a Satoshi Kon movie to me.

  3. silent_count

    Hype combo points

    Surely the researchers could have found some equally tenuous links for a tripple-bonus hype combo.

    'Though we have no evidence to support this claim, we conclude that the wide scale cocoa and opium poppy farming are directly responsible for increased temp climate change. Furthermore, the profits from the sale of these narcotics are undeniably being used to fund international terrorism.'

    1. Colin Millar

      Re: Hype combo points

      Cocoa is a narcotic?

      Oh Granny - you bad girl.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Hype combo points

        Cocoa is a narcotic?

        Cocaine (INN) (benzoylmethylecgonine, an ecgonine derivative) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant.

        (shamelessly plagiarized from wackypedia)

        1. Colin Millar

          Re: Hype combo points

          And that relates to cocoa just how?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's where my laptop got to

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    The guy is loaded, load-ed!!

    the FBI found a Bitcoin wallet worth around $US122 million on the laptop

    But why translate it into USD? Just name the number of bitcoins.

    After all, who would say the FBI found a Deutschmark wallet worth around $US122 million on the laptop? One would just say " and so many Deutschmark were found ...."

    1. Richard_L

      Re: The guy is loaded, load-ed!!

      "But why translate it into USD? Just name the number of bitcoins."

      Bitcoins... Dollars... all meaningless to me. To make any sense at all, you need to convert this damn nonsense into London buses!

      1. Sir Sham Cad

        Conversion to London Buses

        The cost for the New Bus for London, over the course of a lifetime is £354,500, apparently.

        At current exchange rates (froom a well known online currency conversion company) that's $575,063

        so $122m is 212.15 London Buses.

    2. Irongut

      Re: The guy is loaded, load-ed!!

      Because a value in Bitcoins means nothing to most of us. At least quoting the value in US Dollars allows me to roughly translate to Pounds Sterling.

      You would say "the FBI found a wallet with $122 million (worth around £75 million)" so what is your problem?

      1. Ian Yates

        Re: The guy is loaded, load-ed!!

        "Because a value in Bitcoins means nothing to most of us"

        But, given the volatility of the cyptocurrency, it's almost certainly wrong by the time of publishing. Not to mention that you're almost certainly never going to be able to convert that many Bitcoin in to real cash.

        It's a pretty useless comparison, really.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about people who had bitcoins on SR in escrow?

    Not only illegal stuff was for sale on SR.

    The FBI have pissed lots of plp off by stealing their money?

    Maybe it just means you are less morally wrong if you steal

    from an american concern.

    1. bigtimehustler

      You could probably put in a claim in that case for it back, as long as you did nothing illegal on there or elsewhere that would mean you can't come forward of course. But otherwise yes, once the currency has been used as evidence in the trial, it could be returned if legally used and owned.

  7. NoshitSherlock

    Well since the CIA runs the heroin trade..

    Than maybe, just maybe perhaps the NSA is the originator of bitcoin and the hash's that are being generated are in fact other crypto keys being cracked. I mean, what the hell, if your going to go for really crazy long stretch why not start there?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Well since the CIA runs the heroin trade..

      Hmmm...... I am not fully unconvinced.

  8. Gob Smacked

    This is soooo much bollocks...

    In the early days (I was there too), Bitcoins were a geeky novelty, worth no more than idle gossip.

    I had my PC mining for a while, but soon found my mediocre CPU was not suited for calculating hashes and gave up. I *did* request BTC 5 for free though that some fellow miner delivered to anyone who asked for it. I'm very sorry now that I lost my (then worthless) Bitcoin wallet after a number of PC moves...

    It was very common in the early days to just move around "huge" sums of Bitcoins. They had no real value then and only a few very early adopters willing to sell real stuff for Bitcoins...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: This is soooo much bollocks...

      Wasn't there a pizza exchange for 10'000 bitcoins once?

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