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In our earlier interview with him, DPR 2.0 said, “All I now seek to ensure is that if I do go down, I don't take Silk Road down with me.” On this count, he succeeded. In the wake of DPR 2.0’s departure, Silk Road appointed an interim leader who goes by the pseudonym Defcon, and the site remains up. The same cannot be said of Silk Road’s predecessor site, which went down in October 2013 after the arrest of its alleged owner and original Dread Pirate Roberts, Ross Ulbricht.DPR 2.0’s retirement concludes a tense period for the site. In December, two alleged Silk Road moderators were arrested and indicted on drug, hacking, and money laundering charges. Following these events, a spooked DPR 2.0 even imagined he saw FBI cybercrime agent Chris Tarbell. (Tarbell led the investigation and arrest of Ulbricht.)In the throes of paranoia, DPR 2.0 destroyed his computer, went on the lam, and left his staff with these words: Quote “I don't know how long I will be walking free but we live and we die, and this is my legacy. Keep the road going... ...this project is what I will always be associated with and the fact it didn't burn down with me is testament to the idea I have lived and will die for.”Once the fog of paranoia cleared and it became evident that the arrests were limited to the two moderators, DPR 2.0 returned. As Senior Silk Road staff member DoctorClu told Ars, “He resurfaced a short time after [disappearing], sending messages with a unique cryptographic signature to prove his identity and restore his access to the site.”...Stealth, the same staff member who likened DPR 2.0's demand for their encryption keys to the NSA, nonetheless described DPR 2.0 as “generous” and a “sincere believer” in the radical freedom of transactions that Silk Road represents to its proponents.DoctorClu agreed that the former leader could be quite generous, recounting the time a staff member was drafting plans for a new security network. The employee asked DPR 2.0 for his opinion, but DPR 2.0 gave more than that. According to DoctorClu: “DPR2 replied, 'Send me a wallet address, I will throw you a couple coins.' After he did, the next morning $15,000 was in his wallet.”DoctorClu also said that whenever someone was in trouble financially—staff and vendors alike—DPR 2.0 would help them out. DoctorClu estimates the Silk Road leader spent a total of around $100,000 in such cases. “When people would prove to us that they were in danger, DPR gave whatever he could,” DoctorClu said.Despite such moments, staff also describe DPR 2.0’s “hubris” and “arrogance.” DPR 2.0 once blithely announced to staff that a competing anonymous market called Agora “is going down” for simply posting unsolicited adverts for their site on Silk Road forums. The pretext upon which he wanted Agora's site hacked was so apparently flimsy that the hacker DPR 2.0 paid to carry it out ended up resigning in disgust.
“I don't know how long I will be walking free but we live and we die, and this is my legacy. Keep the road going... ...this project is what I will always be associated with and the fact it didn't burn down with me is testament to the idea I have lived and will die for.”