"He has helped me see a larger vision," Ulbricht wrote. "A brand that people can come to trust and rally behind. Silk Road chat, Silk Road exchange, Silk Road credit union, Silk Road market, Silk Road everything! And it's been amazing just talking to a guy who is so intelligent and in the same boat as me, to a certain degree at least."But, although DPR was technically the head of Silk Road, chat logs found in the accessed email account show that Variety Jones and Smed were a real driving force behind the projects and Silk Road more generally. The pair discussed ideas and plans with each other, rather than simply reporting to DPR.Smed, using his alternate handle, spoke with Variety Jones about developments to the site, such as adding bulk transactions and updates to the forums.When it came to those discussions, it was as if Variety Jones was Smed's boss, not DPR. "What timeframe do you envision?" Smed asked Variety Jones of one project.Variety Jones also appears to have funded large parts of Smed's work and expenses. "10k, 36k, 20k, that rounds up nicely to 90, and we'll cover all of your travel expenses for the trip, how does that sound," Variety Jones writes to Smed.
Something seems to have happened to Variety Jones on September 5, 2012
It is unclear what spurred him to do this, but this day is over a full year before Silk Road would be shut down by the FBI, and its creator arrested in a San Francisco library. Federal investigations into the site started in 2011.The research conducted by La Moustache determined that Variety Jones is likely Thomas Clark, a Canadian born man in his mid-fifties who has lived in the UK and on the island of Koh Chang, Thailand. This was the information that led to Motherboard's identification of an email account belonging to Variety Jones.Inside that account, the emails are predominately addressed to Thomas Clark, or simply Mr. Clark. The Bitcoin wallet file also details several transactions converted into Baht, the currency for Thailand. On top of this, a large amount of spam emails are from Bangkok Airways, a Thai airline company.
"I'm gonna go for a while, don't know when the power is gonna be back, and I want to ensure I have a few hours to talk to DPR."
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