Silk Road (marketplace)
Item description page
|Type of site||Online black market|
|Owner||"Dread Pirate Roberts"|
|Revenue||1.2 million US dollars per month|
Silk Road is an online black market on the Deep Web. It is operated as a Tor hidden service, such that online users can browse it anonymously and securely despite any traffic monitoring. The website launched in February 2011; development began six months prior. Silk Road is an underground website sometimes called the Amazon.com of illegal drugs or the eBay for drugs.
Buyers can register on Silk Road for free, but sellers must purchase new accounts through auctions, a policy that was purportedly implemented to mitigate the possibility of malicious individuals distributing tainted goods.
The founder has repeatedly espoused libertarian ideals and criticized government regulation.
Silk Road was founded in February 2011. On June first, Gawker did a profile story on the site, which led to "internet buzz" and an increase in website traffic. US Senator Charles Schumer asked federal authorities like the DEA and Department of Justice to shut down the website, but authorities haven't been able to close their domain due to the TOR network it's operated on.
In February 2013, an Australian cocaine and MDMA dealer became the first person to be convicted of crimes directly related to Silk Road after authorities intercepted drugs he was importing through the mail, searched his premises, and discovered his Silk Road alias in an image file on his personal computer. Australian police and the DEA have targeted Silk Road users and made arrests, though with limited success at reaching convictions. 
As of March 2013[update], the site had 10,000 products for sale by vendors. 70% were drugs that are considered contraband in most jurisdictions. 340 varieties of drugs are sold, including heroin, LSD, and cannabis.
The site's terms of service say that they prohibit the sale of "anything who's purpose is to harm or defraud." These include child pornography, stolen credit cards, assassinations and weapons of mass destruction.
There are also legal goods and services for sale, such as art, apparel, books, cigarettes, jewelry, pornography, and writing services. A sister site called 'The Armory' did sell weapons (primarily guns) during 2012, but it was shut due to a lack of demand.
As of 2013[update], based on Christin's 2012 paper, it is estimated $15 million in transactions are made annually on Silk Road. Buyers and sellers conduct all transactions with bitcoins (BTC), a cryptocurrency that provides anonymity. Silk Road has escrow and hedging mechanisms in place which mitigate Bitcoin's volatility.
See also 
- "How to Find the Silk Road URL". The Veiled Network. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Take A Trip Down The Revamped Silk Road Website". CoEd Magazine. 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "How And Why To Get To Silk Road". The Daily Anarchist. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "[1207.7139] Traveling the Silk Road: A measurement analysis of a large anonymous online marketplace". Arxiv.org. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- Justin Norrie; Asher Moses (12 June 2011). "Drugs bought with virtual cash". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Public statement from a Silk Road spokesperson 1 March 2011.
- Adrian Chen (1 June 2011). "The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable". Gawker. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- NPR Staff (12 June 2011). "Silk Road: Not Your Father's Amazon.com" (Broadcast radio segment). All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 5 November 2011. "The e-commerce website Silk Road is being called the Amazon.com of illegal drugs."
- "Monetarists Anonymous". The Economist. September 29, 2012.
- "...we shut down new seller accounts briefly, but have now opened them up again. This time, we are limiting the supply of new seller accounts and auctioning them off to the highest bidders. Our hope is that by doing this, only the most professional and committed sellers will have access to seller accounts. For the time being, we will be releasing one new seller account every 48 hours, though this is subject to change. If you want to become a seller on Silk Road, click "become a seller" at the bottom of the homepage, read the seller contract and the Seller's Guide, click "I agree" at the bottom, and then you'll be taken to the bidding page. Here, you should enter the maximum bid you are willing to make for your account upgrade. The system will automatically outbid the next highest bidder up to this amount." Silk Road admin account Dread Pirate Roberts, http://dkn255hz262ypmii.onion/index.php?topic=360.0
- "We received a threat from a very disturbed individual who said they would pose as a legitimate vendor, but send carcinogenic and poisonous substances instead of real products and because seller registration is open, they would just create a new account as soon as they got bad feedback. This was shocking and horrifying to us and we immediately closed new seller registration. Of course we need new sellers, though, so we figured that charging for new seller accounts would deter this kind of behavior." 
- Andy Greenberg, "Collected Quotations Of The Dread Pirate Roberts, Founder Of Underground Drug Site Silk Road And Radical Libertarian", Forbes
- Gayathri, Amrutha (June 11, 2011). "From marijuana to LSD, now illegal drugs delivered on your doorstep". International Business Times. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "Schumer Pushes to Shut Down Online Drug Marketplace". NBC New York. Associated Press. 5 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- Solon, Olivia (February 1, 2013). "Police crack down on Silk Road following first drug dealer conviction Technology". WIRED. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- Whippman, Ruth (12 June 2011). "Bitcoin: the hacker currency that's taking over the web". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- James Ball (2013-03-22). "Silk Road: the online drug marketplace that officials seem powerless to stop". The Guardian.
- Anonymous (1 January 2012). "Silk Road: A Vicious Blow to the War on Drugs". The Austin Cut. Retrieved 30 Oct 2012.
- Davis, Joshua (10 October 2011). "The Crypto-Currency". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. p. 62. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Amrutha Gayathri (2011-06-11). "From marijuana to LSD, now illegal drugs delivered on your doorstep". International Business Times.
- Adrian Chen (2012-01-27). "Now You Can Buy Guns on the Online Underground Marketplace". Gawker.
- Justin Porter (2012-08-06). "Silk Road’s “The Armory” Terminated". Bitcoin Magazine.
- "Traveling the Silk Road: A measurement analysis of a large anonymous online marketplace"
- Bitcoin Anonymity
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (April 2013)|
- 'Silk Road' website called the Amazon of heroin, cocaine // ABC Action News report, Jun 10, 2011
- ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL, Libertarian Dream? A Site Where You Buy Drugs With Digital Dollars // The Atlantic, JUN 1 2011
- Brennon Slattery, U.S. Senators Want to Shut Down Bitcoins, Currency of Internet Drug Trade // PC World, Jun 10, 2011
- Brett Wolf, Senators seek crackdown on "Bitcoin" currency // Reuters, Jun 8, 2011
- "Silk Road: eBay For Drugs", Addiction
- Eileen Ormsby, The drug's in the mail // The Age, Victoria, April 27, 2012
- Eileen Ormsby, «The new underbelly» // The Sydney Morning Herald, June 1, 2012
- Black Market Drug Site 'Silk Road' Booming: $22 Million In Annual Sales
- Australian Penthouse story: “The High Road: Silk Road, an online marketplace like no other”, January 2012
- SILK ROAD: A VICIOUS BLOW TO THE WAR ON DRUGS
- Shopping on The Dark Web: Pure Drugs and Plastic Explosives reportage from Sabotage Times
- "Unravelling the dark web" (GQ)