Silk Road 2.0 Now Larger Than Silk Road Ever Was

from the strike-down-one-arm-and... dept

This is hardly surprising, but it appears that in the wake of the feds taking down the "dark marketplace" Silk Road and arresting its alleged creator Russ Ulbricht, replacement marketplaces quickly sprung into place to try to take its place. This was exactly as we predicted. A few of the markets have come and gone (usually associated with scandals), but it appears that the one that has stuck around is "Silk Road 2.0" -- and it's actually now larger than Silk Road ever was, in terms of the amount of products being offered. The article linked above, from Coindesk, notes that, somewhat ironically, the reason why Silk Road 2.0 seems to be standing out above the others is because it's worked hard to establish trust.

This effect was likely boosted by sensible policies at Silk Road. Most significantly, soon after February’s hack, the site’s operators announced that they would pay back bitcoins lost by customers.

Silk Road’s moderator Defcon said at the time: “We are committed to getting everyone repaid even if it takes a year.”

In anonymous drugs marketplaces, as in any market, confidence is key, it seems.

That's not to say Silk Road 2.0 is going to stick around -- there are plenty of reasons to think it won't. But, in some ways, you wonder if this is a kind of Napster moment all over again. After the original got shut down, a series of replacements all came about vying to take its place, leading to some interesting innovations -- even if those who wanted to shut down the original decried how awful and illegal each new version was.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2014 @ 3:45pm

    Mikey doesn't think there should be any rules on da interwebz.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2014 @ 3:52pm

    perhaps it's not so much trusting Silk Road but having no trust at all in any of the law enforcement agencies?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2014 @ 4:39pm

    Again - SilkRoad is just the feds trying to corner the BitCoin market and snag drug-users while they're at it. Who currently has the worlds largest BitCoin wallet? That's right (and for a fairly obvious reason). Now, who's trying to increase the size of said wallet (again). You said it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2014 @ 7:55pm

    Oh boy!

    Now I can get all those things I want. In fact, I think I'll start with an o-boy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Seegras (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:07am

    Illegal marketplaces start with idiots outlawing drugs et.al.

    If it wouldn't be for some alliance of puritan pukes, temperance theologians and spoil sports that started the idea that there is some behaviour, to which all involved parties consent, that they still consider morally objectionable and want outlawed, we wouldn't have a load of these victimless crimes, and thus the market for them wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

    But no, somebody always has to ruin it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 1:09am

    I read a Wired article about a new decentralized P2P market being developed. It has a ratings and feedback system. Plus escrow holding accounts and supposedly is impossible to take down.

    "Inside the ‘DarkMarket’ Prototype, a Silk Road the FBI Can Never Seize."

    http://www.wired.com/2014/04/darkmarket/


    Call me old fashion, but I prefer face-to-face deals with people I don't trust. One of the lessons I've learned is there are a LOT of untrustworthy people in the world. Probably well over 75% of the world's population is untrustworthy.

    From lying politicians, to police officers, friends, family, and all the way down to strangers you meet on the street.

    Once a large enough sum of money is 'trusted' to someone, that person will bolt off with that money. Guaranteed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    David, May 7th, 2014 @ 3:55am

    Re:

    I prefer face-to-face deals with people I don't trust.

    When they have side businesses of extortion, assassination, masked robbery and so on, the benefits of face-to-face deals may not outweigh some of the drawbacks.

    I think that was basically the original idea behind Silkroad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    David, May 7th, 2014 @ 3:58am

    Maybe Silkroad should get run by banker apprentices

    That way they get at least a whiff of responsibility and trustbuilding before they venture into the land of bonuses for bailouts.

    Sort of like people getting to work with a hand file before getting into CNC machination.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 4:17am

    Well, if the official version is to be believed (and this time I kind of do believe) the former Silk Road owner was engaged in criminal businesses directly. In any case, shutting it down does not shut down demand for the service. What police should be doing is going after the criminal activities in the site (while sensibly defining what's criminal, criminalizing stuff like marijuana and things that people don't think that are wrong simply won't matter).

    In the end it doesn't matter how many times you shut it down. It will be reborn out of the demand. So why not analyze what's happening, the causes and how it works and choose a better path?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, May 7th, 2014 @ 6:42am

    Perhaps the U.S. Government should do other, less futile things with its time. Like trying to kill a hydra by chopping off its heads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 10:11am

    Re:

    Because that would be letting the druggies win!

    ... and not so incidentally be much more likely to actually solve the 'problem', and cause the various agencies to lose all that juicy 'war on drugs' money from the government they currently enjoy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Colonel Sanders, May 7th, 2014 @ 10:51am

    extra crispy

    I hope they have white slavery because I'm getting low over here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    Another advantage is you can't blow someone over the internet. "I'll create your block, man. Just hook me up,"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, May 7th, 2014 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Oh boy? No boy.

    Girls only for me, please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 1:05am

    Hail Hydra

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    jimmy, May 9th, 2014 @ 2:43am

    agora is bigger

    the marketplace they don't tell you about is agora which is even bigger over 10,000 drugs world wide and weapons and credit cards everything SR doesn't have really. I googled and fouind a registration link to use with the tor browser so these places aren't hard to find ???
    http://agorahooawayyfoe.onion/register/KGehGruU2V

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Darknet-User, Aug 27th, 2014 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    You have made several incorrect assumptions.

    Markets today are built so that you don't need to trust the vendor to complete a successful transaction. The worst thing that could happen is if the mediator (usually the marketplace admins/moderators) works together with a vendor (or vice-versa, the buyer) to snatch escrow funds. But this scheme wouldn't last long, and the market would lose all its reputation if they do so. It's wouldn't be worth it.

    With marketplaces such as http://alpaca7bcqv2rnu3.onion where all transactions are carried out with multiple signatures, your funds are safe in escrow until you receive what you ordered and that you are fully satisfied with the product.

    Also, I'd rather pay 110 USD for a gram of (tested) ~95% pure cocaine, than 140 USD for a gram of standard (unknown) 20-40% pure cocaine from your local untrusted street dealer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.