Silk Road

An online black market that existed on the dark web, now shut down by the FBI.

What Was the Silk Road?

Silk Road was an online black market that existed on the dark web, which has now been shut down by the FBI. It had accepted Bitcoin for transactions.

When Bitcoin was designed, a key feature that BTC tried to guarantee was anonymity. Cryptocurrencies in general are anonymous. But this only applies if there is no trail left with the transaction. 

For example, buying cryptocurrencies with a credit card can create a trail. 

Similarly, buying a cryptocurrency on an exchange may leave trail proof of a delivery address. 

Ross Ulbricht was the brainchild of the Silk Road. Created in 2011, it served as a marketplace where customers could order a wide range of illicit goods including fake IDs and drugs.

Customers of the market could often pay with cryptocurrencies. 

The marketplace is often renowned as the frontrunner of the illegal narcotics business. 

Silk Road is believed to have generated roughly $1.2 billion over the period of two years. It is also believed to have raked in around $80 million worth of commissions. 

When the FBI shut down Silk Road in October 2013, 174,000 BTC were seized. 

But at least 444,000 BTC are believed to be completely missing. 

Ulbricht is suspected to have used another computer which may possess the details of missing BTC and lost coins.

He was convicted of seven charges emanating from the SIlk Road Marketplace by a court in Manhattan.