Tue. Jun 11th, 2024

Dark Web and the Dark Web Markets:

The hidden part of the internet, which is not indexed by popular search engines like Google, Bing, etc., is known as the dark Web.

Dark Websites like silk road cannot be accessed by regular internet browsers or search engines, and it needs a unique TOR browser. The TOR browser was developed to provide a more anonymous and enhanced browsing experience to users by not tracking them.

But the illicit markets took advantage of them and provided services like selling and trading drugs, weapons, and stolen data by hosting websites on the dark web.

Unlike traditional domain extensions, dark web websites have a special extension, “.onion” where the websites are hard to track and provide more anonymity, making them popular.

Using this, new dark web markets emerged and have taken the concept of illegal trade to a whole new level.

The silk road market is the first dark web market. Later, many markets came and provided their services on the dark web, and most of the markets sold illegal products.

Silk Road market :

The Silk Road is a Dark Web Market that served as an online platform for selling illegal goods and illicit products like drugs in early 2010. The silk road was founded by Ross Ulbricht, known as Dread Pirate Roberts, by the market and darknet users. The Silk Road operated on the Tor network, ensuring user anonymity and providing anonymous trade of selling and buying goods on the platform. In this article, we will discuss the rise and fall of the silk road.

The Rise of Silk Road :

In February 2011, the Silk Road was launched on the dark Web, a hidden online marketplace where users of the dark Web can buy and sell goods using the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The listings of the products were more than 50000+ products.

Unlike traditional e-commerce platforms, Silk Road facilitated the trade of illegal substances, like drugs, counterfeit documents, and stolen credit card information, to hacking tools and firearms. The anonymity of the users, combined with the more anonymous transactions with the use of cryptocurrencies, made Silk Road a place for illicit activities.

Silk Road Operations :

As the TOR network provides more anonymous browsing to the users combined with that, the silk road used high-end encryption to ensure that users have a secure network and environment to commit crimes.

Transactions were conducted in Bitcoin, ensuring an additional layer of privacy. Vendors on Silk Road advertised their products, providing detailed descriptions, customer reviews, and even offering customer support. The marketplace employed a feedback system to maintain trust among users, and the infamous escrow service ensured smooth transactions by holding funds until the buyer received the goods.

The Growth and Impact :

The Silk Road rapidly gained popularity, attracting a vast user base and generating significant revenue. Its success was a huge talk in the dark Web, and also some reports were developed, which made law enforcement agencies look and monitor the activity of the silk road. Silk Road’s impact on the global drug trade was significant, as it provided a platform for drug dealers to reach a broader audience and operate beyond geographical limitations. The outstanding performance of the market changed the whole dynamics of the black market, and new markets tend to emerge on the dark Web.

The Downfall :

In October 2013, the Silk Road’s rule on the dark Web ended when the FBI, in a joint operation with other law enforcement agencies, arrested Ross Ulbricht.

He was charged with money laundering, computer hacking, narcotics trafficking, and selling banned goods like guns over the dark Web. The seizure of the Silk Road website and the subsequent conviction of Ulbricht was the biggest seizure on the dark Web, which shocked the whole dark web users.

However, the closure of the Silk Road was not the end of the story, as new markets emerged to fill up the empty place of the silk road.

Authorities also arrested silk road users directly associated with the crime of selling drugs. They also arrested the buyers who bought drugs like meth.

It is believed that the silk road is one of the biggest ever dark web marketplaces on the dark web till date. They made a total revenue of 1 billion USD (valued as of today) with more than 69000 Bitcoins on their wallet address found and seized by the US government.

 

silk road

The Legacy :

The Silk Road’s impact on the dark Web and illicit online trade cannot be avoided, as it exposed the potential dangers and challenges associated with anonymous online marketplaces, prompting increased scrutiny from law enforcement agencies and governments worldwide. The case also made debates on privacy, encryption, and the role of cryptocurrencies in facilitating criminal activities.

How silk road used Bitcoin as a trading currency?

Bitcoin is the top-traded and first-launched cryptocurrency. The fact that all Bitcoin transactions are anonymous makes it more popular.

Users of Bitcoin can send and receive funds without exposing themselves.

Silk road is the first market to deploy Bitcoin transactions on its platform so that the users of the silk road can sell and buy products only with Bitcoin.

It is to be accepted that Bitcoin became famous only because of the dark web.

These anonymous Bitcoin transactions made it hard for law enforcement agencies to find the criminals behind the dark web markets.

Conclusion :

The Silk Road Dark Web Market represented a significant milestone in the evolution of illicit online trade.

As authorities continue their battle against dark web criminals, it remains crucial to take down these websites on the dark Web, as new technology emerges and makes it hard for the authorities to ensure safety.

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