Silk Road 2.0 just came out, and no, this isn’t the movie. The “dark-web” marketplace has been resurrected after its first version was shut down by the FBI last month.
Dread Pirate Roberts tweeted the announcement of the new site saying, “You can never kill the idea of #silkroad.” “This is bigger than drugs or technology — this is taking back our rights.”
Silk Road lives on the Tor Network, a network built by the Navy that makes it easy to keep yourself anonymous. It’s an online marketplace where people can use anonymous-friendly currency such as Bitcoin to buy and sell a number of goods. The original version of the Silk Road was shut down in early October and its owner, known as the Dread Pirate Robers, arrested on drug trafficking charges.
The new site was also launched by someone under the same pseudonym. Ross Ulbricht, the original Dread Pirate Roberts, now faces money laundering charges, computer hacking conspiracy charges, and a charge for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill one of his employees.
Almost nodding to this charge, the “new” Dread Pirate Roberts further said through the Twitter account, “#SilkRoad while under my watch will never harm a soul. If we did, then we are no better than the thugs on the street.”
The person also made a joke saying Justin Bieber uses “low grade drugs” and could get higher quality drugs if he signed up with Silk Road.
Fear of the FBI seizure didn’t seem to stop people from opening the 2.0 version of this site, where arguably legitimate transactions occurred alongside the more insidious ones. This version promises to be more secure than the last, with PGP encryption built in to the site’s authentication, according to Forbes.
Ulbricht arrived in New York today to face the drug, money laundering, and computer hacking case against him. He has been in custody for the last three weeks and is being held without bail. After the New York hearing is finished, he will have to face similar charges plus the accusation that he hired a hitman in the state of Maryland.