Successors Of The Silk Road

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In recent years, the United States government has cracked down on online marketplaces in the deep web, where people can buy illegal drugs. The most popular online marketplace at the time was the Silk Road, which allowed people to buy and sell illegal drugs and other illegal items. After the government shut down the Silk Road, they arrested the man who started it, Ross Ulbricht, and sentenced him to life in prison.


Ross UlbrichtWhen the Silk Road started in 2011, it was very small, which allowed it to exist in anonymity from law enforcement authorities, who weren’t aware of its existence at the time. A year later, it has become very popular, and caught the attention of the government. This started an investigation, which led to the apprehension of the dealers on the site and the eventual shutdown of the site in October 2013.

The life sentence given to Ulbricht was the government’s way of making an example, and sending a message to other people who might want to step in and fill his shoes. After the Silkroad was shut down, some of its former administrators launched Silk Road 2.0, as an act of defiance, but by November 2014, the site was shut down, and Blake Benthall, its last administrator, was arrested.

Besides Silkroad, there were other online black markets that sold drugs, and were operating at the time, Atlantis was Silkroad’s biggest competitor, but the administrators shut down the site just before Silk Road was shut down by the Feds. Evolution was another site in existence at the time, and it got even bigger than Silkroad, after the FBI had shut it down, because people that used Silk Road to buy and sell their drugs started using them instead. Evolution was shut down without giving users any warning, but it wasn’t due to the government. Apparently, the administrators of both Atlantis and Evolution shut down their sites and made off with bitcoins that their users had in escrow accounts.

Despite those sites being gone, other online marketplaces still exist on the dark web. Russian Anonymous Marketplace is one of the black markets still in existence, and since it is operating in Russia, it can’t be shut down by the FBI, because they have no jurisdiction. The marketplace that used to be known as Diabolus Market is also still in existence, but its name has been changed to Silk Road 3.0.

The thing that ultimately led to the Silkroad’s demise was its own popularity. What was once only known to people on the deep web, had become popular and known to people on the regular Internet, and they all found their way to the site.

Silk Road MarketplaceBecause weapons and illegal drugs trade are very lucrative markets, there are always going to be more sites like the Silk Road, and they will eventually become even bigger than it was.

The only difference is that these sites will try to avoid being popular, because that was what led to the downfall of the Silk Road. These sites probably exist already, but aren’t known to a lot of people, because their operators would have told their users to wipe their tracks by using better encryption and security, but it is impossible to know for sure, unless you go into the dark web.