ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.
The aftermath of Silk Road was that the Tor project and the Bitcoin were specifically used for illegal activities. Some people have even gone ahead to dismiss Bitcoin as a criminal tool while Tor as a tool used in the dark world of hackers to commit criminal activities. However, this was not the case when the two were discovered. Tor was originally designed by the US Naval Research Laboratory for the primary purpose of protecting government communications online. As for Bitcoin, it is a digital currency invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. It was meant to cover exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system and most importantly was the fact that it was meant to be decentralized such that no institution controlled it.
When building Silk Road, getting the drugs was the easy part but the hardest part was discovering a way to sell the drugs online without being discovered by the authorities and this is how the site’s creator decided to settle for the Tor software. This was going to guarantee his invisibility in the web. This also allowed websites to be set under similar curtain of obscurity.
The second tool that came in handy was Bitcoin. With Tor alone, any customer could visit site and buy what they want without being tracked. However, the creator realized that some customer would want to pay for the drugs without having to send money through the mail. Bitcoin was the best option since the blockchain ledger on Bitcoin would indicate that the coins are moving but the recipient’s bitcoin address and the name will still remain anonymous on either end. Hence, the people involved in the trade will still remain unknown.
This is how the two ended up being the main tool used in Silk Road to carry out the trade of illegal drugs hence tarnishing their purpose.