Silk Road may be a thing of the past, but a recent report released by The Digital Citizens Alliance – a non-profit organization focused on Internet safety issues – has revealed that the online drugs marketplace is alive and well and – to quote the report – “darker than ever”.
The report, put together by Cyrus Farivar, and Ars Technica, focuses on a site called Evolution Marketplace, which has reportedly expanded in the wake of Silk Road’s seizing to become the leading online black market for illegal drugs (some suggest that the site had already overtaken Silk Road by the time the latter was taken down).
At evolution, it’s possible to buy a large range of illegal items, some of which are more dangerous than those available on Silk Road. DCA research director Dan Palumbo had this to say:
They sell weapons, stolen credit cards, and more nefarious items that were forbidden on both versions of Silk Road. Silk Road sold a lot of dangerous things, but operators drew the line at their version of “victimless crimes,” i.e. no child pornography, weapons, or identity theft. Now, four of the top five DarkNet Marketplaces sell weapons while three of the top five sell stolen financial data. This is a darker DarkNet. It speaks to the challenge facing law enforcement as they knock one set of bad actors offline, another comes along with bigger and bolder intentions.
How long will it be before Evolution suffers the same fate of Silk Road – and is any backlash from sites like this likely to impact bitcoin’s value going forward? What do you think?