Silk Road 2.0 — the successor website to the online anonymous crime marketplace taken down by the FBI when they arrested its alleged owner last month — went live Wednesday on the so-called “Dark Web,” according to tweets from the new site’s founder and reports in the technology press.
“#SilkRoad is back up,” tweeted the new site’s administrator, who, like his predecessor, uses the name Dread Pirate Roberts. “You can never kill the idea of #SilkRoad.”
The site — an anarchic, secret Web marketplace known as the “eBay of crime” — can be found only by using Tor, a service that provides anonymity to Internet users. Silk Road purchases are made using Bitcoins, an Internet currency based on cryptography.
On Oct. 1, the FBI arrested Ross W. Ulbricht, who it accuses of being the previous Dread Pirate Roberts. Prosecutors said in court filings that the old Silk Road had brokered more than $1.2 billion worth of illegal sales, mainly of drugs, and earned $80 million in commission fees in less than three years.
Some have criticized those figures as being too high because they are based on the current-dollar price of Bitcoins, whose value has fluctuated amid a steadily rising trend over the past 3 1/2 years.
Authorities said the Silk Road had nearly a million registered user accounts, and facilitated more than 1.2 million transactions by nearly 5,000 vendors. They called it “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet.”