- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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.

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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.”

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