How Silk Road Made Bitcoin Popular

Bitcoin

How long have you known about Bitcoin? It was invented not so many years ago. In 2009, the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto released his code onto the Internet. Since that time, Bitcoin has been changing in its price and people’s attitude to it. Though it wasn’t so long ago that people are beginning to forget about the website which made Bitcoin really well-known. In fact, it was not the best way to popularize it but, anyway, people got to know about the cryptocurrency. We’re talking about the famous website which was shut down by FBI twice, Silk Road.

Background

That website was a nightmare for any government. It was a kind of a perfect black market, an exchange for any sort of illegal trade. It all started in 2011 when Dread Pirate Roberts, an anonymous person, established the website with two other companions. The idea of the website was simple. To be used by Tor-based servers in order to hide the IP addresses of its users. It helped people to trade whatever they wanted in any way without fear of being discovered by the police or anyone else. Bitcoin played an enormous role because of its nature. So, two symbols of the anonymous world had come together and became extremely popular on the Darknet.

The founders of the website were quite idealist libertarians and anarchists, so the idea of free trading and the absolute market became a reality on their website.

Bitcoin was an essential part of that platform because of its anonymous nature. It exchanged different types of drugs, meth, LSD, cocaine, marijuana. Different addictive drinks like Thai Red Bull with a high content of taurine and caffeine. You could buy medicine and pills, erotic movies, transfer money for illegal produce and lots of other things you could not find anywhere else. It made the website extremely popular among an anonymous society.

Can you imagine, besides drugs, weapons, and pornography, you could even pay for a hitman to kill someone. So, it was obvious that someday, this website would attract law enforcement agencies and police.

Investigation and Arrest

Firstly, in 2013, a U.S. Senator focused his attention on the website and sent a request to the Drug Enforcement Administration to shut it down. After some time,  the Federal Bureau of Investigation began the job and found the identity of the owner of the website, Dread Pirate Roberts. He was charged with money laundering, hacking, and contract murders. However, no murder charge was proved but other crimes were. The founder was sentenced to 30 years in jail. The FBI seized 170,000 Bitcoins deposited on their servers and computers belonging to Dread Pirate Roberts. The approximate value of  the Bitcoins at this time was more than $90 million. Part of the Bitcoin seizure was sold by the police at an online auction.

Related: Mine Bitcoins Right in Your Hand with Your Android Smartphone

A year after the arrest of the founder, a new site appeared on the Darknet called Silk Road 2.0. The new founders tried to recover the business and started working but were arrested by the FBI as well. The administrator of the second version of the black market website was nicknamed Defcon and was arrested in San Francisco.

Influence on Bitcoin Price and Popularity

How did the website help Bitcoin to become more popular? Well, it is quite obvious. If there is a drug addict whose only way to get his fix anonymously is to use the Bitcoin currency on a website, they will be interested in Bitcoin for sure. So, its price grew for a while. People bought Bitcoins and then made their illegal transactions, buying meth, marijuana, cocaine and other stuff. Then the FBI discovered this black market and closed it down. The price significantly fell for a period. However, it soon started to rise again. The first reason is because Bitcoins had already become quite well-known and it had been growing for quite a long time. The second reason is a kind of black PR. People started to talk about Bitcoin more and lots of people got to know even more about it, therefore,  when the hoopla subsided,  people started to buy Bitcoins and its price started to rise again.

Silk Road 3.0

Today there is a site in the Darknet called Silk Road 3.0 Reloaded. It hasn’t operated for a long period of time, since January 2015. Today, anyone can visit the site and create an account on Silk Road 3.0. If you’re interested in the website you will need to use the Tor browser and it is best to have a VPN. We do not recommend you use this website to deposit or send money through its servers. Neither Bitcoins nor fiat money. It is attractive to the police so your money will not be safe in any way. This road seems to be riskier than we’d like.

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