Silk Road, the anonymous internet marketplace best known as a destination for buying illegal drugs, has been seized by the FBI.
29-year-old Ross Ulbricht has been arrested as the head of the site, which he allegedly operated under the pseudonym of Dread Pirate Roberts. Ulbricht recently posted a manifesto of sorts on economic reform to his LinkedIn page.
The seizure netted 26,000 Bitcoins, worth some $US3.2 million. Bitcoins are an anonymous digital currency, so for the person who buys his drugs online, they’re a must. This is the single largest seizure of Bitcoin assets to date.
Prior to today, Silk Road users employed an anonymising network called Tor to browse the site and make their purchases. Tor distributes your internet traffic around the world so it can’t be traced back to you specifically.
Merchants and customers interacted on a bare bones basis to buy and sell their goods using the previously mentioned Bitcoin currency. If you want a walkthrough of how the site worked, click here.