Many people will agree that going to their drug dealers house to replenish their stash can be a less than pleasant experience. Maybe it’s your friend’s mother, the old hippie with a thousand stories to tell and she never wants you to leave. Or even worse, it could be an old and dilapidated crack house, where you tap your feet anxiosly on the couch, aware of the possibility of a working meth lab in the next room. Well, guess what. Now there is a much easier way to buy drugs that doesn’t involve risks like getting blown up or landing smack dab in the middle of a police raid at the notorious crack house.
When I first caught wind of the existence of an online market place to sell drugs via bitcoins, naturally, I was curious. How could such a thing be possible? When I started to learn a little more about it, it all started to make perfect sense. But reading about the website alone wasn’t enough to answer all of my questions, so I decided it was time to take a visit to Silk Road for myself.
Before anyone can get started down Silk Road, they must have some bitcoins to spend. Bitcoins are the only payment method accepted there, because they are a completely untraceable and anonymous form of virtual currency. How do you get them though?Unless you are as lucky as I, and know someone who’s harvesting bitcoins on his school’s computer lab. You will just need to purchase some with your credit or debit card on a seperate website.
Now it’s time to begin the journey down Silk Road, the website described as being “a certifiable one-stop shop for illegal drugs by senator Chuck Shumert. It turns out that accessing it isn’t as simple as typing the URL in the search box.
STEP 1 – Install a TOR Client
Deepnet, the Invisible Web, Darknet, the hidden Web ; These are all nicknames for the little known online territory that is made up of .onion sites. It is also exactly where you need to be if you are looking to purchase drugs online. And TOR is how you are going to get there. This ingenious application not only gains your access to this of the grid internet territory, but it helps you to stay invisible while you are visiting. It does this by masking a users IP address with another, false one. One can switch their IP adress around as much as they wish by downloading the TOR client. This makes it a cinch to keep your identity completely annonymous.
It’s an area of the world wide web, but it’s made up of sites that aren’t indexed by Google or Yahoo, so it takes a little extra effort to get there. Who are the main users of the deep web? You can imagine that it is a playground for such characters as computer hackers, anarchists and libertarians, and child pornographers. A number of experts believe that its nearly 3 times as big as the size of the web most of us are familiar with. In other words, the standard world wide web is just the tip of the iceberg.
STEP 2 – LOOKING FOR A WEBSITE THAT IS ABLE TO FIND SILK ROAD
To get to Silk Road, your going to have to find a connection. It’s much like when you ask a friend to introduce you to a friend who is selling drugs. Arrangements like these are probably best kept on the down low, which is why it isn’t so easy to find Silk Road. The only advice I have to give is to start by looking at online directories. One directory might link to another, which may link you to exactly where you want to go.
STEP 3 – WELCOME TO SILK ROAD; THE ONLINE MARKETPLACE OF DRUGS AND WEAPONS
Unfortunately, Silk Road shutdown registration after they were flooded with all of the traffic that was generated from the the Gizmodo article. Luckily, we had a sourcewho was able to get in just minutes before.
Once logged in to Silk Road, it is nothing like one might picture. It has the professional design of sights like ebay, complete with category listing for each type of drug. They even five suggestions for top rated selers, as the system is based on feedback ratings. It also shows comments left for sellers by their satisfied customers.
STEP 4 – SO LET’S BUY OUR DRUGS
Because it is small and relatively inexpensive, we figured acid would be a good choice to test out the market. It didn’t take long to find a seller with high ratings and a price tag of $5 a tab. Next steps: Add to cart and check out. Easy as that.
It just so happens that we hadn’t chosen the best time to try out Silk Road. It was during this period that a series of Massive attacks from hackers had started on the bitcoin market. This made a lot of traders nervous, including the seller we had purchased the “125u/g White on White 5x” from. He backed out of the ssale. This doesn’t mean we got ripped off though. We received a refund for our bitcoins and a considerate message from the administration of the silk road website. Now this is drug trading with excellent customer service.
Given the fiercely insane instability of the bitcoin market, continues to be risky. If things had been a little different at the time, our drugs would have been delivered unnoticialbly by the US postal service to whatever location we chose.
So, What is the Bitcoin Market Place Like Now?
Aot of people on the Internet are speculating that the bitcoin glory days are over. On the otherhand, Mt Gox,the compromised bitcoin central exchange, is saying different. According to them, ten percent of users are gradually coming back to their accounts. With new currencies like these, the true test as to whether or not the currency will make it is to see how it recovers from these types of attacks.
Just for pointers, it is probably not a good idea to go stumbling around the deep web unless you know exactly what you are doing. You could stumble across things like child pornography unintentionally. Plus, remember that buying and shipping drugs is still illegal, despite the ease in which it can be done on Silk Road.