Black Market Drug Site 'Silk Road' Booming: $22 Million In Annual Sales
Quote:In the year since Senator Joe Manchin called for the “audacious” drug-selling website Silk Road to be “shut down immediately,” the world’s most high-profile underground pharmacy hasn’t just survived. With $22 million in annual sales and around double the commission for the site’s owners compared with just six months ago, its black market business is booming.
In a research paper released earlier this month, Carnegie Mellon computer security professor Nicolas Christin has taken a crack at measuring the sales activity on Silk Road’s underground online marketplace, which runs as a “hidden service” on the Tor network and uses tough-to-trace digital Bitcoins as currency, two measures that have helped to obscure its sellers, buyers and operators from law enforcement.
His findings: the site’s number of sellers, who offer everything from cocaine to ecstasy, has jumped from around 300 in February to more than 550. Its total sales now add up to around $1.9 million a month. And its operators generate more than $6,000 a day in commissions for themselves, compared with around $2,500 in February.
Christin cautions that his study only looks at a six month period of Silk Road’s sales, and that a big part of the site’s measured success comes from appreciation in the highly volatile Bitcoin currency Silk Road trades in, which has itself increased close to 70% in value over the course of Christin’s study. But even accounting for changes in that crypto currency, the site’s numbers point to very real growth. “It’s very bursty and spikey, but overall the numbers are moving up,” says Christin. “It’s a stable marketplace, and overall it’s growing steadily.”
More here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/08/06/black-market-drug-site-silk-road-booming-22-million-in-annual-mostly-illegal-sales/
The content editor here still doesn't like me. I can't use any of it via firefox 16 !!
- unless i put tags in manually like just then.
"We are just glorified monkeys in suits.... show me where it's written we should be able to model the cosmos?!" -Terence McKenna, 21st Century Bard
R.I.P-ranks Terence. I miss your take on life.