Why ‘Dark Web’ drug markets will keep on imploding

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
March 19, 2015

A couple of months after the conviction of Ross Ulbricht, the “Dread Pirate Roberts” behind the creation of the Silk Road online drug market, another online drug market, “Evolution” has imploded. Like the Silk Road, Evolution used “Tor Hidden Services,” to hide the true location of their Web site, providing the owners, and drug buyers and sellers with some degree of anonymity. But this Web site didn’t go down thanks to the feds. It went down because its owners took it down.

So what happened?

The anonymous owners of the Evolution drug market pulled what’s called an ‘exit scam.’ They pretended that the site was having technical difficulties, making it difficult for users of the market to withdraw funds. Then they pulled the site down and absconded with the money. Some people are claiming that they made off with around $12 million – but it’s hard to be sure how much money they had (especially since the money they stole is Bitcoin, an artificial currency which has a wildly fluctuating exchange rate with regular currencies).

Read the full piece at The Washington Post