Law and Order

Eight Months After Sen. Chuck Schumer Blasted Bitcoin, Silk Road is Still Booming

Way back in June, before Sen. Chuck Schumer wanted to break the internet, he wanted to break Bitcoin. After an incendiary story about Silk Road on Gawker, the site NPR called “the Amazon.com of illegal drugs,” senators including Sen. Schumer were up in arms. But Silk Road lives on, according to reports from techies savvy enough to traverse Tor to get there.

“The only method of payment for these illegal purchases is an untraceable peer-to-peer currency known as Bitcoins. After purchasing Bitcoins through an exchange, a user can create an account on Silk Road and start purchasing illegal drugs from individuals around the world and have them delivered to their homes within days,” the senator said in a letter co-written by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

But now it’s January, and Sen. Schumer seems to have forgotten about the cryptocurrency and the virtual drug bazaar that is the Silk Road. In fact, the senator’s less-than-serious effort to get Bitcoin shut down actually boosted Bitcoin, argues one Bitcoin developer, by elevating its profile.

For those of us who had been with bitcoin since early on, we would become excited at the smallest appearance of bitcoin in the press. We all knew the amazing ramifications of this cryptocurrency (or commodity), and were awaiting that inevitable breakthrough that came a few years early with Schumer’s announcement. It was not the right kind of press we were hoping for, but press is press. And while dealing with the moral panic, it gave you a platform for expounding on the social benefits of bitcoin.

The publicity for Silk Road didn’t hurt either. The site is still the largest single marketplace for Bitcoins outside of the Bitcoin exchanges. You can buy Adderall there!

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com

Comments

  1. jondoe says:

    What is also noteworthy is that Silk Road is currently hiring a database expert and a customer support team member. On top of the ordinary ‘describe your background and expertise’ and ‘why do you want to join us’-questions they’re asking for the applicants drug of choice.

    “Silk Road is hiring! Want to work on the cutting edge of online
    anonymity and security? Want to contribute to an ever growing
    community? Do you want to be a part of this Revolution? If you think
    you have what it takes, please apply to one of the positions below.”

    1. Anonymous says:

      are you sure that’s real??

      1. jondoe says:

        Yeah, the text is hosted on Silkroad and linked from the main page.
        http://silkroadvb5piz3r.onion/index.php/silkroad/careers

      2. Anonymous says:

        Yes, I saw that too. I didn’t bother to check the signature, but it was definitely on the forums.

  2. Brill Galt says:

    Schumer is the real criminal; supporting a collection of thugs with a monopoly on the initiation of force — government.

    The Devil has a noose waiting for you in Hell, Schumer, and a long line of people begging to pull the lever.