With the latest chapter in the infamous Silk Road saga soon coming to a close, the dark net of online drug dealing is finding new ways to get business done. Indeed, Silk Road prosecutor Preet Bharara compares the current situation to “a game of Whac-A-Mole.”
Authorities eventually did catch up with Silk Road 2.0 among other dark net sites during their Operation “Onymous.”
Launched yesterday, “Silk Road Reloaded” seeks to revive the mandate of its namesake, though with some differences.
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Most importantly, the site will not be using the Tor network or its .onion domains. Rather, it is accessible through “I2P” software, which gives you access to “eepsites” and their .i2p domains.
The exact reason for the choice has not been confirmed, but it is believed that there were concerns over potential holes in Tor’s security and anonymity. Although far less known and less funded than Tor – the latter starting as a project by the US Naval Research Laboratory and continuing to get most of its funding from the US government – it is believed to be less centralized. Whereas Tor relies on some points for routing, with I2P “essentially all peers participate in routing for others.” There is a one percent conversion fee whenever an altcoin is converted to a bitcoin.
How appropriate it is then that in the spirit of decentralization, the new site is a rare venue accepting a wide range of cryptocurrencies. Currently accepted are: bitcoin, blackcoin, dogecoin, darkcoin, feathercoin and litecoin. “Coming soon” are Anoncoin, BitBar and Potcoin.
In addition to drugs, you’ll also find counterfeit money and IDs, hacking tools and fake clothing for sale. Weapons and stolen credit card information are not allowed, a position taken by other dark net sites. Though the site wants to allow the “most basic of human activities (trade) to occur unimpeded,” it does not want to contribute to the compromising of a person’s free will.