Goodbye Silk Road, Hello Sheep Marketplace (Bloomberg)
Friday October 4th, 2013
Like all drug busts, the takedown of Silk Road was a useless affair. While federal prosecutors grabbed the spotlight with a successful operation against Ross William Ulbricht, the owner of the anonymous Web marketplace, drug vendors and users were logging onto alternative sites, some of which even looked much like Silk Road.
I set up an account for one today. It is called Sheep Marketplace, and, like Silk Road, it is available via Tor, an anonymous encrypted network originally designed for the U.S. Navy and still used by it. The Tor software package is freely available on the Web. I used the Tor browser to go to a site with the suffix .onion, which would not be available to commonly used browsers, and registered as a customer. (To set up a virtual stall as a vendor, I would have had to pay $149 in Bitcoin.)