Silk Road is an online market. As part of the Deep Web, it is operated as a Tor hidden service, such that online users are able to browse it anonymously and securely without potential traffic monitoring. The website launched in February 2011; development had begun six months prior.
Initially there were a limited number of new seller accounts available; new sellers had to purchase an account via an auction. Later, a fixed fee was charged for each new seller account.
In 2013 the FBI shut down the website and arrested a person they alleged to be the so-called 'Dread Pirate Roberts'. On 6 November 2013 Silk Road 2.0 came online, run by former administrators of Silk Road.