Editor's note: Following news that Silk Road found Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, the Wall Street Journal said prosecutors described his site as 'a criminal marketplace of unprecedented scope and sophistication.' Silk Road operated for 2 years and facilitated millions in illegal transactions, ranging from cocaine to fake driver’s licenses - Tom
Editor's note: Ross Ulbricht, 30, convicted Wednesday of running the Silk Road web site, was found guilty of 7 criminal charges, including trafficking, money-laundering and computer-hacking conspiracies. He faces a life term in prison.
Homeland Security's Peter Edge on Silk Road 2.0 arrest: 'Blake Benthall's arrest ends his status as the alleged administrator of a website that allows illicit black-market activities to evolve and expand, and provides a safe haven for illegal vices' - @FBI
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.