It was inevitable, and anyone who didn’t think this would happen is living in a dream world but for those of you looking to buy some illegal drugs without having to travel into some hellhole or another there is finally an online marketplace just for you.
It seems that some rather ingenious people have put together an Amazon like marketplace for sellers of all kinds of drugs that you won’t won’t find at your corner pharmacy. Called Silk Road it promises anonymity and easy of use for buying anything from LSD to hash and pot.
Silk Road, a digital black market that sits just below most internet users’ purview, does resemble something from a cyberpunk novel. Through a combination of anonymity technology and a sophisticated user-feedback system, Silk Road makes buying and selling illegal drugs as easy as buying used electronics—and seemingly as safe. It’s Amazon—if Amazon sold mind-altering chemicals.
Here is just a small selection of the 340 items available for purchase on Silk Road by anyone, right now: a gram of Afghani hash; 1/8th ounce of “sour 13” weed; 14 grams of ecstasy; .1 grams tar heroin. A listing for “Avatar” LSD includes a picture of blotter paper with big blue faces from the James Cameron movie on it. The sellers are located all over the world, a large portion from the U.S. and Canada.
Getting to the site is a little difficult since the site is only available if you are using the anonymizing network, otherwise known as the TOR network and once there you can only buy goods using Bitcoins, the new payment darling of the web.
However once you do get to the site you are faced with something that resembles any of the modern e-commerce sites with reputation and comments included.
Once you’re there, it’s hard to believe that Silk Road isn’t simply a scam. Such brazenness is usually displayed only by those fake “online pharmacies” that dupe the dumb and flaccid. There’s no sly, Craigslist-style code names here. But while scammers do use the site, most of the listings are legit. Mark’s acid worked as advertised. “It was quite enjoyable, to be honest,” he said. We spoke to one Connecticut engineer who enjoyed sampling some “silver haze” pot purchased off Silk Road. “It was legit,” he said. “It was better than anything I’ve seen.”
Silk Road cuts down on scams with a reputation-based trading system familiar to anyone who’s used Amazon or eBay. The user Bloomingcolor appears to be an especially trusted vendor, specializing in psychedelics. One happy customer wrote on his profile: “Excellent quality. Packing, and communication. Arrived exactly as described.” They gave the transaction five points out of five.
Anyone taking bets on how long it will be before this site totally disappears?