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Is the Silk Road Still Active on the Dark Web Market or Not?




Silk Road has been a famous dark web market for many years. Many people still talk about it because of its notorious history. As one of the largest dark web markets, it was one of its kind to offer specific things on the internet.

Since dark web market links rarely die due to mirror links, you may be wondering whether the marketplace is currently active or not. If so, you don’t have to ponder any further.

Let’s look at everything you need to know about the notorious dark net marketplace and its current status on the dark web.

History of Silk Road Market

Silk Road was a notorious dark web market that operated on the Tor network from 2011 onwards. It offered illegal goods on the dark net to enhance sales on the dark web. It was one of the most popular dark net sites of its time so much so that it is still talked about even though it has been some time since the site was closed down.

This dark net marketplace was created by Ross Ulbricht who was also famous as “Dead Pirate Roberts” on the dark web market. His main aim was to create a program that would allow anonymous e-commerce sales by protecting:

  • Identities of dark web users
  • Freedom of customers
  • Transaction security

It connected customers with anonymous vendors on the dark web. The primary currency that was used on the site was Bitcoin.

Is The Silk Road Still Active?

The darknet marketplace is no longer active on the dark internet because of a government takedown. This mainly happened two years after the inception of this dark web market.

Senator Charles Schumer of the US led an investigation with the Department of Justice to determine the role of the marketplace in illegal dark web trades.

The results of the investigation weren’t in favor of the respective dark web site, which is why the site was taken down in 2013. After a successful operation led by the FBI, the cryptocurrency wallets of Silk users were seized.

By cutting the financial sources of the dark net site, the government succeeded in shutting down the first version of this dark net marketplace. However, this inactive status didn’t completely remove the marketplace from Tor.

Is The Silk Road Still Active

That is because it is difficult to prevent the revamping of the dark web market on Tor. Mirror links on the Tor network are quite common and bring old websites to the surface again.

This is why the black market wasn’t completely inactive once it was taken down in 2013. That is because of the inception of Silk Road 2.0 soon after the takedown.

Is the Silk Road 2.0 Still Active On the Dark Web Market?

People believe that this black marketplace has been off the dark web since 2013, but that is not entirely true. The original site was taken down that year after an FBI operation. However, another market version resurfaced on the dark internet immediately after the original takedown.

The new dark web market was called Silk Road 2.0 on the Tor network. Its unique feature was that the site was run by the same administrators as the original dark web market.

Blake Benthall was the man who revived the black market on the dark web. However, the site’s lifespan was short on the Tor network because it was shut down in 2014.

Within one year, the escrow accounts of the new dark web market suffered a blow. That is because $2.7 million was stolen from the newer version of the online black market indicating its weak security.

The site’s owner was also later arrested which halted its operations on the dark internet. Since 2014, the market has been completely inactive on the dark web. This means no other mirror link came into being after the site’s second version.

Despite being taken down, this dark website still paved the way for another dark web market. So while this site may not be inactive, there are many other alternatives to it on the dark internet.

Is Ross Ulbricht Still Active On the Dark Web?

In some cases, such dark web links may be taken down but its owner may escape the clutches of the authorities. That is because it is difficult to catch people and bring to them a court of law. This is especially true for users on the dark internet due to Tor’s high online privacy and security features.

Despite that, Ross Ulbricht couldn’t save himself from being caught by the FBI when his original site was taken down by the FBI. The authorities arrested him in October 2013 after shutting down the illegal dark website.

They put various charges on Ulbricht such as the sale of illegal drugs on the dark web market. The FBI also indicated that Ross earned about $13 million or more in commissions on this notorious dark net marketplace.

The authorities proved that Ross Ulbricht managed the illegal dark website and its site. They also indicated that the owner was involved in using criminal violence to protect its site’s anonymity. However, this connection wasn’t entirely proved in the court.

After proving different charges such as criminal conspiracy by Ulbricht, the court of the US sentenced him to life imprisonment in 2015. This means that Ross is no longer active on the dark internet.

If you encounter any ID with the name “Dead Pirate Roberts” on the dark web, you shouldn’t believe that it is run by the same owner. Instead, someone else may be using the same username in honor of the notorious Ross Ulbricht.

Is Blake Benthall Still Active On The Dark Web?

Blake Benthall is the man behind Silk 2.0 on the dark internet. Many people believe that he was collaborating with Ross Ulbricht to revive the site after the original platform was seized by the FBI.

However, the connection between their collaboration has not been proven and may be a myth. The only true thing is that Blake launched the second version of the online black market in November 2013.

He took the identity of “Defcon” to manage the administration of the revived marketplace. However, a joint government operation by the US authorities led to the arrest of Benthall the following year.

This means Benthall is no longer active on the dark web site or operating any of the revived sites. He’s also not behind any of the alternatives on the dark internet.

After various hearings of a trial, the court of the US sentenced Benthall to eight years of imprisonment. Once he was taken out of the picture, the illegal site never saw a third version as a mirror link.

This means that the relevant dark net sites are no longer active in their original or mirror forms. If you want to purchase illegal goods on the web, you will have to open alternatives to this popular online darknet marketplace.

How The Silk Road Was Made Inactive By The FBI?

The illegal marketplace was notorious for its security features of the dark internet. Ulbricht used various layers of encryption to protect his e-commerce marketplace from government monitoring.

However, that was fruitful only for two years since the inception of the site. In the later 2013, the FBI conducted an operation to remove the platform from the Tor network.

They claimed that Ulbricht made mistakes on the dark internet that led to the security of its website compromising. However, this evidence has not been completely proven yet.

Instead, many believe that the organization used illegal methods to find the origin of the market and remove it from the dark internet. Rumors have spread that the FBI used malware to track the illegal marketplace.

Whether these claims are true or not, it is still a fact that the FBI removed the market from the dark internet. They seized the funds and commissions earned by the e-commerce site.

The authorities also arrested the owner of the platform to ensure its takedown from the dark web. That is why you will not encounter the original site on the Tor network.

Any mirror links that were working earlier in 2013 will no longer be active in 2024.

What Could You Buy On The Silk Road?

There are many things you could buy on the Silk Road. Let’s look at them to help you understand the things you should look for when viewing alternative options:

  1. Banned Energy Drinks

One of the top things that people could buy on this black market was banned goods. You could purchase drinks that were no longer available in your region due to a shortage.

The site also sold energy drinks that had been banned by the FDA and other authorities. Some beverages are also not sold in a specific region due to clearance issues at customs. This is especially true if the drinks were coming from another country. Whatever the case, the popular online darknet market made it a breeze to order banned items in the US and other places.

Many different vendors on the marketplace were present to sell banned beverages of different brands. Drinks that specific companies had discontinued were also available on the dark web in this marketplace. By making it easy to buy illegal and banned goods in the US, the marketplace earned millions of commissions in the time it was active. The primary currency that was acceptable in this market was Bitcoin.

What Could You Buy On The Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht earned millions of commissions which were seized by the FBI. However, that does not mean that he may not have hidden some of his funds elsewhere.

Unfortunately, Ulbricht can’t access those funds to start another market and sell banned goods because of a life imprisonment sentence.

  1. Drugs

It is impossible to talk about this dark net black market without mentioning drugs because they were the main product of sale on the market. More than 70% of the goods that were present on this black marketplace were drugs when the site was active.

When the second version of the market was introduced by Blake Benthall, drugs were still the leading sale product on the website. This means that the main aim of the market was to sell drugs.

That is why this marketplace paved the way for other websites that are now selling similar drugs on the dark web. The owners of the new alternative platforms may not be the same, but their purposes are the same as Ross Ulbricht’s.

All the new site owners want to earn commissions like Ulbricht and Benthall did by running Silk Road’s active versions for a few years. They also want to offer privacy to dark web users when purchasing different goods.

So if you want to engage in a website that sells similar goods, you should look for a site specializing in drug sales. However, the FBI may be monitoring new platforms on the dark internet.

This is why it is necessary to be careful when finding alternatives to the dark internet.

  1. Stolen Data

Another thing the marketplace was famous for selling includes stolen data. This mainly covered illegal goods such as malware that could be remotely installed on other people’s devices. Such an action allowed the buyer to steal data of whatever person they wanted to attack.

Already stolen data was also available on the market in the form of encrypted documents. People used to buy from vendors with good ratings and reviews to enjoy the benefits of stolen data.

Some people could also encounter their own stolen data on the market. Many corporate businesses could buy their information from the marketplace to prevent rivals from getting their hands on the same data.

Whatever the case, the inactivity of this dark net site has been beneficial to some people, especially those whose data has been vulnerable. Once the market was taken down, any information that it sold was also removed from the Tor network.

However, remember the vendors on the marketplace were separate from the owner. This means you may still encounter the same sellers on another dark web market. That is especially true if the vendor is still operating their business on the Tor network.

Remember buying stolen data can put you into significant trouble. So you may want to avoid finding alternatives to Silk that sell such information.

  1. Forgeries

Many illegal goods were popular on this dark net marketplace when it was active, but forgeries took a significantly high rank. People could purchase fake documents from the marketplace such as:

  • False degrees
  • Fake adult identity cards
  • Driving licenses
  • Medical certificates
  • Product authenticity cards

The interesting thing is that documents aren’t the only forgeries that were available on the old active market. Jewelry and perfume replicas were also present on Silk.

Such forgeries are one of the top reasons why the market earned millions of Bitcoin within its short lifespan. Even now people still mention Silk when finding an alternative to it.

That is because every illegal dark marketplace currently is not reliable. There are many new fake markets on the Tor network that put postings of forgery items but rarely deliver.

New sites may also perform exit scams to steal money from you without offering you false documents or goods. This is why you must research thoroughly if you want to encounter a site that is as reliable as Silk Road.

The task of finding an alternative active site is a bit difficult. That is because government monitoring of the dark internet has become more rigorous in 2024.

Will The Silk Road Be Active In 2024 Or The Future

Will The Silk Road Be Active In 2024 Or The Future?

Many people believe that the first illegal marketplace will become active again. That is because dark web users still crave the anonymity, privacy, and reliability the black market offers them.

However, it is unlikely for this marketplace to come back into being. It has been more than a decade since the site was taken down. After the shutting down of the second version of the marketplace, no other versions came into being.

The original site’s owner is also still in jail and will be serving life in prison. So it is unlikely for him to revive the site from prison. Blake Benthall has also been out of the picture since his arrest by the FBI.

This means that there is no one else left from Silk’s administration to revive the platform again. Of course, what may happen in the future cannot be known.

Someone may try activating Silk again, but it is unlikely that it will stay on the web for long. That is because government agencies are more active than ever in taking down illegal dark marketplaces.

Final Words

That is everything you need to know about the status of the Silk Road on the dark internet. This site has been inactive for more than a decade, so there is little chance that it will be back in the future.

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