(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Buying illegal drugs online has received a major hit.
U.S. authorities recently announced that they had shut down Silk Road, a popular drug site known for utilizing the popular online currency known as bitcoins to purchase and sell illegal drugs.
According to a report from the Huffington Post, authorities have charged Ross William Ulbricht, otherwise known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” for operating the illegal website.
Ulbricth had reportedly managed Silk Road since January of 2011.
Silk Road provided drug dealers anonymity to sell illicit drugs like cocaine, LSD and heroine.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the Washington Post on Monday noted the FBI had succeeded in seizing 26 thousand bitcoins used to make transactions on the site. However, in terms of Ulbricht’s personal bitcoin stash, the former website operator still holds onto around $80 million dollars worth of bitcoins, an FBI representative indicated.
$80 million dollars in bitcoins equates to around 600 thousand of the online currency, the bureau explained, according to the report.
Despite the increasing popularity of using the bitcoin as a legitimate means of currency, the future still remains shaky as some industry analysts suggest more bitcoin regulation is warranted.
“It’s estimated that Silk Road was responsible for a large amount of Bitcoin traffic, so the shutdown of Silk Road was similar to a stock crash in the Bitcoin space,” explained Ashley Fulks, president of Bitcoin Ventures in a report from the New Yorker.
Bitcoins are increasingly being used as a legitimate means of conducting transactions online. It’s currently estimated that 11.7 million bitcoins are in circulation, according to Wired.