The Silk Road, a secretive online marketplace that for the last two years has provided a cheap and anonymous way to buy drugs on the internet, is history. Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, whose famous moniker was Dread Pirate Roberts, has been nabbed by police.
To read the breathless coverage about the Silk Road over the last two years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that every teenager on the planet was slapping down bitcoins in exchange for a bit of smack. And indeed I do know people who have claimed to make purchases on it.
But did it really put all those ethnics in Fiestas who change their numbers every six months out of business?
Now, I’m no expert on this stuff, but I did see a bit of coverage that made me wonder why the Silk Road has received the extraordinary amount of press attention it has always commanded. According to prosecutors, the Silk Road moved a kilo of heroin, 5 kilos of cocaine, 10 grams of LSD and 500g of methamphetamine.
Is it just me, or are these piddlingly small amounts given the size of the global drug trade? Seems to me like this is just another example of the vastly over-hyped “disruptive” effect of the internet which rarely comes to pass, and only ever a very long time after its supporters are already claiming victory.