The Silk Road shutdown by the FBI has taken down what was considered one of the most popular places on the Internet to buy illegal drugs and goods, a virtual black market, CNN Money reported on Oct. 2.
As part of the Silk Road shutdown, the FBI also arrested the site’s founder, Ross William Ulbricht, also known as "Dread Pirate Roberts," who has been operating Silk Road since January 2011.
After the Silk Road shutdown, the FBI, clearly savoring the victory, replaced the site’s homepage with a banner image declaring “this hidden site has been seized.”
Silk Road was a popular hidden site, the go-to place to find illicit goods, services and drugs, with money transactions occurring secretly. According to the FBI, Silk Road had more than 957,000 registered users. It has been in federal cross-hairs for years but managed to hide from authorities until now.
The Silk Road shutdown also created shockwaves in the bitcoin industry. Bitcoin is a digital currency, and the only currency that was allowed on Silk Road. The use of bitcoin helped Silk Road become an enormous money-laundering site, too, the FBI said, as a string of dummy transactions digitally concealed where any money came from.
Before the Silk Road shutdown, the site was used for the illegal sale of such drugs as cocaine, heroin and LSD, the Huffington Post reported. Silk Road also was used for buying and selling malicious software used for computer hacking. At one point, Ulbricht allegedly plotted a murder-for-hire scheme via Silk Road.