Silk Road website's secretive owners says drugs market ‘worth 10 or 11 figures’
Tuesday 20 August 2013
The secretive owner of notorious online black market The Silk Road has boasted that his website is now so lucrative that he wouldn’t sell it for “less than 10 figures, maybe 11”.
In a rare interview, the man known as Dread Pirate Roberts said: “As far as my monetary net worth is concerned, the future value of Silk Road as an organisation dwarfs its, and my, liquid assets.”
Speaking to Forbes magazine he described The Silk Road as a “vehicle” for a message of radical libertarianism. “What we’re doing isn’t about scoring drugs or ‘sticking it to the man’,” he said. “It’s about standing up for our rights as human beings and refusing to submit when we’ve done no wrong.”
Launched in 2011, The Silk Road has been described as the “eBay of illegal drugs”’ and sells a range of products from marijuana to heroin. It offers anonymity to its customers through its use of the encrypted Tor browser and the digital currency BitCoin.
The secretive and illegal nature of the site means assessing its finances is difficult, though recent estimates suggest annual revenue of between $30 and $45m. Roberts receives a minimum commission of 10 per cent on all sales, scaling up for larger transactions.
The name ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ refers to the hero in The Princess Bride, a novel that was adapted into a cult 1987 film of the same name. In the story ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ is an inherited title rather than the name of an individual; Roberts says he chose the title after buying the site from its founder.
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 Gerard Deulofeu - Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£80000 - £100000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior C++ De...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# WPF Developer (WinF...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: QA Tester Automation R...