For the purpose of this writing Silk Road refers not to a specific dark web market but rather any safe and secure method of purchasing any illegal substance needed. The quality is consider superior than street level and is high grade. Of course there are exceptions but the purpose of writing is to understand the implications of the technological revolution we are witnessing because of bitcoin in regards to being able to purchase any illegal substance for a reasonable cost of a quality grade. This requires some study and a little skill, but for the reward of breaking free from the control of organized crime that sells the drugs on the street level, and the reward of being able to stay in contact with family, and to be able to not have to associate strictly with other junkies and/or criminals, the benefits far outweigh the learning curve, for a user, or a friend, or family.
The Silk Road is effective for many reasons that can be highlighted, but the basic philosophy here is many constitutions or applicable laws in many countries are such that the individual does have much freedom. It is the business activity of “criminal” organizations that governments and law enforcement are mostly after. It is like saying they will use the lower level user to catch the bigger fish (dealers and manufacturers etc.). On the user end this means that there is little incentive for law enforcement to try to “sting” the lower level joe. Users usually have little money and little product anyways. In the case of purchasing from Silk Road, there is no trail or network for joe to rat on even if he did get pressured. Joe would simply be caught with probably his last order and absolutely no other useful information, from an order that come somewhere not even in the jurisdiction of the local or national law agency.
From the sellers side it is much the same. Drop a package into a mailbox, get paid by effectively anonymous bitcoin. For some of these countries different drugs are legal where there are produced but illegal where they are being sent to. So the production itself often can and does have standards and quality. Why should this be different for well known gang or criminal organization or cartel etc? They are in the business of supply and demand as well. For many what I am pointing out here is a paradigm shift. They must be reminded again and again. Our loved ones are destroying their brains not so much with the different forms of opium but rather the terrible stuff it is being cut and watered down with to make the profit it needs to get to the lower level users.
Silk Road merchants don’t deal with that stuff, and people can and do get different sample regularly tested.
In March 2013, the site had 10,000 products for sale by vendors, 70% of which were drugs. In October 2014, there were 13,756 listings for drugs, grouped under the headings stimulants, psychedelics, prescription, precursors, other, opioids, ecstasy, dissociatives, cannabis and steroids/PEDs. Fake driver’s licenses were also offered for sale.
Buyers were able to leave reviews of sellers’ products on the site, and in an associated forum where crowdsourcing provided information about the best sellers and worst scammers. Most products were delivered through the mail, with the site’s seller’s guide instructing sellers how to vaccuum-seal their products to escape detection.