Inside the ‘DarkMarket’ Prototype, a Silk Road the FBI Can Never Seize


Bitcoin

BY ANDY GREENBERG

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The homepage of DarkMarket, a prototype for a decentralized online black market.

The Silk Road, for all its clever uses of security protections like Tor and Bitcoin to protect the site’s lucrative drug trade, still offered its enemies a single point of failure. When the FBI seized the server that hosted the market in October and arrested its alleged owner Ross Ulbricht, the billion-dollar drug bazaar came crashing down.

If one group of Bitcoin black market enthusiasts has their way, the next online free-trade zone could be a much more elusive target.

At a Toronto Bitcoin hackathon earlier this month, the group took home the $20,000 first prize with a proof-of-concept for a new online marketplace known as DarkMarket, a fully peer-to-peer system with no central authority for the feds to attack. If DarkMarket’s distributed architecture works, law enforcement would be forced to go after every contraband…

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