It sounds like a Hollywood movie: A 29-year-old in San Francisco calling himself “Dread Pirate Roberts” masterminds an online black market for drugs and other illicit goods, allegedly hires a hit man to take out someone threatening to expose him, and the FBI swoops in and arrests him at a local branch library. That’s the story of Silk Road, a sort of eBay for illicit goods, which only accepted the open-source electronic money, Bitcoin. We discuss the Silk Road bust and the “deep web” of sites that give its users anonymity, and what implications this will have for Bitcoin.
Parker Higgins, activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Jerry Brito, senior research fellow and director of the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Andy Greenberg, staff writer for Forbes, covering data security, privacy and hacker culture