The Silk Road 2, a hidden website modeled on the original Silk Road contraband marketplace, is regrouping as the users and single remaining moderator prepare for a Christmas lockdown. The group faced a setback on Friday when US and Irish authorities arrested moderators Andrew Michael Jones, Gary Davis, and Peter Philip Nash. A final moderator, Cirrus, remains on the site. The arrests happened in conjunction with the shut-down of the first Silk Road and are probably unrelated to the new version.
The site is currently “closed” to orders and will reopen after Christmas on the 28th. On the 22nd a moderator named Defcon allowed the site to remain open twelve more hours so users could withdraw funds. Defcon wrote:
“Make no mistake – Silk Road is not dead, the marketplace is not compromised, and it will return after the break regardless of how this plays out,” wrote Defcon.
New markets that use improved cryptographic systems, including a service called the Marketplace, are on the rise. Users and admins claim that that they are ostensibly safer than the Tor-based Silk Roads. It is, as they say, business as usual on the DarkNet.