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News Link • Drugs and Medications

An Interview With A Digital Drug Lord: The Silk Road's Dread Pirate Roberts (Q&A)

•, Andy Greenberg
 His website, the Silk Road, is designed to allow anyone to buy and sell drugs with the crypto-currency Bitcoin, using the anonymity software Tor to protect their identity. And those same anonymity protections have made Roberts confident enough in his security that he’s been willing to write about his illicit business under his pseudonym on Silk Road’s user forums and even give short comments to reporters in the past.

Now he’s gone much further. For a magazine profile in the current issue, Roberts engaged FORBES in his first ever extended interview. Over the course of five hours on July 4th, the Dread Pirate answered my questions–all routed through Tor and the Silk Road’s messaging system–on topics ranging from the Silk Road’s history to the site’s business model to his own personal details and motivations. Though dark web entrepreneur was unsurprisingly tightlipped on any information that might even remotely help law enforcement identify him, he did offer a few new revelations: The fact that he’s not actually the founder of the Silk Road, the possibility that the Silk Road may re-introduce weapon sales to the site, and his only-half-joking asking price to acquire the business. (Don’t insult him with bids less than a billion dollars.)

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