Friday, May 29, sealed the fate of Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind of what was formerly the largest black market site on the darknet: Silk Road. A New York Federal Court sentenced him to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Ulbricht set the standard for darknet sites when he founded Silk Road in February 2011. At the time, it was the only one of its kind. Following its closure, however, the online market did not die with him. It became fragmented and grew exponentially, and has since become a force almost impossible to stop.
You can think of the darknet as a virus. As you’re busy trying to trap it from one angle, it is, simultaneously, mutating into a different form that is equally infectious and difficult to eliminate. If you’re still wrapping your head around the idea of darknet sites, you’ll be shocked to learn that the number of people searching for them on the internet has grown by over 1000% between 2014 and now.
Immediately after Silk Road was shut down in 2013, dozens of similar sited erupted, including the famous Silk Road 2.0-thought to be founded by the remaining administrators of the original site-Agora Market, Middle Earth, Abrax, AlphaBay, Nucleus and many more.
The Agora Market
Today, Agora Market has become the faithful and dominant replacement to Silk Road. Agora is the ultimate online drug superstore. The inventory of drugs on the site is staggering.
But how did Agora Market make it to the top amidst the collapse of other darknet sites such as Silk Road 2.0, Evolution, and Pandora? For starters, darknet users got bored of stale and old products, and websites. They are constantly hungry for new things, and Agora has what they want. Within a 4-month period in 2014, Agora’s product listing grew from about 7,400 to over 16,000.
Its catalogue has also grown to include weapons, items that the original Silk Road had stopped selling a few years into business. Agora Market promises safer transactions and unrivalled anonymity for its loyal customers.