In the battle of black market pirates Dread Pirate Roberts of the Silk Road remains supreme as competitor Atlantis closes doors citing “security reasons” out of their control.
The virtual black market allowing users to buy and sell illegal drugs over the internet has exploded in recent years mainly due to the quasi-anonymity of the digital currency Bitcoin and because these services are hidden from authorities on Tor’s Onion network.
To date the government hasn’t been able to stop them because of the layers of encryption at these platforms. The success of Silk Road led to competition in this arena including the Atlantis Market who brazenly marketed their illegal drug business to the public.
But this week Atlantis abruptly announced that it is shutting its doors citing “security reasons” out of their control:
Dear all users,
We have some terrible news. Regrettably it has come time for Atlantis to close its doors. Due to security reasons outside of our control we have no choice but to cease operation of the Atlantis Market marketplace. Believe us when we say we wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t 100% necessary.
Due to the urgency we are allowing all users to withdrawal all their coins for one week before the site, and forum, are shut down permanently. Please remove all of your coins, these will not be recoverable after one week from now. Anything remaining in your accounts will be donated to a drug related charity of our choosing.
We wish to thank all of you for making Atlantis a great and memorable place to trade on. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
The Atlantis team
No further details were given as to why they closed. However, knowing that the Tor network was successfully attacked by the FBI and the NSA working in conjunction to combat child porn may have led to the preemptive closing.
Just as we’ve seen private email providers preemptively close up shop instead of comply with government snooping, it seems Atlantis may have feared the risk of being compromised.
It didn’t take long for the Anarcho-libertarian Dread Pirate Roberts to issue his response to Atlantis’ closing:
Atlantis was good for Silk Road and the community at large and I am sad to see it go. Yes they were a bit cocky and aggressive, but they never crossed the line and did anything unethical, and they served their customers well. They reminded us in the Silk Road administration that to stay #1, we have to be constantly thinking of our users and how to serve them best and can not take for granted your loyalty.
There has been more than one occasion where I have wanted to quit as well. Without going into details, the stress of being DPR (Dread Pirate Roberts) is sometimes overwhelming. What keeps me going is the understanding that what we are doing here is more important than my insignificant little life. I believe what we are doing will have rippling effects for generations to come and could be part of a monumental shift in how human beings organize and relate to one another.
I have gone through the mental exercise of spending a lifetime in prison and of dying for this cause. I have let the fear pass through me and with clarity commit myself fully to the mission and values outlined in the Silk Road charter. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. (See Below)
The bottom line is… Silk Road is here to stay so long as there is breath in my lungs, a spark in my mind, and fire in my heart. I know many of you in this community feel the same way and is an honor to stand beside you here.
Lastly, to anyone considering opening another market, you WILL face unexpected challenges one way or another, and if you don’t have the conviction to overcome them then your efforts will likely be in vain. And please open up a dialogue with me if you do open another site. Even competitors can talk from time to time on friendly terms.
Silk Road’s Charter:
Silk Road is a global enterprise whose purpose is to empower people to live as free individuals. We provide systems and platforms that allow our customers to defend their basic human rights and pursue their own ends, provided those ends do not infringe on the rights of others.
Our mission is to have voluntary interaction between individuals be the foundation of human civilization.
We conduct ourselves and our enterprise from the following fundamental values that are at the heart of who we are:
- Self-ownership Individuals own their bodies, thoughts and will. Anything they create with their property or obtain without coercion is also theirs.
- Responsibility People are responsible for their actions. If one infringes on another’s rights, they should be held accountable.
- Equality Property rights apply to all individuals equally, without exception.
- Integrity Honoring one’s word as one’s self. Word, thought, and action are aligned.
- Virtue Striving to improve one’s self and the lives of others in all actions. To create value.
We promise to be true to our purpose, to accomplish our mission, to operate consistent with our values, and to run our enterprise in service of our customers.
This is who we are.
This is what you can count on.
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