One month after U.S. officials shut down the Silk Road online marketplace, the website resurfaced.
The site relaunched by a person named Dread Pirate Roberts, a handle linked to Ross William Ulbricht, who FBI agents said was the site’s owner and operator. Before its closure, federal agents said the Silk Road dealt with the illegal sale and distribution of drugs and other illegal items including fake passports, the FBI said in a complaint in September.
“It is with great joy that I announce the next chapter of our journey. Silk Road has risen from the ashes……” Dread Pirate Roberts wrote in a note on the new website which users could access through the Tor anonymity service.
Dread Pirate Roberts cautioned the site was still in early phases of development and lacked some of the features of the original site. Security appears to be the focus of the website. It promises to encourage and reward users who report theoretical and even proven exploits.
The website also warned of possible delays with account withdrawals and deposits initially, because of an expected surge at opening of deposits of the virtual bitcoin currency. Law enforcement agencies suspect bad guys are using bitcoin for money laundering and other illegal activities as it allows users to remain secret.
“These delays should become less as the marketplace settles, but at least for the earlier stages, please do not report coins as missing unless 12 hours or more have elapsed,” the website said.
Ulbricht appeared in federal court in New York last Wednesday and his lawyer said agents arrested the wrong man, according to reports.