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TIME Magazine Reports on Deep Web and Bitcoin in Cover Story of Notorious “Silk Road”

November 4, 2013 at 1:10 by BitcoinNews

The cover story in this week’s issue of Time magazine is on “The Secret Web: Where Drugs, Porn, and Murder Hide Online”, and the story is primarily the unbelievable saga of Ross Ulbricht, alleged mastermind of the notorious “Silk Road” drugs portal on the deep web, which has also drawn the attention and worry of U.S. regulators in the past couple of years.

“The  Silk Road” website, which reportedly transacted $1.6 billion in drugs over the Internet, existed for the past few years solely as a hidden service on the “deep web”, a massive trove of websites unsearchable by Google and Yahoo and accessible only through “the Onion Router”, or TOR, as it is now abbreviated. This specialized, “deep web” browser, originally a project of the U.S. Navy, is now run by a non-profit organization, though most of its funding continues to come from the U.S. Government.

The reason this cover article is notable on this markets-oriented blog is that Time magazine has an excellent track record as a contrarian indicator. However, while bitcoin is discussed as a currency for transactions over the defunct “Silk Road” website, the article itself is clearly centered on the “The Deep Web”itself rather than bitcoin alone as a up-trending currency, as the past few blog posts noted increasing web searches on the term “bitcoins”.

Therefore, more than anything else, the cover might be an indication of a peak in popular interest for the Deep Web surrounding the take-down of the infamous Silk Road, rather than a peak of interest in bitcoin itself. Indeed, there is some sensationalism to the story, as the Silk Road was notable in the so-called “Secret Web” for specifically excluding pornography.

Furthermore, despite allegations of two separate murder-for-hire  scams which hooked the site’s alleged mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, what is abundantly clear is that no actual violence resulted from the sting operations. So the title is a bit misleading in that regard, although clearly the first item at least, drugs, were indeed transacted over the Internet.

Bitcoin prices have risen just a bit further this weekend to $224.30 at Mt. Gox on volume of 12,191.52 bitcoin, to  $211.40 at Bitstamp on volume of 11,715.72 bitcoin, and to $209 at BTCe with volume of 9,351.02 bitcoin.

 

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