Archive for July, 2013

My latest Fairfax feature appears in tomorrow’s edition of The Age, but is already up online.  I briefly mention the Rialto BASE jumpers and D.B. Cooper, but the article mostly focuses on father of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto and Dread Pirate Roberts of Silk Road fame.  Banksy also gets a look-in, but I was originally going to say a bit more about him. I didn’t mostly because of space constraints but also a tiny bit passive-aggressively because his office never got back to me with a quote.

A rather cool Banksy pic that they used for my latest article

A rather cool Banksy pic that they used for my latest article

Anyway, so I’ve got a new blog post, here’s the stuff I cut out – and it sort of goes against the grain of the article because <<SPOILER ALERT>> it pretty much purports to reveal his identity. Maybe.

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Silk Road users have been shocked twice in the past two days when a forum member released names, addresses and order details of dozens of purported customers.

The user – first calling themselves ‘Info Wars’ and, once that account was banned, ‘Infowars’ – pounded the forums with repeats of the same post – a list of names and addresses, along with alleged drugs orders delivered to those addresses. Hundreds of posts were made before the user was banned and the forums taken offline ‘for maintenance’.

Silk Road down while the offending posts are removed

Silk Road down while the offending posts are removed

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Atlantis Marketplace has undertaken aggressive marketing of its site over the past few months, touting superior features to those offered by Silk Road.  Its aim has been to both attract new customers and lure clients away from the incumbent giant, but so far they must be underwhelmed by the response.

No stopping the Pirate (image: Forbes.com)

No stopping the Pirate (image: Forbes.com)

Attracting sellers has not been an issue.  Many of Silk Road’s top-rated vendors set up shop with Atlantis, enticed by waiver of set-up fees ($500 at Silk Road) and low commission rates (Silk Road takes a sliding scale from 10% of the first $50 to 1.5% of everything over $1000, vs Atlantis 6% of the first $50 down to 1% over $1000).  Atlantis went out of their way to verify their identities, and the vendors passed on the savings to their customers by way of lower prices.

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