Silk Road 3.0 Launches To Largely Negative Reviews

By McCarton Ackerman 11/13/14

Like The Godfather III and Return of the Jedi, the third installment of the online drug marketplace didn't quite live up to its predecessors.

silk road 3.0.png
Screenshot of 3.0. Photo via

Just hours after Silk Road 2.0 was shut down by authorities last week, the third installment of the online drug market on the Dark Web was launched for customers. However, the new site has been met with far less enthusiasm by consumers.

Silk Road 2.0 was launched in response to the original Silk Road being shut down, but Silk Road 3 Reloaded is actually a strategic name change from a website that was formerly named Diabolus Market. That site was launched just under a month ago as a “cannabis-only” marketplace, but an automated email sent to users describes the new site as “an anonymous, professional and peaceful marketplace selling all sorts of goods and services…there is no judgement, censorship or repercussion here. We are truly free.”

Automated messages from Silk Road 3 even use the name Dread Pirate Roberts, which the original Silk Road founder went by. The alleged operator of the site even claims to actively be working with a member of the Silk Road 2.0 team. They wrote in an email to Daily Dot that “He/she is using my code and servers but is operating SR 3.0 themselves. I don’t have anything more to say.”

But Silk Road 3 users remain skeptical of this claim and have not been pleased with the overall functionality of the new site. “The Silkroad [sic] 2.0 was designed with a lot more sophistication,” wrote Budflood on the web chat. “This looks like it’s just been thrown together by a bunch of kids.”

Silk Road 2.0 operator Blake Benthall was arrested last week and now faces 10 years behind bars on charges including conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, conspiring to commit computer hacking, conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents, and money laundering conspiracy. He was reportedly second-in-command for Silk Road 2.0 until December 2013, but began running the website when its founder ceased his operations when the original Silk Road operators were arrested. As of last September, Silk Road 2.0 was generating $8 million per month in revenue through its roughly 150,000 active users.

The founder of the original Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested last October by federal authorities. He is currently being charged with soliciting murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, and facilitating computer hacking.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.