What is Silk Road Reloaded?
A new anonymous online black market called Silk Road Reloaded has emerged out of nowhere. It is set to operate as a criminal enterprise the same way that the original Silk Road did. The creator of the original Silk Road was seized and charged by the FBI for selling illegal items, and the operation discontinued for good but this new scheme seems to have its tracks well covered.
How is Silk Road Reloaded different?
The only true similarity lies in the name and the principle; the new variant comes with a number of new features. It requires users to download a software I2P (Invisible Internet Project) before they can anonymously access websites and interact with vendors. As a result, the websites are termed eepsites with each ending with ‘.i2p’ rather than the usual ‘.com’. The original simply used the Tor network.
In order to guarantee user’s privacy, Silk Road Reloaded adds more digital currency options other than Bitcoin (used by the original Silk Road) for users to make payments. These include: Blackcoin, Litecoin, Feathercoin and Dogecoin. Users will be charged a fee whenever they convert their currency to Bitcoin. Silk Road Reloaded has also left out weapons and stolen credit card credentials from the list of products.
Why choose I2P over the Tor network?
The primary difference between the two networks lies in their out-proxy design and the threat model. While Tor offers hidden services, it does not support peer-to-peer connections as the I2P. Plus, its directory-based approach manages all the data in a centralized point. Conversely, I2P uses distributed network database to channel out rather than gathering statistics in one place.
Why is Bitcoin not the only form of payment?
The Bitcoin Blockchain stores complete records of transactions that can be traced back to the buyer and seller. In case the pseudonyms of buyers and sellers are not secured, there is every likelihood of the Blockchain viwerer determining their identity. Given this lack of anonymity, Silk Road Reloaded has chosen to add securer payment options to promote activity.
While all seems hunky dory, some users have been critical as they see it as a way to ride on the familiarity and popularity of brand that’s now tainted.