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Silk Road's main competitor shuts down indefinitely

Silk Road's main competitor shuts down indefinitely

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Black Market Reloaded, the digital black market that was the largest competitor to the recently busted Silk Road, just announced it's closing and refunding users' money. In order to deal with the influx of Silk Road refugees, Black Market Reloaded spun up some virtual private servers (VPS) hosted by a third party. According to a Black Market Reloaded administrator, one of the VPS administrators leaked the site code — a huge security breach that could compromise the owner's identity.

"This means I can't operate anymore," admin backopy wrote to users. As for when Black Market Reloaded might relaunch, he answered "early 2014 at best. I said one month, give or take, but it looks like I'll take about one month to do a clean close at the current site, after sorting disputes and all that that's left." Attempting to visit Black Market Reloaded now redirects to a forum.

Black Market Reloaded now redirects to a forum

Black Market Reloaded was known as the more hardcore version of Silk Road, selling guns in addition to illegal drugs. It was growing fast even before the FBI seized Silk Road. But it seems the golden age of illicit marketplaces, the class of outlaw stores protected by the anonymizing network Tor, may be coming to an end. Black Market Reloaded is actually the third high-profile marketplace to fall in less than two months: Atlantis Market closed before Silk Road.

It's all on you now, Sheep Marketplace.