oxycontin-pillsSeveral years ago, what was buzzing on the internet was the discovery of an online website called the Silk Road. Basically it was a website on the dark web that pretty much acted as a storefront for illegal drugs where anyone could buy just about any drug that they could think of. Think of it as the drug business going the ecommerce route.

Naturally the website has since been shut down, which you would think is a good thing, but in reality it seems to have made things worse. According to a RAND study (via CNET) conducted by the University of Manchester and University of Montreal, it seems that the sale of illegal drugs online has actually tripled since the closure of Silk Road.

This is because once the website had closed, many clones and copycats had sprung up in its place. It’s as if all the publicity about TOR, the dark web, and Silk Road gave other people ideas that they should create their own version, or possibly because Silk Road was supposedly the dominant drug trading website and now that it’s gone, its competitors decided to pounce on the opportunity.

According to the study, “Today, there are around 50 so-called cryptomarkets and vendor shops where vendors and buyers find each other anonymously to trade illegal drugs, new psychoactive substances, prescription drugs and other goods and services.”

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