By Nick Bilton
In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht introduced the final word loose industry: the Silk street, a clandestine site hosted at the darkish internet the place somebody may possibly exchange anything—drugs, hacking software program, cast passports, counterfeit funds, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye.
It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the media acquired wind of the recent site the place anyone—not simply childrens and weed purchasers yet terrorists and black hat hackers—could purchase and promote contraband detection-free. Spurred through a public outcry, the government introduced an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive owner, with out leads, no witnesses, and no transparent jurisdiction. the entire investigators knew used to be that whoever was once operating the positioning known as himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.
The Silk highway speedy ballooned into $1.2 billion company, and Ross embraced his new position as kingpin. He enlisted a faithful group of allies in low and high locations, all as hooked on the risk and thrill of operating an unlawful market as their shoppers have been to the heroin they bought. via his community he bought wind of the objective on his again and took drastic steps to guard himself—including ordering a success on a former worker. As Ross made plans to vanish without end, the Feds raced opposed to the clock to trap a guy they weren’t definite even existed, looking for a needle within the haystack of the worldwide Internet.
Drawing on particular entry to key avid gamers and billion electronic phrases and photographs Ross left at the back of, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling writer Nick Bilton deals a story choked with twists and turns, fortunate breaks and unimaginable shut calls. It’s a narrative of the boy subsequent door’s ambition long past legal, spurred on by way of the conflict among the recent global of libertarian-leaning, nameless, decentralized internet advocates and the previous global of presidency keep watch over, order, and the rule of thumb of legislations. full of unforgettable characters and capped through an staggering climax, American Kingpin should be pushed aside as too outrageous for fiction. yet it’s all too real.
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Extra resources for American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton