Everything Is For Sale On The Silk Road

Remember I mentioned that what I read doesn’t really follow any kind of rhyme or reason? If not, or if you are new to this blog, my reading more or less follows no type of *organization other than whatever I’m in the mood for at any given moment.

*Other than reading what’s next for book club or trying to read what comes in from the library ( Overdrive app ) or Netgalley.

Upon finishing my first book of July, (which I will remind you of in my month’s end recap) when I returned it to the library via Overdrive I was presented with a list of:

“You just read ___________, you might like one of these.” Since I loved the book I had finished I went through the selections and found this one. I put it on hold and received it right away. After I finished Three Women I needed to decide what to read next. I still had three other books I had brought with me on my time away, but I also had books patiently waiting on my sweet Kindle. So- I opened my Kindle and looked around a bit. Even though AK was a library book, I had other library books waiting, so why did this one stand out? Maybe it was the moon or the glass of wine I was holding or the waves crashing just outside my window? None of it makes sense and all of it makes sense. Whatever the reason may be, a few nights back I started reading American Kingpin by Nick Bilton.

Below is the synopsis from Amazon:

• In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye. 
 
It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts. 
 
The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet •

Go and read this book. It’s very interesting. Before reading this, I had heard of the Dark Web, but not of Silk Road. I started researching the Dark Web (ie. black market) and was fascinated and creeped out. I found an article talking about it and it listed some things that were commonly available. Items like: $500 for seven gift cards that have $2500 on them or a lifetime Netflix subscriptions for $6-7. Granted, that’s not drugs, human trafficking, or the selling of organs, but it’s definitely something (and after reading this book, you’d have to live under a rock to not realize the really bad shit is truly out there and definitely for sale on some site(s) somewhere). Obviously you are dealing with less than honest people who are dealing in these commodities, but there are still rating systems. Similar to EBay or Amazon, where a seller is rated on each transaction. So is there honor among thieves after all?

After reading this book, I looked up others by Nick Bilton. Hatching Twitter is about the origins of Twitter, and is the next one I want to read by him.

After today, there are two full days left of July. I’m hoping to squeeze in one more book!

Happy reading, Bookworms

Sincerely,

tmc

Most people go through life thinking that tomorrow they’re going to do something great. Tomorrow will be the day that they wake up and discover what they were put on this earth to do. But then tomorrow comes—and goes. As does the next day. Before long, they realize that there aren’t that many tomorrows left.

– Nick Bilton, American Kingpin

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