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Silk Road Marketplace

Silk Road Marketplace, founded in 2011, was one of the first large-scale websites that exclusively accepted Bitcoin as payment for goods before being shut down by the FBI in 2013.

The website primarily sold a wide variety of drugs but also contained a variety of other goods and services, some legal and some illegal in different jurisdictions. The Silk Road was a darknet marketplace, operating as a TOR hidden service accessible through TOR. The site was estimated to facilitate, at its peak, several hundreds of millions of dollars worth of transactions.

The FBI shut the site down in 2013. Ross William Ulbricht was charged and convicted on seven felony counts for founding and running the Silk Road and was sentenced to life in prison. The FBI auctioned off the Bitcoins seized from the computers belonging to Ross Ulbricht.