By the Numbers: The Silk Road Takedown

Silk Road, we hardly knew ye.

  • Share
  • Read Later

Silk Road, we hardly knew ye. The man alleged to be behind the so-called of Drugs that ran on the Undernet — far from the search queries and keystrokes of everyday web surfers — has been nabbed by the feds. Here’s a look at what’s been going down so far, number by number.


The approximate number of years Silk Road operated


The age of the alleged mastermind behind the Silk Road website, Ross William Ulbricht


The number of months the government had been investigating Silk Road


The number of drug purchases made on Silk Road by undercover agents


The approximate number of listings on the site selling controlled substances


The number of ads and listings for hacked e-commerce accounts, pirated content, fake identification, hackers for hire and other services

1 Million

The approximate number of Silk Road user accounts

$1.2 Billion

The approximate amount of business Silk Road did between February 2011 and July 2013

$80 Million

The approximate commission Ulbricht made from the above-mentioned business


The amount Ulbricht allegedly paid per month to rent a bedroom in a San Francisco home he shared with two other people


The amount one Silk Road user with the handle FriendlyChemist apparently demanded Ulbricht pay to avoid having the identities of other Silk Road users revealed


The amount Ulbricht reportedly agreed to pay another Silk Road user to murder FriendlyChemist (there’s no evidence that the murder happened)


The amount Ulbricht reportedly paid for the torture and murder of a Silk Road employee he thought stole from him and might blow his cover (that sum was paid to an undercover officer and the murder never happened)


The range, in feet, within which Ulbricht lived to a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi network; Ulbricht reportedly logged into it without anonymizing himself in order to administer the Silk Road site, which alerted investigators


The number of false identification documents Ulbricht reportedly ordered from a Canadian Silk Road user; the documents — one of which contained Ulbricht’s photo and real birth date — were seized by Customs and led to Ulbricht’s eventual arrest

$3.6 Million

The dollar equivalent of Bitcoin digital currency the FBI seized when shutting down the Silk Road site

The amount of time Ulbricht would spend locked up if convicted on all charges