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 Author Nick Bilton
ISBN-10 1591848148
ISBN-13 9781591848141
Year 2017-05-02
Pages 352
Language English
Publisher Portfolio
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The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion dollar online drug empire from his bedroomand almost got away with it 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 anythingdrugs hacking software forged passports counterfeit cash poisonsfree of the governments watchful eye It wasnt long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyonenot just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackerscould buy and sell contraband detection free Spurred by a public outcry the federal government launched an epic two year manhunt for the sites 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 himselfincluding 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 werent sure even existed searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls Its a story of the boy next doors ambition gone criminal spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian leaning anonymous decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control order and the rule of law Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction But its all too real

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