By Nick Bilton
In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht introduced the final word unfastened industry: the Silk highway, a clandestine site hosted at the darkish internet the place a person may possibly alternate 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 bought wind of the hot website the place anyone—not simply young ones and weed buyers 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, without leads, no witnesses, and no transparent jurisdiction. all of the investigators knew was once that whoever used to be working the positioning known as himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.
The Silk street quick ballooned into $1.2 billion company, and Ross embraced his new position as kingpin. He enlisted a devoted group of allies in low and high locations, all as hooked on the risk and thrill of working an unlawful market as their shoppers have been to the heroin they offered. 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 specific entry to key avid gamers and billion electronic phrases and pictures Ross left in the back of, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling writer Nick Bilton bargains a story full of twists and turns, fortunate breaks and incredible shut calls. It’s a narrative of the boy subsequent door’s ambition long past felony, spurred on through the conflict among the hot global of libertarian-leaning, nameless, decentralized net advocates and the outdated international of presidency regulate, order, and the rule of thumb of legislations. packed with unforgettable characters and capped by means of an dazzling climax, American Kingpin may be disregarded as too outrageous for fiction. yet it’s all too real.
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American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton