The owner and operator of Silk Road, aliased as Dread Pirate Roberts, announced on August 2nd, 2012 that “The Armory”, an extension of Silk Road focused on allowing users to anonymously buy and sell munitions, will be closing. Roberts cited a low and continuously declining number of transactions – enough that the 10% take of Silk Road wasn’t even enough to keep the servers paid – as reason for discontinuing this particular arm of the Silk Road marketplace. Some users explain user dis-interest with high prices on The Armory, and too much competition from local dealers, who can still retain customer privacy while conducting legal transactions.
The Armory is not yet closed – a countdown has been initiated, to end at 8:10 PM GMT on August 15th. Roberts warns users to finish up their current business and withdraw any lingering funds before the countdown is reached.
Many Bitcoin users have expressed joy over the closure, either for personal anti-gun reasons, or for the removal of a potential derogatory connotation of Bitcoins with the illegal sale of firearms.
Despite this closure, there may be hope in the future for those interested in anonymously pawning and procuring guns online. Roberts states, “if we are going to serve an anonymous weapons market, I think it will require more careful thought an[d] planning,” indicating the possibility of a future restoration of the service after some additional forethought on the design.
What do you think about the closure of The Armory? Post your comment below, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.