Behind ‘Deep Web’: Alex Winter’s excellent Bitcoin adventure

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There's a shadowy corner of deep web the untold story of bitcoin and silkroad online free Internet where real names give way to aliases, and ". In this space, privacy and anonymity are dogma, and government-imposed laws draw scoffs more than reverence.

The "deep web," as it's known, is where users ranging from do-gooders to cybercriminals employ cutting-edge technology to mask their identities and interact with others around the globe. As you might expect, not many camera crews are allowed meaningful inside access to this world. Despite these challenges, director and producer Alex Winter said he is shooting interviews for a feature-length documentary he plans to call Deep Web: More recently, Winter directed Downloadeda documentary on Napster and the advent of digital file sharing, which debuted in March at South by Southwest.

Zipper's feature Undefeated won an Academy Award for best documentary. The film, as with most any documentary, will likely hinge on the quality of the sources. Winter said it was too early in the process to tip his hand on who it will feature, but he called them the "core players.

Winter became interested in this topic in with the release of Bitcointhe digital cryptocurrency many on the deep web use in financial transactions. Bitcoin has become increasingly valuable since its release, and it's currently trading at all-time highs.

As advocates for the currency try to push it into the mainstream, Congress is trying to figure out how to handle the challenges Bitcoin presents from a legal perspective. Though it's not foolproof, Bitcoin allows for relative anonymity. The film will likely feature another trademark dark web software called Tor, which stands for "the onion router.

At their best, deep web users have created a safe space to facilitate free expression and political dissent for those under oppressive governments. On the other end of the spectrum, the deep web harbors child pornography, a crowdsourcing site for assassinations and other criminal enterprises. Silk Road is perhaps the most famous deep web the untold story of bitcoin and silkroad online free web black market to date. About a month later, a new Silk Road launchedmade to look exactly like the original.

Though Silk Road is in the title of Winter's documentary, he stressed that the film is not solely about Silk Road. Indeed, there are many other online black markets on the deep web, but Silk Road has become emblematic because of its size and the significant attention it has received since the FBI takedown and subsequent re-launch. Winter and his team launched a crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter for the film Wednesday, though not out of financial necessity.

He said the goal of the campaign is to build a strong community of people to be invested and involved throughout the filmmaking process. This is meant to mirror what will be one of the deep web film's main themes: Though don't expect the product anytime soon; Winter has yet to set a targeted release date.

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Critics of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have long contended that their widespread use would empower hackers and other criminals. Purported anonymity, ease of cross border transport, lack of clear regulations, and settlement finality are all features of cryptocurrencies that may appeal to those who wish to skirt the law. Gox bitcoin exchange, which sparked a vicious bear market in the price of bitcoin. Ulbricht got around this conundrum by using bitcoin as a payment method. Bitcoin addresses do not require a bank account, ID, social security number or name, and are free to open and maintain.

Silk Road opened to modest beginnings, with psychedelic mushrooms grown by Ross himself listed as the first items for sale. With increased media attention, however, came increased attention from one entity Ross particularly despised, the U.

Silk Road continued to grow, and with its growth, came continued problems. In November, Silk Road suffered a massive denial-of-service attack, which eventually shut the site down. Chronicpain, or Curtis Green, was eventually arrested and released on bail.

By the summer of , Silk Road was approaching its one-millionth account, with daily commissions often over ten thousand dollars. While Ross was a suspect at this point, the task force had not widely disseminated his name, and the agents left without making an arrest.

Ulbricht decided to change apartments, but declined to cut and run. The noose began to tighten. On October 1 st , Ross went to the local branch of the San Francisco library, laptop in hand.

As Ulbricht turned around, one agent swooped in and grabbed his open laptop, while others quickly arrested him. Ironically, an old-fashioned mistake led to the downfall of Dread Pirate Roberts. Ultimately, Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The immutable ledger or blockchain, provides a record of every transaction. The saga of Silk Road undoubtedly provided significant exposure to the idea of bitcoin and decentralized currencies.

Although this left a bad impression in the minds of many who viewed bitcoin as a vehicle for crime, Silk Road also provided an example of how bitcoin could function in the real world, proving that a decentralized currency was able to last and transfer value between participants in a global marketplace.

Casey, The Age of Crypto Currency Gox in , which led to its insolvency, crashed the price of bitcoin. See Wikipedia, Tor anonymity network , last visited, Feb. Google search unmasked Dread Pirate Roberts , bbc, Aug. Return to Fordham Law School. The Dark Side of Cryptocurrency.