CyLab Seminar: Traveling the Silk Road

Time: October 8, 2012 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: DEC@CIC, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh


CyLab is pleased to host INI Associate Director Dr. Nicolas Christin as the speaker for this week's seminar. The talk is titled "Traveling the Silk Road: A measurement analysis of a large online anonymous marketplace."

The CyLab seminar takes place every Monday at noon during the semester, typically in the INI Distributed Education Center classroom at the Collaborative Innovation Center (DEC@CIC). Free pizza is provided for lunch.

Speaker: Nicolas Christin

Talk Abstract:

We perform a comprehensive measurement analysis of Silk Road, an anonymous, international online marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We gather and analyze data over eight months between the end of 2011 and 2012, including daily crawls of the marketplace for nearly six months in 2012.

We obtain a detailed picture of the type of goods being sold on Silk Road, and of the revenues made both by sellers and Silk Road operators. We further show that the marketplace has been operating steadily, with daily sales and number of sellers overall increasing over the past few months. We discuss economic and policy implications of our analysis and results.