Summary of The Rise and Fall of Silk Road

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

The Rise and Fall of Silk Road summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans


8 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

9 Style


In early 2015, a jury found Ross Ulbricht guilty of creating and running the drug-selling e-commerce website Silk Road. But how exactly did Ulbricht come to create Silk Road, and how, with all the encryption and secrecy standing in the way of discovery, did law enforcement ultimately bring Ulbricht to justice? In this long article, Wired reporter Joshuah Bearman weaves a detailed and gripping narrative of the various individuals – including Ulbricht, Silk Road employee Curtis Green, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force and FBI agent Chris Tarbell – and the encryption technology which played a part in the Silk Road saga. In detailing the rise of Silk Road and the evolution of its founder from political experimenter to brutal businessman, Bearman also raises larger questions about the nature of identity and the corrupting influence of power. getAbstract recommends this article to everyone interested in the intersections among digital technologies, politics, law, philosophy and identity.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Silk Road website operated,
  • How Ross Ulbricht functioned as the mysterious founder and leader of Silk Road, and
  • How law enforcement found and prosecuted Ulbricht and closed the Silk Road case.

About the Author

Joshuah Bearman writes for Rolling Stone, Harper’s, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer and McSweeney’s and contributes to This American Life.



From Libertarian Ideals to Silk Road
The seeds of the philosophy which Ross Ulbricht would one day cite as inspiration for his clandestine e-commerce website, Silk Road, were planted during his time as a master’s student at Penn State. Ulbricht’s field was science, but he developed a strong...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

China's New Revolution
Inside the Hunt for Russia’s Most Notorious Hacker
Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2016
Inside the Cyberattack That Shocked the US Government
How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons
The Neuroscience of Strategic Leadership

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Edward Brown 2 years ago
    This summary, reminds me of the recent summary of "the subtle art of not giving a fuck" in that it seems to signal a new willingness on the part of Get Abstract to summarize "badass" content that pushes the envelope.
    Bravo! Keep up the great work!