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Messages - Dread Pirate Roberts

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This topic has been moved to Drug safety (https://dkn255hz262ypmii.onion.to/index.php?board=10.0).


Silk Road discussion / MOVED: Pharmville Rocks
« on: October 19, 2011, 06:54 pm »
This topic has been moved to Rumor mill (https://dkn255hz262ypmii.onion.to/index.php?board=7.0).


Silk Road discussion / Re: Site outage
« on: October 19, 2011, 06:52 pm »

dear god tell me im not fucked.

You're ok, you'll be taken care of as soon as we can.  Sorry for the stress :)

Silk Road discussion / Re: Site outage
« on: October 19, 2011, 05:32 pm »
First post in this thread updated

Silk Road discussion / MOVED: 18kct ripper or not?
« on: October 19, 2011, 07:00 am »
This topic has been moved to Rumor mill (https://dkn255hz262ypmii.onion.to/index.php?board=7.0).


Until we get a flagging system in place, please report any CP listings asap via the contact us link.

Silk Road discussion / Re: Site outage
« on: October 19, 2011, 06:10 am »
hmmmm.... if the site rolled back to 10/14 is that possibly why my password isn't working? I've changed all my passwords within the last 3 days.  :o

Just message me on the main site once it is up from your RapidImprovement account and I'll do a pass reset for you.

Silk Road discussion / Re: Site outage
« on: October 19, 2011, 02:18 am »
Supposedly Anonymous, or someone posing as him, brought down several .onion sites for whatever reason using dos attacks.  Not sure if true or not.

I hadn't heard about this, but I haven't seen anything to indicate that we were a target.

Silk Road discussion / forum issues
« on: October 19, 2011, 02:15 am »
Hash: SHA1

There have been some strange things happening on the forums lately that I would like to try to explain.

1) Two forums.  We recently switched the forum over to a new, faster server and upgraded it from v2.0 to v2.0.1.  We did this because we are going to be hosting a couple of other services on the server and the forums were getting a little sluggish anyway.  We got a bunch of reports that there were two versions of the forum, but not until now did I realize what that meant.  We must have left the old forum running on the old server at the same .onion url.  I could have sworn this didn't happen, but it is the only explanation I can think of.  In any case, that server is off now and we shouldn't have this problem any longer.
2) Missing posts.  There was a hole discovered in the forum software we use that allowed a user to gain administrative privileges.  Some members of the community told us about it and we applied the patch, but in the mean-time, whoever was exploiting the hole deleted a bunch of posts.
3) Forum down completely.  Today the forum was down completely.  This was unrelated to the outage of the main site.  We still don't know the reason for the outage, but it looks like the server simply froze because a hard reboot brought it back to normal.

I know it has been frustrating, but thank you for your patience through all of this.  We'll continue doing everything in our power to ensure smooth sailing from here on out :)

As a side note, I'll often read posts on the forum expressing frustration and asking for a solution to some problem.  Whenever I see these posts, I try to address the issue, but I don't read everything and some posts don't get reported.  If you have an issue you want a response to, just use the contact us link on the main site and we'll do our best to help you.

Version: GnuPG v2.0.14 (GNU/Linux)


Silk Road discussion / Site outage
« on: October 19, 2011, 01:47 am »
Hash: SHA1

We are terribly sorry for the sudden outage today. We will be back up as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

We are having to rebuild the site from a backup. All Bitcoins in user accounts and the escrow are accounted for and all site data has been saved except for roughly the last 30 minutes of activity preceding the outage. Any messages you sent or activity you engaged in during that window will have to be re-done except for deposits and withdrawals. Also, all of the pictures were not backed up, so sellers will need to re-upload them.

There was no security breach or anything to worry about that lead to this situation. We lease server space in different locations around the globe through unaware 3rd parties. We do this to hide the identities of those that run Silk Road in the event of a security breach in one of the servers. Unfortunately, this means we have to deal with some unreliable people who, without revealing too much detail, didn't keep their promises and lead to our servers being shutdown

It is taking so long to get back online because we have to re-download the Bitcoin block-chain through Tor. My hope is that we can get back up by 2 am EST. If we aren't back up by then, I'll recalibrate my estimate and post it here.

Also, the forum is down for completely unrelated reasons and we are working on that too.

Thanks again for your understanding.

Version: GnuPG v2.0.14 (GNU/Linux)


UPDATE:  2am EST has come and gone.  I'm still running test to make sure everything is working as it should on the new forum.  I forgot how complicated this site is!  My new estimate is 4am EST.

...and we're back!  I'll be checking messages for the next hour or so, so if anything is amiss with the restored site please message me asap.  Thanks for hanging in there.  We'll keep doing our best to make sure this kind of thing never happens again.

UPDATE:  Looks like I spoke too soon.  The site is down once more, most likely due to an overload of traffic from everyone getting back on the site and sellers uploading their pics all at once.  I will update you here as soon as I know more.

UPDATE:  I just opened the site back up.  Here's a reprint of the announcement:

We have been experiencing technical difficulties over the past couple of days. This is nothing to be overly concerned about. We will be back to normal soon. We are opening the site back up again but this time with image uploading disabled. Hopefully our backup server can handle the traffic this time, but if it goes down again, we will stay down until we can get a more powerful server online. Click here for more details.

IMPORTANT: Please do not use past addresses for future deposits. Only use the bold address on your account page. We have not gotten to the bottom of it yet, but it is possible that we lost some of the old addresses during the switch to the backup server.

One other thing, we are not auto-finalizing orders or moderating past-due resolutions for at least a couple of days so everyone can catch up from not having access to the site.Thanks again for everyone's patience through all of this. We've received far more encouragement than complaints these past couple of days, so thank you for standing behind the site :)

UPDATE: Ok, looks like we're down again.  I was pretty hopeful it would work that time, oh well.  We've been working on a full capacity backup all along anyway, so we should have that up soon, possibly within 12 hours though I'll post something more concrete when I know.  Hang in there gang, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  Also, for everyone concerned about missing bitcoin deposits, do not worry.  We will get it sorted out and your account will be credited one way or another.  Sorry for the stress :)

UPDATE 1AM UTC:  Nothing much else to add to the update.  Just want to reassure everyone that we are doing everything in our power to get the site back up.  We are pursuing two separate paths in parallel and whichever is finished first is when we'll be back up.  Hard to say when that will be, I'll update as soon as I know more.

UPDATE 8AM UTC 10/21/2011:  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger!  We have a full capacity server online and are in the process of configuring it.  Two other independent, full capacity servers are in the pipeline to serve as backups, so if we ever have an unexpected outage again we won't be scrambling to find a server that can handle the traffic.  I am so incredibly sorry this happened.  Thank you for hanging in there and being so understanding :)

UPDATE 1:00PM UTC 10/21/2011:  We are sooooo close to going live again.  And I am sooooo exhausted :)  We're still doing the final tests and configurations, but I'm going to want to get a little sleep before we go live, so once we are ready to go, I am going to get a few hours of sleep, then wake up and launch so I will have the energy to oversee how it's going and respond to everyone's messages that I'm sure will come flooding in.  See you soon :)

UPDATE 9:18PM UTC 10/21/2011:  Got some rest.  We are working out some bugs in the new setup, gotta be thorough.  We should be able to go live sometime in the next 12 hours.

UPDATE 1:18AM UTC 10/22/2011:  What an ordeal!  The site just went live.  The new server is more powerful and secure than the one we were on before the outage and is leased through a much more professional proxy, so I have high hopes that it will last us a long time.  We've amped up our backup plans none the less and will have multiple independent full-capacity servers waiting in the wings at all times.  I don't want to speak too soon, though.  This is a new system and if something goes wrong, we may have to take the site down again, but like I said things are looking much better now.  Again, I am honored by everyone's support and patience this week.  I love you all :D

UPDATE 4:00AM UTC 10/22/2011:  You may have noticed the site being down for a minute or two every 15 min or so over the past couple of hours.  We figured out the problem was our system running into an arbitrary limit in the configuration.  We increased the limit and should be running more smoothly now.

Rumor mill / Re: Digital Goods Vendor - Digital Express
« on: October 04, 2011, 05:21 pm »
It breaks my heart to hear all of your stories about being ripped off.  I never expected Silk Road to become an exchange site because there are so many other sites doing just that, and there is no real security advantage to buying bitcoins from Silk Road itself.  In fact, it is less secure.  If you buy from an exchanger and have them send your coins to your Silk Road account address, they have no clue where they went, but an exchanger from here knows exactly what you are doing with those coins.  I would encourage everyone trying to get bitcoins to use 3rd party sites.  If you do need to use a money changer here for whatever reason, use the escrow.

Silk Road discussion / Re: Pricing and hedging improvements
« on: September 30, 2011, 03:35 pm »
we haven't changed the commission.  It is still a flat 6.23%, though I plan to change it to a sloping rate that decreases as the price of the item increases.  Sorry about the bug in the auto-withdraw addresses.  When I updated the production database to store these new addresses, i called them auto_withdrawal instead of auto_withdraw, oops.

This topic has been moved to Product offers (https://dkn255hz262ypmii.onion.to/index.php?board=5.0).


Silk Road discussion / Pricing and hedging improvements
« on: September 30, 2011, 03:34 am »
Hash: SHA1

One of the biggest challenges facing Silk Road sellers is the uncertainty surrounding the value of a Bitcoin.  Up to this point we've patched together a system that takes much of that uncertainty away through automated price adjustments and escrow hedging.  However, with huge drops in Bitcoin's value happening in a matter of hours or days, some unlucky sellers who try to give us the best prices possible have still had to take substantial losses.

Through some small changes, we've now reduced the exposure to the exchange rate that sellers have to endure to the small amount of time it takes to transfer their coins off-site.  Here's what we did:

1) Orders are hedged as soon as they are placed.  We were hedging orders as soon as they were shipped because we didn't want buyers to get back a different amount in case of a cancellation.  Almost 100% of orders are shipped without being canceled, so we decided that it would be worth it to do it this way now.  To quote from the Buyer's Guide: "when getting a refund for hedged items, don't be surprised if the number of Bitcoins you get back is not the same as the amount you paid."  It could be more or less, but the dollar value should be the same, and because the prices of almost all of the items on the site are dynamically adjusted to constant dollar values, your purchasing power should be mostly unaffected if this happens.

2) You can now price your items in dollars directly.  Just make sure you are set to view prices in USD not BTC.

3) You can now enable auto-withdraw.  From the Seller's Guide:

"To minimize the time between when Bitcoins are credited to your account and when you are able to convert them to your currency of choice, and therefore minimizing your exposure to exchange rate fluctuations, we provide an auto-withdrawal feature.  Every time a payment comes into your account your entire balance will automatically be withdrawn to three Bitcoin addresses of your choice.  This feature can be enabled on your settings page.

Pro-tip: set your auto-withdrawal addresses to deposit addresses at an exchange site and keep an open sell order there that is below the market rate, so as soon as the funds are confirmed there, they will be converted into your currency of choice."

So, except for the time between when the auto-withdrawal is initiated and when the transfer is confirmed (1-2 hours or so) your payment will be fully hedged to the US Dollar.

Some things to keep in mind:  The price you set for your items in USD is not likely to be the price you get in the end.  There is about a 4% loss during the hedging and unhedging process, a fee at the exchanger you use plus or minus the change in the exchange rate while your payment is being transferred there, and whatever fees you pay to get your funds from the exchanger to you.  Hopefully this is predictable enough that you can set your price to include these losses and know with some certainty exactly how much you will take home from a sale.

Thank you for your patience in getting to this point.  Our hope is that this refinement to our system will allow sellers to price their items confidently and not have to price in extra to cover unforeseen losses from exchange rate fluctuations.

A note of caution: it is possible for an adversary to discover your auto-withdrawal address by looking for a transaction in the block-chain around the time they finalize a transaction with you for an amount similar to what they paid you (adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations if hedging).  To help obscure your withdrawals, you must enter 3 withdrawal addresses.  Your withdrawal will then be made in 3 random sized chunks to these three addresses with a small, random delay in-between them.  These addresses can all be on the same wallet or exchange account so you don't have to keep track of multiple wallets.  This will help them blend in to all of the other transactions, but you should change your withdrawal addresses regularly so that an adversary can't see any patterns over multiple transactions.

As always, if you have any questions, just let us know.

Version: GnuPG v2.0.14 (GNU/Linux)


Silk Road discussion / Re: SR log in problem
« on: September 27, 2011, 04:51 am »
Hash: SHA1

..and we're back!  So sorry for the unannounced outage.  I didn't want to pull the trigger on our back-up systems until I was sure it was necessary, and it looks like it wasn't necessary after all.  We'll try to keep such outages to a minimum going forward :)

Version: GnuPG v2.0.14 (GNU/Linux)


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