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Seller's reputation and capacity on the illicit drug markets: 11-month study on the Finnish version of the Silk Road

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Aims This 11-month study analyzed illicit drug sales on the anonymous Tor network, with a focus on investigating whether a seller's reputation and capacity increased daily drug sales. Design and setting The data were gathered from Silkkitie, the Finnish version of the Silk Road, by web crawling the site on a daily basis from (November 2014 to September 2015). The data include information on sellers (n = 260) and products (n = 3823). Measurements The measurements include the sellers’ reputation, the sale amounts (in euros), the number of available products and the types of drugs sold. The sellers’ capacity was measured using their full sales potential (in euros). Fixed-effects regression models were used to estimate the effects of sellers’ reputation and capacity; these models were adjusted for the types of drugs sold. Findings Overall, illicit drug sales totalled over 2 million euros during the study, but many products were not sold at all, and sellers were active for only a short time on average (mean = 62.8 days). Among the products sold, stimulants were most widely purchased, followed by cannabis, MDMA, and psychedelics. A seller's reputation and capacity were both associated with drug sales. Conclusion The Tor network has enabled a transformation in drug sales. Due to the network's anonymity, the seller's reputation and capacity both have an impact on sales.


  • Anonymity, Cryptomarket, Illicit drugs, Internet, Longitudinal, Tor network, Web crawling

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland