The only method of payment for these illegal purchases is an untraceable peer-to-peer currency known as Bitcoins. After purchasing Bitcoins through an exchange, a user can create an account on Silk Road and start purchasing illegal drugs from individuals around the world and have them delivered to their homes within days.
quote: I'd like to point out that bitcoins are not just a currency for traders. There exists a plethora of merchandise and services that can be purchased with bitcoins. Many articles have reported that some people buy drugs with bitcoins online through silk road. But bitcoins are and always were bigger than silk road. You can buy just about anything with bitcoins. To prove this point, a handful of sites have popped up that aggregate all items and services that may be purchased using bitcoins (example searchbitcoin.com). Obviously, the bitcoin economy is strong and growing.
quote: However, market volatility poses a very serious risk to BTC users -- be they miners, traders, or merchants who accept BTC as payment for goods or services.
quote: Clearly, though the market growth may be slowed by the wild swings in value....which is why today's events are very important and must be considered.