“It would be nice if people could start use bitcoin for anything. “ (c) Satoshi Nakamoto, 2009 year.
Everyone heard a touching story about the first forums of Bitcoin volunteers, on one of which the Norwegian man Laszlo bought two pizzas for 70,000 bitcoins from another forum member. Since that story actually all the crypto-commerce has died for a long time. Buying a pizza really was a milestone on the way to the greatness of the “old man,” but if you make an analogy with the invention of the car, then this action can be compared only with the first dull sneeze of the first self-made internal combustion engine in the barn for the joy of the two dirty Frenchmen. And the real Henry Ford for bitcoin, who popularized the crypto-currency and indirectly the technology of blockchain, became William Ross, who saw in bitcoin a way of relatively anonymous payment for his hallucinogenic mushrooms.
In 2010, William Ross sold his small old house in Texas for $ 30,000 and began to set a small farm for cultivation of hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana on this money, guided by Jack Nimble’s famous book “The Construction and Operation of Clandestine Drug Laboratories”. At that time, to make an advertisement about drug sale was possible in the onion network Tor, but there were big problems with an anonymous payment method. Then the idea to set prices for substances in bitcoins сame across cheerful farmer Ross’es mind. Spending the last $ 10,000 on a simple site on the Tor network, Ross was amazed to find that other sellers quickly picked up his idea, and next to the mushrooms were the offers of LSD, mescaline and ecstasy with price tags in bitcoins. This was the first free market in history with a turnover of decentralized crypto-currency and the first crypto-enthusiasts who appreciated all the advantages of blockchain technology. As at March 2013, Silk Road sold more than 10 thousand goods, as well as 340 types of psychoactive substances banned in all or most countries of the world. According to data published by the FBI after the arrest of Ulbricht, for two and a half years, with the help of the site, 1.2 million transactions of 9.5 million bitcoins were conducted. Commission of the site (8–10% of the transaction) amounted to more than 600 thousand bitcoins (about 80 million dollars at the prices of that period). According to the documents of the prosecution on Ulbricht, several thousands of drug sellers and more than 100 thousands of buyers used Silk Road. On October 2, 2013, William Ross Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco thanks to an investigation by the Canadian government with nine fake documents that Ulbricht planned to use to lease servers for Silk Road. The price of bitcoin reacted to this news with a sharp drop from 124 to 82 dollars (66%) for several hours. On May 29, 2015, the judge sentenced Ulbricht to life imprisonment.
Thanks to Silk Road, the bitcoin economy was created, and the first crypto-currency was long associated with the markets of illegal goods. Nevertheless, it was William Ross, who became the second father — the “dark Satoshi Nakamoto” for bitcoin, successfully testing its use and twisting the screws of the mechanism of the global economy, when he was simply looking for a safe way to sell his mushrooms. The development of technologies is unpredictable and everything that seems today like a child’s play, like the IZX app https://izx.io/, tomorrow can gain universal recognition and millions of followers. The main thing is that technology works and PR is only a matter of time.