> As can be seen in the code, the two targeted URLs are github.com/greatfire and github.com/cn-nytimes, which are mirror sites for GreatFire.org and the Chinese New York Times. GreatFire and NYT both use GitHub to circumvent the online censorship performed by the Great Firewall of China (GFW).
Bitcoin allows transactions that only become valid once 2 of 3 people sign them. If the three people are buyer, seller, and arbitrator, you can have escrow without trusting a third party. There have already been commercial services along those lines.
Seems to me that any dark service that doesn't do it that way probably shouldn't be trusted.
The article mentions that Evolution provides such a service, but it didn't get heavily used. Quoting from the article
>That system, would require at least two out of three parties in a transaction—the buyer, the seller, and Evolution’s administrators—to sign off on a deal. But due to its complexity, buyers rarely used the feature.
Edit: apparently this does not use bitcoins version of it, but their own that requires them to hold the funds in escrow. Which seems pretty stupid.
You have to trust the arbitrator to make fair decisions, but the arbitrator has no ability to steal the money.
The transaction simply moves funds between buyer and seller. If buyer and seller both sign the transaction, it completes without the arbitrator's involvement. If buyer and seller dispute, then the one who hopes to complete the transaction signs it and contacts the arbitrator, who will either sign, or not sign, but either way never gets possession of the funds.
The bitcoin model alone doesn't fit buying drugs online. The purpose of escrow is a mutually agreeable middleman to facilitate a transaction, especially when parties that do not trust each-other can not exchange goods and payment in person.
In one model of escrow, the middleman receives both the goods and cash before distributing them to the other parties. Potentially doing some inspection of goods at the time too.
In another model, more common on the internet, the middleman holds the money from the buyer while the seller ships the goods to the seller. They can't guarantee the buyer does not lie to the middleman, but it changes the incentive structure around fraud. Especially so when the middleman runs or has connections to the marketplace.
A side benefit, but I wouldn't say the whole point. There are some cases where middlemen are necessary - the difference being that they're a lot more avoidable with BTC than they are in meatspace. (Credit cards, authorities who rob people carrying large amounts of cash, and so on.)
I'd much rather have someone charge up fraudulent charges on my credit card than Bitcoin, I would much more likely be getting that money back and letting the CC fraud department deal with it. That guarantee is a major selling point of why so many people use credit cards in the first place.