A Heroin Store

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As a Libertarian, the thing I love most about the Bitcoin project is the chance that it could be truly disruptive.

I think that drug prohibition is one of the most socially harmful things that the US has ever done, and so I would like to do a thought experiment about how a heroin store might operate, accepting Bitcoins, and ending drug prohibition in the process. We'll assume that the drug store is very high profile, and that law enforcement makes discovering the operator a high priority. We'll also assume that heroin is cheap when bought in bulk; the street price reflects the risk that street dealers must take to sell their product.

A drug dealer would set up a website that accepts Bitcoins for heroin. Orders would require a physical address for shipping. When an order comes in, the dealer would send heroin through the mail to two addresses: the address provided, and another random address. Because packages of heroin are now arriving at addresses across the country, receiving a package does not imply that you ordered it. Random addresses would be heavily reused to prevent law enforcement from making a statistical argument.

Now law enforcement could set up such a website as well, in order to discover buyers. So, the drug dealer must take half of his profits (and remember, he's already shipping 2x the amount paid for), and use them to buy heroin at other random websites, on behalf of both his customers and the random addresses that he has used.

If the post office knows that a package contains drugs, then they could send an undercover officer to deliver the mail to your door, or surreptitiously watch your mailbox to see who collects the mail, and then get a warrant to search your house to see if the package has been opened and not discarded. (IIRC, discarded materials are no longer considered in your possession.)

So, it would be important for buyers to not open any package that they suspect may contain their heroin, until they wish to consume it: they would only be in danger of possession between when the package was opened and when the contents was consumed.

Can anyone see a way to attack the store?

Sounds interesting.. but the US government has endless resources and nothing to stop them from doing things they're not supposed to.. I think if it's high profile enough you would still get busted somehow, something you didn't think of.  If you're always shipping them from the same post office they might figure it out.. 

Max Stirner:
Teppy, what a brilliant idea! Just for the theoretical approach of course! :D
I think a better concept would be to leave out the official mail system all together. There are just too many ways to get caught once you expand your business.  What you need is a bitcoin operated anonymous delivery-service. Of couse to operate a secret mail service is very dangerous for the postman. So the concept would be that the postman delivers the packet to a secret spot and never meets the recipient in person.
The heroin shop would need a website running on freenet or i2p of course - like the postal service.
Once the packet is placed on the secret spot, you will get the info - could be gps-coordinates - or some advanced app on your iphone.

Yes, I2P or Tor would work for such a website. Freenet is probably more secure because there are no entry/exit nodes to monitor, but Freesites can only serve static content, and anonymous Bitcoin payments don't have a way to include a message with them.

If every package originated at the same mailbox, then yes, I could imagine the government being able to detect the drug dealer by intensive surveillance. If the drug dealer used a random local mailbox, then it would get quite difficult because the set of people that use one of (let's say) 20 mailboxes would be huge.

And if the concept really is bulletproof, then I'd imagine 100's of such websites would quickly spring up, making LE's job even more impossible.

So when/where can I place an order?


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