A new study claims that having sites like Silk Road, where customers can buy illegal drugs online, could curb drug-related bloodshed in the streets.

According to the report by University of Lausanne criminologist David Decary-Hetu and University of Manchester law professor Judith Aldridge

"This new breed of drug dealer is… likely to be relatively free from the violence typically associated with traditional drug markets." 

"Whereas violence [in the traditional drug trade] was commonly used to gain market share, protect turfs and resolve conflicts , the virtual location and anonymity that the cryptomarket provides reduces or eliminates the need -- or even the ability -- to resort to violence."

So, in short, buying illegal drugs online limits the physical transactions that people pre-Silk Road customers had to resort to. As the paper describes, "In the drugs cryptomarket era, having good customer service and writing skills…may be more important than muscles and face-to-face connections."

[via Wired UK]