Dream Market Crashed, Affected Users’ Funds

technician at work with computer
Dream Market has confirmed a hardware malfunction in their escrow system, which is preventing some users from accessing their money.

The popular dark web trading site Dream Market has been reportedly having issues with its escrow account system, which is subsequently preventing some users from accessing and withdrawing their funds.

The issue is said to have resulted from a hardware malfunction.

Confirming this predicament, one user claimed he received the following message while attempting to complete a transaction: “This vendor isn’t allowed to finalize early.”

Surprisingly, he is not the only victim in this unfolding, since a host of other users has raised their concerns on Reddit citing similar difficulties.

What’s more, there are some saying that this issue is not new; in fact, it began a few months back.

They believe that this concern is not as much about early finalizing as is now the common perception—users have been attempting to withdraw money from their individual escrow accounts on time but Dream Market will still not allow them to do so.

Following these ongoing problems, the marketplace’s admins have restated by maintaining that there is a limit to the total funds which they can release to users.

Given the admins’ delayed response, some users are already questioning the real intentions of the dark web marketplace.

The story is similar for all the affected users. In truth, some claim that those running Dream Market might as well be typical scammers, even going further to caution potential customers from depositing their funds on the site.

The frustration is widespread indeed. One client, for instance, claimed that while he attempted to dispute an order to reacquire his funds, the dispute button—normally present—was unavailable in this instance.

This resulted in the auto-finalization of the order in as little as 14 days. In his final comments written on Reddit, he expressed his lack of understanding on exactly what was unfolding.

Word around town is that Dream Market is, in fact, orchestrating an exclusive exit scam. Speculation was particularly rampant after the site experienced an outage earlier, lasting only a few hours.

Cybersecurity Forces Soldier Arrests Hooded Hacker
Users feared that the market was seized by law

During this time, many users worried the market had been seized by law enforcement.

But this was before the escrow payment system was reported to be non-functional.

Now, according to the market’s subreddit homepage, users are leaning more toward believing Dream Market’s admins are orchestrating an exit scam.

And what’s even more shocking is that Dream has allegedly confirmed to some of the account holders that despite sanctioning their exclusive FE rights, all dealings over 0.6 BTC would need to get approval by admins.

For these users, it sounds rather unreasonable for the site’s support team to be involved in every private transaction done over 0.6 BTC, which translates to around $300.

Nonetheless, this appears to be a recurrent issue since a few months back when other account holders also raised a similar concern on Reddit.

These displeased holders are urging all account holders to immediately withdraw all their Bitcoin funds from their respective accounts. According to them, the faster they do it, the better and safer it is for them.

This hardware crash is apparently sparing no one, with both big and small vendors suffering the same predicament. Astoundingly, even holders with a 4.95/5 overall rating are also in the mix.

This, however, goes to dispel the idea that the only casualties are the low-rated accounts.

As is now commonly perceived, the notion that Dream is purportedly delaying the release of funds (escrow coins) to users in order to pull a typical exit scam seems to have settled well with many of the traders.

In the end, traders can only wait to see what unfolds.

But in reality, it would be difficult for Dream Market to pull off the ‘so-called’ exit scam, the reason being that they are not large enough to amass sufficient Bitcoin funds that will make it worthwhile.

Dream Market: The Most Popular Bitcoin-Powered Darknet Market

Dark web data intelligence provider Terbium Labs and blockchain analytics.
Dark web data intelligence provider Terbium Labs and blockchain analytics.

A recent partnership between information security firm Terbium Labs and a popular blockchain analytics startup known as Skry has revealed that Dream Market is now the most popular bitcoin-based darknet market.

Terbium Labs, which is also the creator of the revolutionary Matchlight data intelligence system, partnered with Skry and together, they analyzed millions of URLs to determine which among three of the biggest darknet markets at the moment is the most popular.

Dream Market came out on top as the one with the most hits when it was placed side by side with heavyweights such as the AlphaBay Market and The Majestic Garden.

Case Study to be Used as a Countermeasure

The two firms plan to use the results of the study as a countermeasure against some of the proposed bitcoin upgrades, specifically those that will improve user privacy on the blockchain.

Some of the anticipated upgrades expected from bitcoin include Voldemort’s MimbleWimble and CoinJoin, both of which promise to enhance the privacy of bitcoin users on public blockchain transactions.

The collaboration between Terbium Labs and Skry seeks to prove more than just the popularity of Dream Market.

In addition to providing useful insight to the law enforcement in the tracking of criminal activities on dark web marketplaces, the two firms will also supply this information to financial institutions and bitcoin-based companies.

They will also be monitoring the most used products on these blockchains and other bitcoin ledgers.

Matchlight Used to Scan Millions of Public Keys

Skry says they use data feeds from Terbium’s Matchlight system to monitor Bitcoin public keys.

Formerly known as Coinalytics, Skry employed the use of Terbium Labs’ Matchlight to index 3.7 million public keys that were obtained from password-protected forums, Tor hidden services, darknet markets such as Dream Market, and paste sites, among others.

Out of 11,000 URLs from the dark web, 22,000 public keys were obtained. 798 of these were unique bitcoin public keys.

The URLs were then taken through Skry’s analytic platform where they were further processed and aggregated to provide more accurate associative information.

Dream Market took the lead with 353 public keys and was followed closely by AlphaBay Market, which had 298 public keys.

The Majestic Garden, the third most popular bitcoin-powered darknet market, had 75 public keys.

Bitcoin Still On Top

Despite the notably increased efforts to keep bitcoin tracking at a manageable level for entities such as law enforcement, the digital currency still stands out as the most used type of currency on dark web platforms.

Two Department of War Studies professors from King’s College in London published a report that backed the fact bitcoin is still the preferred digital currency for conducting a variety of transactions on popular darknet markets such as AlphaBay and the Dream Market.

The report, “Cryptopolitik and the Darknet” elucidated how bitcoin formed the backbone of the dark trade since it is the only common currency used in Tor hidden service trades.

Other cryptocurrencies such as Monero have seen a notable rise in usage, especially after their integration with the AlphaBay Market. Monero’s main appeal lies in its strong privacy users, something that bitcoin cannot measure up to as it is at the moment.

Nevertheless, the introduction of coin-mixing services, the most popularly known being CleanCoin, has significantly enhanced the privacy of users wishing to keep their online activities untraceable by offering bitcoin users the opportunity to exchange the digital currency with a number of sources, making it virtually impossible to track the origin of the transaction.

Combined with the fact that bitcoin is easier to convert into multiple currencies and back, it is more likely to remain the preferred method of trade.

Dream Market Leader in Quality

The popularity of Dream Market comes as no surprise given the fact that it currently produces some of the best quality products and has the most reputable vendors on the dark web.

Other than the fact that tightly-run ship also includes a 4% commission on every sale, there is little else that the site can be faulted for.

Dream Market And The Virtual Currency Bitcoin

A lot of people think that Google and other search engines have the power to index most web pages for a certain search query. However, the truth is that there is a large part of the internet that Google’s crawling spiders cannot access. This untraceable part by crawling spiders is known as the Dark Web. Despite dark web being linked to cyber-criminals, it is also vastly used by people with good intentions such as whistle-blowers, bloggers, bitcoin enthusiasts, and other individuals that prefer to have their online practices done beneath the surface of the internet.

Technically, anything from firearms to illegal drugs can be bought or sold on Bitcoin. Ideally, e-commerce on the dark web is completely dependent on bitcoin. Although a lot of darknet markets such as Dream Market sell illicit drugs, there are those that are fully geared towards marketing their legal products and services.

So, what is Bitcoin?

what is bitcoin
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that is created electronically. This currency is not controlled by anyone. It is not printed just like euros or dollars. With bitcoin, you can freely buy things online; meaning it is the same thing as buying with other currencies the likes of dollars that are also traded digitally. However, what makes Bitcoin different is the fact that it is decentralized. In fact, there is no institution or body that controls the bitcoin network. Bitcoin was founded by Satoshi Nakamoto, who is a software developer. The idea was to give rise to the independence of the currency, free from central authority, one that would electronically transfer payments almost instantly with low transaction rates.

Here, the virtual currency Bitcoin has been based on mathematics as opposed to other currencies that are presented in the form of silver or gold. Today, so many businesses and individuals are using mathematical formula software programs to produce bitcoins. Some of the key characteristics that set it apart from other currencies include:

  • It is an easy set up – Unlike conventional currencies that are governed by bureaucracy where setting up an account is a tough task; here, setting up an address will only take you a few seconds. Also, you are charged no fees for setting up, and no questions are asked.
  • Anonymity – If you wish, you can hold as many accounts as you want. All the addresses are not linked to any names or personal identity.
  • Decentralization – Here, the network is governed by one central authority. Should any network go offline, the money keeps flowing!
  • Transparency – Every detail that concerns the network on transactions is stored. In fact, if you have any publicly used bitcoin, anyone can tell how many bitcoins the address has.
  • It makes quick transactions – Immediately your bitcoin payment is processed, it is delivered in a matter of minutes anywhere you want.

Dream Market

The dark web is today famous for its online black markets. In these markets, intrepid shoppers are free to use bitcoin alongside other cryptocurrency to buy anything they want. Dream Market is an online black market that offers drugs, drug paraphernalia, digital goods, and even erotica. Before accessing sites such as Dream Market, it is advised to always have a VPN (with good encryption) and be sure to use it with Tor. Using VPN along with Tor will make one’s online activity anonymous.

Although not many dark web users have learned of it, Dream Market remains to be the oldest dark web marketplace. Dream Market was created to support the free market trade around the world. With it operating regardless of jurisdiction, the market no longer follows the local regulations. This means one can very easily get products that are not legalized in their country. It is in a line of escrow markets supporting the Tor network and the Bitcoin currency.

Anyone can browse the Dream Market, but cannot sell or buy without an account. Here, just like in other marketplaces, bitcoin is the leading currency.

Dream Market: Features

Although Dream Market is the oldest existing dark web marketplace, not all dark web market users have heard of it; which is odd, especially if you consider the reliability of the goods and services that they offer. The key to their success lays perhaps in the customer-oriented service, dual rating system, top security and anonymity for both vendors and buyers, and many other neat features.

The following are just some of the features offered by Dream Market:
1. Using bitcoin transactions to increase anonymity – this is especially useful if you are buying or selling items on the Dark Web. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that’s not easily traceable, unlike regular currencies (hence the appeal!). There’s no way that anyone can trace back to your purchase, especially if you do everything right (look into bitcoin tumbling).

2. Escrow system to prevent fraud – this system has proved quite useful on many dark web markets and is also used on Dream Market. The basic idea is the following: when ordering an item from the marketplace, buyers pay for it, but instead of the bitcoins going directly to the seller, it is held in escrow on the website and waits there until the buyer confirms that he received what he paid for. In case the buyer forgets to confirm, the system will automatically confirm receipt of the item and release the bitcoins after certain amount of time. However, for this particular service, you have to be a trusted and qualified seller. This way, both parties are protected from frauds. (Unless the website performs an exit scam and the admins take to their heels with the escrowed bitcoins.)
3. Dual rating system to increase trust – this feature works similarly as rating on any other eCommerce shop, such as Amazon or eBay. Both, buyer and seller can give each other ratings and reviews.

4. Automatic currency conversion using current exchange rates – buyers and sellers are able to see the current exchange rate for $ USD, € EUR, £ GBP, 元 Chinese Yuan. It is extremely useful because the value of the bitcoin varies from day to day, and this way you can always check.

5. PGP login for extra security – not all dark web markets offer this safety feature. PGP is the new standard of encryption and if you have the option to use it as a login, please do. Also, Dream Market offers automatic encryption of messages, which is probably the reason why Dream Market has survived all this time. Automatic encryption practically means that nobody can read your messages but the person it is intended for.

public key cryptography
6. Chat system for faster instant communication – it is probably the only dark web market that offers live chat which is pretty neat and time-efficient. It also has a built-in messaging system with conversations, making the conversations between buyers and vendors smooth, without the need for any external programs. So, everything is just a click away on the Dream Market and everything is absolutely safe. You only have to be careful and double check every link somebody sends you, because it might be a phishing link. However, this can happen to you anywhere, not just on the Dream Market.

7. Affiliate program to share profits – like any other web-based market, Dream Market offers the affiliate program. Every user can invite a new user through referral links and earn up to 25% from fees and commissions for each registered user that used their referral link.

8. Seller product and order management system – this system offers the ability to start a dispute, whether you’re a customer or a seller. Whenever you encounter a problem with closing the deal and receiving the money or receiving the goods you’ve ordered, you can start a dispute and someone from the staff will look into it.

9. Different shipping prices supported – Dream Market really seems to take care of every single customer because there are different shipping prices for different shipping distances. So, if you wish to save a bitcoin of two, all you have to do is choose to buy from a vendor physically closer to you and he will probably be able to offer you lower shipping prices.

10. Captcha secured registration and login – no bots are able to log into any account, but be careful – the captcha is case sensitive so you won’t be able to log in either if you make a mistake.

11. Support to recover lost password with PIN numbers – if you’ve forgotten or lost your password, it’s still no reason for panic – you will always be able to recover it using your PIN code. However, make sure you don’t forget that as well, for in that case you’ll have a good reason to start panicking.

12. Password update function – this enables you to change your password at any point, especially if you doubt that your account has been hacked. In that case it is certainly advisable to do that before your hacker does it for you and before he helps himself with your bitcoins.

13. phpBB board for member discussions – if you’d like to visit Dream Market’s forum just follow this link http://tmskhzavkycdupbr.onion For what it’s worth, it is quite friendly and pleasant. The staff makes it a point to respond to every question and is always willing to help. Many questions have already been asked so check before starting a thread. Login information is the same as those you use for the Dream Market.

14. Verified import of your Black Market Reloaded reputation – this basically means that if you are selling or buying at any other dark web market, you can opt to import your reputation and scores from there. You will get a badge and ratings as well so it’s clear to everybody that you are a verified user.

Dream Market is currently the only serious competitor of AlphaBay marketplace which still holds the top position among darknet markets with over 200,000 users. It is highly respected on the Dark Web and regarded as a real survivor. Even though there are much less listings on Dream Market as opposed to, say, AlphaBay, its community is pretty strong and loyal and amounts up to 125, 000 of customers.