Dream Market Now the Biggest Darknet Market after AlphaBay and Hansa Takedowns

Darknet market word in binary background
Darknet marketplaces inherit massive user base surges as pioneers AlphaBay and Hansa are laid to rest by the FBI.

Ever since two of the leading darknet marketplaces shut down, massive transitions have been taking place on the dark web.

As the demand for services and products being sold haven’t gone down, users are simply migrating to Dream Market—which happens to be the biggest darknet marketplace now.

Since late July, Dream Market and a few other counterparts have experienced a 28 percent surge in overall traffic.

Dream Market in particular now features more than 98,000 postings.

Here’s the gist of what’s been unfolding over the last few weeks.

What Exactly Happened?

Speculations were rife that the highly popular darknet market AlphaBay had been seized by law authorities when it disappeared in July, and to the disappointment of millions of dark web users, the rumors turned out to be true.

Soon after AlphaBay’s demise, Hansa, another leading marketplace, was taken down as well.

With transactions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain, life has been tough on the darknet.

With the United States Department of Justice terming this operation “one of the most important investigations of the year,” it’s safe to say that this is just the beginning.

Writing on the Wall

Ever since the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation took down Silk Road back in 2013, analysts around the globe had predicted a similar fate for the dark web’s remainder of marketplaces.

This summer, AlphaBay’s servers were confiscated in an operation led by authorities mainly in the U.S., the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom and France.

Operations were also conducted in Thailand and Lithuania.

The suspected founder, Alexander Cazes, was arrested on July 5.

A week later, he was found dead in prison. Authorities state that Cazes committed suicide.

Effectively three days later, a number of Dutch authorities had complete control over Hansa.

If reports are to be believed, Hansa was secretly under the scanner for as long as a month after the initial capture.

Dream Market Emerges as New Leader

Born out of the ashes of Silk Road, like many of its other counterparts, Dream Market now features the highest number of listings—98,000 and counting.

It is also one of the oldest marketplaces on the darknet, with a loyal user base.

The fact that the website grew by 4,000 postings in just one week shows that darknet market users haven’t really stopped trading as such.

Of course, certain goods have taken a substantial hit and likely will not see the light of day until the dust settles.

Online forums had initially speculated that even Dream Market’s servers were compromised, but there seems to be no real evidence to support this.

Even though the overall consensus is to lay low, thousands of transactions are still going on at Dream Market.

The Current Scenario

tor webpage
vendors, have deserted Tor networks

Even though a swath of users, mostly vendors, have deserted Tor networks after this summer’s law enforcement takedowns, darknet marketplace sales are still going strong.

Tobacco and alcohol sales are still high, thanks to the 16 percent traffic surge that TradeRoute was blessed with.

There seems to be minimal fear despite the crackdowns, as Dream Market, TradeRoute and a number of other marketplaces have openly welcomed users who were displaced by AlphaBay’s shutdown.

This is primarily due to the fact that vendors always tend to use fake details to conduct their business, coupled with various IP proxies and VPN services.

So far, only the arms trade has taken a decent hit—a 37 percent drop off for RsClub Market was recorded.

But sales are bound to kick start again if the crackdowns come to an abrupt halt.

What Lies Ahead

A few networks report that a large chunk of usernames and passwords have been uncovered by the police and will be utilized for subsequent investigation.

The truth is, takedowns and arrests like these are inevitable in any illegal marketplace, be it online or offline.

What is interesting to note is that they hardly seem to have a decisive and fatal impact on the practice in question.

As of now, police in multiple countries seem to be in hot pursuit of several leads.

But, as to whether the trail runs cold or not, only time will tell.

Dream Market Users Encountered Log-In Issues

these factors made them believe the site was encountering problems
these factors made them believe the site was encountering problems

Some Dream Market users have been encountering difficulties with logging in on the darknet market, most of the time the site returned a “connection timed out” error upon trying to sign in.

For those who were facing these problems, it was double trouble since some of the orders they had placed ended up being unfulfilled.

However, others were more optimistic by saying that those warnings about the site were not new but had rather been there for almost a month.

While Dream Market itself has been almost 100% online for the past weeks, the main login link is still problematic for some people.

Using alternative links seems to be a better option for those trying to access the site.

error-siteApart from “connection timed out” error, other people who tried logging into Dream Market got a “password login disabled” message.

To solve this problem, users were advised to open up new accounts and contact support explaining their situation on the other account.

Another possible solution was trying one of the available mirrors to log in.

In general, the dark web site had a backup plan so that when their main URL was down; the alternative link was up and running every single time.

Those who took advantage of this factor never went through any of the troubles listed above.

Until there’s a solid proof that Dream Market is planning anything fishy, people should not worry about the darknet market planning an exit scam on them.

All these complaints are just unverified comments made mostly by those with fresh accounts on the marketplace.

Otherwise, no major warning has been issued so far and users should rest easy that the dark web site will continue running for a long period of time.

User Back, Denying Allegations That He Is A Scammer

reddit_log-100011890-large-6-300x201A dark web vendor on Dream Market has reappeared again after a short break and assured his customers that all is well; the seller apologized on Reddit for not being around and not communicating to those affected by his temporary absence. He admitted that all negative reviews posted recently by displeased buyers were completely justified; further mentioning they will receive a full refund for items bought while the dealer was away. Otherwise, they may get an extra amount in shipment if possible. This regardless of whether they decide to alter the negative comments or not.

He said that his absence was not intentional but rather due to unavoidable circumstances. Complications from an existing medical condition flared up prompting him to spend some considerable amount of time in the hospital. But even in poor health, the vendor had been thinking about his Dream Market customers whose orders were yet to be fulfilled. This condition might have resurfaced because of sheer carelessness and a previous accident.

After he had been released, he said he had gained full mental clarity to update everyone on business matters. While he expresses concern for not updating sooner, the dark web vendor stated that he doesn’t trust anyone with his Dream Market account and hence the wait. He hopes clients would be more understanding of the struggles and give him time to get his act back together. The vendor said he doesn’t always break promises and when an order is placed everything will be done to ensure clients’ needs are fulfilled. Further, describing himself as a firm believer of honest business practices, also that customers should be rest assured he’s on Dream Market to stay.

2272638a5f677ae744a7639d67dd2887 (2)Nevertheless, there are some people who’ve continued showing him continuous support despite the temporary absence, for such he’s grateful, including all those other loyal and courteous customers who understand his predicament. He said they are the reason why he will always try his best to continue trading on Dream Market for as long as possible. This appreciation extends to all future customers who may be interested in buying from him as well. Despite the comeback, he mentioned that he still needs to recover fully, though priority now is on those who didn’t receive their packages. They will be attended to immediately, plus listings and shop will also open soon, so customers don’t need to worry about placing orders.

Some people weren’t satisfied by his explanation, rather terming him a bad dealer by not having another trusted party handle his Dream Market dealings while away. Furthermore, though the trader admits that all negative reviews are welcome, he still hasn’t given steps on how such a situation can be averted again in the future. Incentives such as free handouts can help a lot in calming nerves, particularly for those who may feel aggrieved by the trader disappearing with their money. They say he needs to change his methods so that customers don’t feel screwed in the short term.

Dream Market: A Favorite Marketplace on the Dark Web

2272638a5f677ae744a7639d67dd2887 (2)Following the closure of Nucleus, most dark web users now prefer Dream Market since it has managed to withstand the test of time. Dealers are presently calling out for new buyers on Reddit hoping to attract refugees looking for a dependable darknet marketplace. Dream Market has been operational since 2013, making it the longest running online bazaar in existence. This means they’re doing something which other darknet sites have not mastered.

People choose Dream Market because the site provides a wide variety of products to buy from. Some of the items that can be found here include LSD, cocaine, weed, methamphetamine, credit cards, PayPal accounts, Netflix and much more. Additionally, there are Dream Market vendors who offer price discounts rates for customers, with some advertising on Reddit that buyers can get up to 30% off on certain products bought from them. The site also guarantees maximum anonymity for traders, which is probably the reason why they’ve managed to survive numerous takedowns by authorities.

For one to register with this marketplace, they need a referral link provided by an already established dealer or from this site. These security checks are there to ensure that everyone trading on the platform is not undercover agents working with the authorities. Many buyers prefer using Dream Market since identities are well protected, and people don’t have to worry as much about being tracked down by cops.

Additionally, there are numerous vendors available plus each one of them has a rating score which shows how good they are with the customers. You can also read comments below each dealer’s profile to know how well they treat their clients. Dream Market gives buyers the opportunity to gauge their dealers before making any purchase, thus minimizing the chances of falling prey to fraudsters.

Alphabay-and-Nucleus-Market (1)Apart from illicit items, legal goods are also available for sales such as weight loss supplements and anabolic products. Former Nucleus vendors have already registered with Dream Market, with some urging their Nucleus customers to follow their referral links and sign up on this marketplace to continue enjoying services as before. Furthermore, the inventory is always updated with new arrivals and rare items that cannot be found on other darknet sites.

Already vendors are competing on Reddit to attract new buyers for their products; this just shows how popular the marketplace is with even more potential of growing in the future. Each dealer is directing users to their onion referral link hoping they would click and register.

Many users consider Dream Market the No.1 market on darkweb since they haven’t been raided by feds, and admin always gives prompt responses to queries, unlike other bazaars where they may take time to reply. With numerous options to choose from, some people have been quick to point out that trading here is more like living a “Dream,”since the number of items available is really big.

Dark Web users try Dream Market to see if there’s something they would like. All their favorite drugs and everything else can be found here. Despite the site’s popularity, users should still beware of phishing links posted all over the Subreddit.

Nucleus Market Refugees Already On Dream Market

nucleus-official-logo_700x170Nucleus Market has recently been facing downtime with many users left stranded on what to do next. However, some of them have already switched over to Dream Market which is proving to be just as good, if not better. Traders who were previously refugees on Nucleus have started doing business here to their own advantage.

Dream Market was established in 2013 and has been competing with other darknet sites for clientele, though not quite as successful in gaining the number one spot compared to its rivals. But with Nucleus now facing challenges it seems like things are about to change and the site may soon become a major contender in the darknet business. If statistics are anything to go by then Dream Market has outlasted many other similar portals available today, with the only possible contender being AlphaBay.

While most Nucleus vendors have successfully turned their sights onto Dream Market, other are still waiting on baited breath hoping that the site will be back on in a short while so they can collect their coins. Some have even posted optimistically saying Nucleus is only undergoing minor upgrades, and would soon be back online to reclaim its top position. So far, Nucleus admin has not yet released any statement concerning these particular developments, which is odd since in the past they used to give prompt responses immediately an emergency occurs.

2272638a5f677ae744a7639d67dd2887Despite their generally positive online presence, Dream Market suffered a DDoS attack sometime last year resulting in major downtime. A few users speculate that is probably what’s happening to Nucleus right now. Particularly considering a similar attack had also affected them at the time Dream Market was down. Nevertheless, some spammers have taken advantage of people’s desperation to find a new darknet site and are sending infected links to unsuspecting users. This has developed a bad rep for Dream Market with some people saying that the spamming needs to stop, or else they won’t register with it but instead find another portal not marred by random spam messages and requests.

There are many different referral links that have been posted on darkweb forums, raising suspicion on their authenticity as well as safety standards. Based on their unregulated nature it’s even possible that these links have not been approved by Dream Market itself. The spam posts also make the site look less professional and more desperate to gain Nucleus refugees, further dwindling its ratings amongst darkweb users. Dream Market has not posted anything about this issue, making some people doubt their dedication towards acting as a Nucleus alternative.

This portal is generally an escrow marketplace supporting the Tor network. It supports the free market, allowingpeople to access products and services that are not readily available in different countries. It offers licit and illicit listings such as drugs and other related items. The site forbids weapons of mass destruction, poisons, and child pornography among others. As with most other darkweb marketplaces, bitcoin is the preferred currency of choice here when conducting transactions.

The Dangers In The Dark Web

In its annual research report published last month, Flashpoint, a global leader in Deep and Dark Web intelligence, pointed out the increasing complexities of the illicit communities as well as how cybercrime became more industrialized in the darknet markets in the year that just passed. The report details the top high-risk threats for organizations and their assets and is based on the growing cybercrime trends in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The CEO of Flashpoint, Josh Lefkowitz, touched upon the maturing of the French and Chinese illicit communities in the darknet markets. The company believes that operational and strategic intelligence gained from the darknet markets will help to reduce the costs of the fraud or data loss that may occur, reduce the damage of reputation and also provide an insight into the working of the criminal activities that would affect an organization, its employees, clients and partners.

Darknet Markets – Top Threats They Pose

The range of criminal activities that take place in the darknet markets includes theft of intellectual property, financial fraud, hacking, and terrorism. Intelligence and timely information about such activities will help organizations to be prepared before they are planned and executed. Corporate companies need to be well informed about these darknet markets and criminal innovations to combat and overcome any potential threats. The Flashpoint report serves to monitor such activities of the darknet markets that are almost invisible to the others. The following top threats have been identified by Flashpoint in the year 2015:

Attack-Darknet-Markets-e1449648095926

Threat #1: Free entry for any cybercriminal

Anyone can choose to enter the darknet markets as a cybercriminal. There is no bar and this has been made largely possible with the expanding malware toolsets now available for the newbie.

Threat #2: Drugs are available in plenty

It is estimated that over 50 percent of the darknet markets that function using Tor offer narcotics for sale. These are easily accessible and are sure to incite interest among the ones that are ready to enter the world of drugs and cybercrime.

Threat #3: No legislature in place for use of hidden services

There is no clear legislation in place as regards the use and governance of hidden service. As long as this does not change, cybercriminals will effectively use Tor and other hidden services for conduct of criminal and illicit activities.

Threat #4: Cybercrime – Claim to fame

Though it is a fact that the financially and politically motivated are still a threat to a system (governments, organizations and individuals) that is against their agenda, it has been pointed out in the report that the more dangerous among all of these are cybercriminals motivated by chaos and fame. Their actions are more challenging and they are harder to control.

Threat #5: Seamless terrorism and cybercrime

The spread of cybercrime is inevitable and is, of course, hastened by the facilities provided by hidden services. The year 2015 saw the globalization of crime. With Chinese cybercriminals taking business to Russian forums, it is evident that cybercrime has matured, is internationalized and is growing at an alarming rate. Jihadists have managed to make the most out of what the darknet markets have to offer, thanks to their new crop of young and tech savvy recruits. They have offered greater support to ISIS and extended the global reach of the terrorist group.

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About Flashpoint

Flashpoint provides relevant tools, reports, studies and data about the Deep and Dark Web. These are aimed at providing access to organizational, tactical and strategic intelligence to experts. The data is curated by subject-matter experts and presented using a state-of-the art platform. Flashpoint’s products are designed to throw light on the actors, their behaviors and relationships that exist in the deep and dark web. Many organizations have come to realize the potential of this intelligence report and the value of staying ahead of emerging cyber threats. Many government departments and Fortune 500 companies use Flashpoint data, tools and reports to reduce the costs of financial fraud, data loss and reputational damage that are caused to them. Flashpoint is backed by companies such as Bloomberg Beta, Greycroft Partners, Cisco Investments, TechOperators, and K2 Intelligence.

“Underground Economy Forums” Seized By European Authorities

Ever since the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the creator as well as operator of the illegal darknet market Silk Road, and the subsequent shutdown of the website, the anonymity provided by the Tor network to darknet markets has been the subject of many discussions and debates. A lot has also been discussed about how dark web users do not get the anonymity they want. This has been made clear once again by the law enforcement authorities in the wake of a recent international investigation by European authorities that helped to pull down five darknet markets. These online black marketplaces have been purportedly referred to by the law enforcement agencies as “Underground Economy Forums.”

Underground Economy Forums

Investigation and Arrests in the Darknet Markets

The Underground Economy Forums constitute darknet markets or online black markets that sell or conduct transactions involving drugs, dangerous weapons, stolen credit card details, and fake identifications, among many others. Other websites related to the cyber world include illegal streaming, malware, and DDoS attacks. The recent investigations targeted operators of such services. During the investigations, it was also found out by the authorities that these darknet markets made use of bitcoins for executing their transactions.

Together with different arms of law enforcement agencies at international levels, the Center of Cybercrime Control and the Frankfurt Prosecutor General’s Office conducted raids on five operators of the Underground Economy websites. It is suspected that a 27-year-old Bosnian is the main operator of as many as three of these websites. He is believed to have been operating the sites since the year 2012. In addition to this, two Germans have also been arrested in this connection. The Germans aged 22 and 27 were also caught, and one is suspected to have been playing in the darknet markets for three years. The searches yielded 250,000 euros worth of drugs. A Syrian national has also been arrested on charges of synthesizing the amphetamines range of drugs. Further, several other searches resulted in the apprehension of three more German nationals, one of whom was arrested in Netherlands. Of these, a 21-year-old has been accused of running an illegal data streaming platform. The German arrested in Netherlands has been charged with dealing dangerous drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy through the online platforms.

In the wake of these investigations and arrests, the law enforcement agencies have been sending firm messages to young Internet users that it is easy for them to track down darknet markets and their perpetrators and prosecute them as per the existing laws. This is being done with the hope of keeping the youngsters away from their possible tryst with these darknet markets.

However, others see the shutdown of the Silk Road as responsible for facilitating the evolution of other darknet markets. Even when Silk Road is no longer present, other online black markets have sprung up in its place and continued to sell things that were banned in Silk Road. This includes guns as well as stolen data. Traders sell zero-day exploits to those who are ready to pay exorbitant amounts of money for them. These anonymous marketplaces continue to hog the limelight and are at the center of many controversies and investigations.

shutdown of the Silk Road

According to Giulio Prisco of CCN.LA, legal crackdown on the darknet markets is not the ultimate solution. This action would only push the activity into deeper morass and into the hands of other criminals. The shutdown of the more-principled operators may throw the doors open to the less-principled ones who would know only too well how to trick the law. Moreover, the darknet markets would become more open to selling even more dangerous things than just drugs.

In this context it is interesting to note that the dark web has also allowed a host of useful applications to thrive on the dark web that the IETF and IANA assigned a formal .onion domain last year.

Rise And Fall Of Darknet Markets

Three years and a similar number of months after the FBI seized the Silk Road, the darknet markets’ equivalent of Amazon, and other new entities are coming up and even booming in the very same niche. You may be wondering how this is possible considering that law enforcement agencies have improved scrutiny to stem the growth of such sites.

Silk Road and other versions of its incarnation as well as Agora, Evolution and Abraxas have risen to dominate the dark web before falling only to find replacement in other, probably better-coded websites. The story behind their rise, and eventual fall, vary though and this is probably the reason even their lifespans vary.

The Silk Road

To everyone who knew him, Ross Ulbricht was an ideal kid. University of Texas even accepted him on a full scholarship. He did not pass for a person who would orchestrate and run a US$1.2 billion illicit drugs marketplace; yet he did!

While in college, Ross developed a strong disinclination for government inference. He started growing a strain of hallucinogenic fungi, which he hoped to peddle using the ever-extending distribution channels of darknet market. While his mushrooms were growing, he decided to try a hand in computer programing. He roped in his pal, Richard Bates, who was already a programmer with eBay.

Silkroad Ross Ulbricht
Using Bate’s assistance, Ulbricht was able to code successfully, the script for Silk Road including hiding it on Tor browser to evade banking and government oversight and intrusion. The website went live in February 2011 and within a few short months, had thousands of enlisted vendors and buyers.
Silk Road’s ranking system, that graded vendors based on feedback, made it a favorite with many customers. This steady traffic, flawless distribution aided by encrypted communication and the website’s 10 to 12% commission soon made Ulbricht rich. The website managed a whopping 1.2 million transactions during its lifespan with total revenue amounting to about 9.5 million bitcoins.

The fall of Silk Road started almost immediately it went live. Senator Charles Schumer made requests to have Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Justice shut it down. After this request, all communication to and from the website came under scrutiny and in October 2013, the FBI seized the website arresting and charging Ulbricht with computer hacking, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

Evolution

Following the demise of Silk Road, many online entities rose to fill the gap left. One of these entities, Evolution, also called Evo by darknet markets customers came alive in January 2014. The site’s creator, Verto, also founded Tor Carding Forum, an identity theft and stolen cards forum on Tor.

Evolution’s rapid growth came about because it went alive at a time when law enforcement agencies were seizing its competitors. The weird blend of both cyber security as well as lax rules on the use of stolen cards also propelled Evo to the top of darknet markets. Despite this laxity, it still disallowed prostitution, child pornography, murder, terrorism and assassination related services and Ponzi schemes.

darknet markets
Unlike other darknet markets, Evolution shut down in March 2015, apparently due to exit fraud by the administrators in order to steal users’ cash in their escrow accounts.

Agora and Abraxas

Agora went live in 2013 and soon became a major darknet markets destination. Following the closure of Evolution in an apparent exit fraud, Agora became the leading darknet website. Unlike many of its counterparts, it did not suffer the wrath of Operation Onymous, the international law enforcement agencies’ operation that targeted hidden services and darknet markets hosted on the Tor network. The website’s administrators took it down in what they termed as protection from potential attacks meant to de-anonymize server locations.

Soon after Agora went down, Abraxas emerged and claimed the darknet markets’ top place. Like others before it, it also went down in what is possibly an exit fraud.

Thriving Darknet Markets

The legion of online users averse to government inference keeps growing each day. This breed of consumers helps spur the growth of darknet markets. Since the emergence of the Silk Road, a shutdown of a darknet market usually precedes an emergence of a replacement. Soon after Agora and Abraxas’ demise from the scene, new darknet markets have risen to fill whatever gap existed.

AlphaBay and Dream Market now occupy the pinnacle of darknet markets. Though they operate in the same Tor network that hosted the other dark net websites, they are perfecting the art and science of concealing their tracks. Their survival in this rather unstable niche is however, only a matter of time.

Dream Market Security Features

When buying and seeing goods and services on the dark web, one needs to take extra precaution to cover them thoroughly when it comes to security. VPNs, PGPs, Tor and Bitcoin are all de rigueur for keeping oneself protected, along with strong passwords multiple different usernames, and encrypted files.

Due to the illicit nature of dark web marketplaces, they can be breeding grounds for scammers, hackers, and people of questionable reliability, poised to steal either one’s money or one’s identity, or entrap one in a web of extortion.

So how does one stay safe when traversing the dark web market? Choose a marketplace with a good reputation, and multiple security measures in place to protect its users.

Dream Market has a reputation for having high quality buyers and sellers, which no doubt has something to do with the security systems that Dream Market has put in place.

So what just are their security features?

keyboard
Bitcoin transactions

All transactions conducted on the Dream Market marketplace involve an exchange of Bitcoins. The cryptocurrency, with careful user behavior, provides anonymity to people using it. Transactions cannot be traced back to a user, unlike, for instance, credit card transactions, which are linked to a name.

Escrow system

An escrow system is put in place by Dream Market to prevent sellers running off with buyers’ funds before delivery of goods, and buyers from running off with a seller’s goods before payment of monies.

Once an item is ordered, a buyer sends Bitcoin to Dream Market to pay for it. The seller sees that the buyer has paid and ships the item. Once the buyer receives the item and is happy, the funds are released from Dream Market to the seller. In this way, buyers and sellers can both be assured that their Bitcoins won’t be stolen.

Dual rating system

Darknet markets operate much in the same way that eBay does: each buyer provides a rating for a seller after their transaction is complete, and each seller also similarly rates the buyer. This provides feedback for users that haven’t interacted with each other before. A seller with low ratings may provide low quality or counterfeit goods, or even non-security conscious packaging.

PGP login

Dream Market has a very handy PGP login. PGP logins are essential for more secure transmissions over the dark web. User will need to make a PGP key to store on Dream Market and use for logging in. When using PGP login, Dream Market will send user an encrypted message that user will need to decrypt as well as entering password. This will make user’s Dream Market account much more secure than a password alone.

Captcha code on login

User might notice when one go to enter the Dream Market site that a Captcha box appears. This clever little code is used to prevent brute force user account hacking. It may be annoying to fill in every time, but it’s there to prevent user from getting one’s account stolen.

PIN password recovery

We all forget our passwords from time to time – because we now have to remember so many of them! Dream Market has attempted to help users out who have forgotten their passwords by using a PIN (enabled at sign-up time) to recover them. This is instead of using questions like ‘Mother’s maiden name’ and ‘first pet’, which can be elicited from people easily with a little bit of social engineering. Just don’t make your PIN your birthday!

Admin support

The administrators of Dream Market appear to do a fairly good job. If users have an issue with any transaction, all they have to do is open a support ticket to have the matter addressed by the admin team. The team will attempt to solve users’ issues in a timely manner.

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When users are buying and selling on the dark web they will also need to keep their wits about them. Here are a few more tips on how to stay safe:

  • Search for any mention of users on forums first before entering into first transaction with them.
  • Don’t click on links in random messages sent to you in the marketplace.
  • Verify any messages from the market themselves have the correct return address.
  • Always make sure that you’ve got the correct Dream Market .onion web address.
  • Avoid any vendors asking to finalize early (FE – no escrow) that you don’t already know and trust.

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.

DreamMarket-Home
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.