A darknet market is a commercial website that operates via darknets such as Tor or I2P. They function primarily as black markets, selling or brokering transactions involving drugs, unlicensed pharmaceuticals, steroids and similar stuff. Different payment methods Escrow In standard escrow the market holds the money during the purchase. If you received your order you tell the market to finalize your order and give the vendor your money. Be careful: the orders finalize after some time automatically, in case you forgot to do it manually and so that the vendor has not to wait ages for his money. If you have not received your order or have issues with it (it was less than the amount you bought or the product was not as advertised), you can dispute it. That prevents the order from auto-finalizing and you can resolve that matter along with a market staff member and the vendor in a discussion. The market staff member then decides after the discussion what actions to take (e.g. who gets the money from the order or if one of your violated the market rules). Remember to message the vendor first if you have problems with your order, instead of disputing it right away. The big risk is that the market can always run away with that money. It happened a lot in the past, some examples are sheep market, evolution, abraxas, nucleus, middle earth marketplace, . . . So using standard escrow is discouraged and you should use alternative payment methods. Multisignature (multisig) Multisignature is a form of technology used to add additional security and for bitcoin transactions. Multisignature addresses require another user or users sign a transaction before it can be broadcast onto the block chain. The required number of signatures is agreed at the start once people agree to create the address Multisignature allows the creation of 2-of-3 escrow services. For example: when Buyer (you, the buyer) wants to pay Vendor (the vendor), you send a transaction to a multisignature address, which requires at least two signatures from the group “Buyer,
Vendor and the DNM” to redeem the money. If the buyer and the vendor disagree on who should get the money (the buyer wants a refund, whilst the vendor believes he fulfilled his obligations and demands the payment), they can appeal to the DNM. The DNM grants his signature to the buyer or the vendor, so one of them can redeem the funds. So who gets the bitcoins in a dispute is decided by the market staff. As you can see, nobody can simply run off with your money. There always have to work two parties together to release the money (the buyer and the vendor, the DNM and the buyer or the DNM and the vendor). So if you have the choice, please choose that payment method. To use multisig with specific DNM please look at their help section or wiki where you should find how to do it. Finalizing Early (FE) If you finalize early you basically give all your money to the vendor you make your order with. So as soon as you give up your order the vendor receives the money for it. It is like giving your street dealer your money and letting him run around the block to get the stuff. As you can see this is extremely risky because it is easy to scammed. Especially if you have a buyer account with little history (few orders). Few people would believe you, and if you do get scammed using FE, you never get your money back. Sometimes vendors offer a lower price for the same item if you FE for it (because it is more convenient if they get their money instantly), but it is usually not worth the risk. It is also strongly discouraged to FE for new vendors since the risk that they scam you is even higher. When it is okay to FE: • When you are okay with possibly never seeing your money or product again. Example: I see a new vendor who is offering an eighth of medical bud for $15 as an introductory offer. I have extra money left in my account, I’m not gonna be in a bind if the vendor doesn’t come through, so I FE per his requirements. Whether the product comes or not, the worst thing is that I lose $15. • When you are confident, absolutely positive that the vendor will still ship the product. I have to put an asterisk beside this one because even upstanding, well-known vendors have made FE a requirement and then split with the money. Anyone remember LucyDrop from SR? Most popular LSD vendor in his time. Required FE. Three months
went by without a single complaint. Then BOOM! The vendor stopped shipping and walked away with over a million in BTC. Point is that even if a vendor is “trusted”, there’s still a chance that they will steal your BTC; but 99% of the time, trusted vendors will be honest and send your product. When it is not okay to FE: • When you cannot afford to lose the money. This seems so common sense to me, but I continue to be amazed at the number of people who FE, get scammed, and lose money that either wasn’t theirs to begin with or money that they just couldn’t afford to lose. Example: If you’re a dealer and you borrow money from either customers or someone higher in the chain to make a purchase on a QP of some dank, you should NOT FE. If the vendor doesn’t send your product, you now owe money to many people. It doesn’t matter how good the deal looks or how reputable the vendor is, DO NOT FE. • When the vendor is shady or there are reports of scamming. Someone posted a couple of days ago, angry that the vendor RCI had not sent his product. He had FE’d on one of the markets and therefore could do nothing about it except get upset and post here. Why FE in this situation? His order was placed after there were bad reviews coming in for RCI. Another example is the vendor Heisenberg. He’s a known selective scammer who loves when you go ahead and FE for him. You’re already taking a chance by ordering from him anyway, why increase that chance by FE’ing? FAQ What if I am only buying legal items off a market? I’m not breaking any laws then, am I? Unfortunately, yes, you still are. You are technically aiding a criminal organization (by paying the market fee) as well as bypassing country tax laws. Luckily it doesn’t seem as though LE is very concerned at all about this and you most likely will never face any kind of legal trouble for ordering legal items off a market. Is <market name> down? If you cannot access a site, there is most likely a site-wide outage; you are not the only one having difficulties. Check /r/DarkNetMarkets to see if anyone else is having a problem. If you consistently cannot connect for several hours, try checking the forums and seeing if there are any postings regarding the status of the site. Do this BEFORE posting the question here!
Can I just browse DNMs, without buying anything without Tails? No. Do not do it. If you get caught, or law enforcement for whatever reason searches your house, they will know that you browsed DNMs. Then good luck trying to explain the judge that you are a perfectly law abiding citizen. Your plausible deniability will vanish into thin air. So take the 2 minutes to boot tails and do not be the low hanging fruit. I lost access to my DNM account, can I get it back? It depends on the market and what information you can provide to the support. In general you best shot is to make a new account on the market and message the support. Provide as much information as possible to prove that you are the real owner of that account (like what messages you sent, what orders you made, when you created the account, . . .) and then hope for the best. Why is <drug> so expensive? Supply and demand dictate prices. Your street prices may be lower than the market price. The market is not beating street prices for cocaine in Columbia, MDMA in The Netherlands, or cannabis in California. Why is the shipping so expensive? Read this post for some insight on shipping prices. A vendor wants to be paid in Paypal/Western Union/cash in the mail. Is this legit? NO! This is the easiest way to get scammed. If a vendor asks you to circumvent the escrow system, immediately report the vendor to the sites’s administration. I deposited bitcoins to my account, but blockchain.info shows them being sent to a different address! Some sites have a built-in bitcoin “tumbler” to disguise the destination of deposited coins. Once this process is complete, your account balance should reflect the deposit. Note: the market system is not a tumbler since it just deals with dirty bitcoins (the
ones from drug buyers and vendors) and dos not use clean bitcoins as a real tumbler would. Are prices adjusted for fluctuations in the BTC exchange rate? Most sites peg their prices in USD so prices are automatically readjusted according to bitcoin fluctuations and generally show the same USD value irrespective of the BTC exchange rate. What are the chances of me getting caught? There is no specific number, but it is relatively low if you follow all steps in the DNM bible. I found this link on the hidden wiki. . . It is very likely that this link is a scam. Only use links that are on the superlist and follow the instructions on there to cross check these links. Is it possible that LE creates a new vendor account to catch buyers? It depends on the legal situation in your country, but in general: yes. However it is rather unlikely that this will happen, because the past showed that LE prefers to bust a vendor and then take over his accounts if possible (and try to get customer addresses). So be careful if the vendor starts acting weird and in doubt ask him to sign a message that confirms that he is well with his PGP key (how to verify a signed message). If a vendor suddenly changes his PGP key without signing it with his old one, stay away from him until he does so! What are the safest items to buy/ship? Some products are easier to conceal and ship (e.g. LSD) than others (e.g. weed) but it does not matter which is safer, but what you actually want to order. If you follow all the tips in the DNM bible (especially the “How to choose a good vendor” chapter), you will most likely be fine and can minimize the risk of your order not arriving.
I visited a market without disabling JavaScript/setting the security slider to high, am I fucked? You will probably be fine. But make sure this does not happen in the future, so set the security slider to high every time you start the Tor browser in the future as described here.