Dream Market: Drugs, Data, and Digital

by Ciphas

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only.  I do not condone the use of illegal substances and/or services.  Anything you do on the dark web is at your own risk!! 

Good morning, readers!  In my earlier post Interview: Eileen Ormsby, Author of Silk Road & All Things VICE, I thought of one of Ms. Ormsby’s answers to the question: “Have you explored some of the darknet markets that are still in business?”

Her answer began with: “Yes, all of them.  And they are boring.  Which is exactly what a market should be to stay in business.”  Ormsby was making this statement in comparison to the Silk Road market, which attracted a lot of buzz and public interest.  I see her point, but I still wanted to find out for myself if some of these markets were as “boring” as she claimed.

So, one of the markets I chose to look into was Dream Market, which is currently one of the top darknet markets.  (And as I always say, I’m sure you dark web veterans already know about it.)  It’s an escrow market (established in 2013) that can be accessed via the Tor network.

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Dream Market – the real one.

What I’m tending to notice as I explore more of these markets is that they look very similar (as far as site design goes).  On the sidebar are usually the various categories of goods, and within those, you can navigate to specific products and vendors.  The difference, often, is with the individual vendors and products.

As I’ve said before, I haven’t exactly gone through and snorted all the coke and GHB to see if it was high-quality.

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7.8/10 – Too much water.

Drugs seem to be the most popular product by far, which isn’t really that surprising – but they aren’t the only thing for sale, believe it or not.  Also popular are drug paraphernalia (pipes, needles, etc.), and then, of course, there are many non-drug-related products as well (even…gasp!…legal things).

Register, Please

In my opinion, the registration process for Dream Market was very easy – but if you want a more in-depth guide (that you can access without Tor), look at How To Access Dream Market.

Basically, like most sites where you have to register, you create a username and password, and also a security PIN.  Unlike markets such as Python, Acropolis, and Apple Market, you don’t need an invite or referral to join this one; you just sign up and boom!

You also need to have a bitcoin wallet of some kind in order to purchase the goods (hey…tell something I don’t know!).  There are various bitcoin mixers (a.k.a. tumblers) that help obscure the transactions, such as Grams Helix or BitCloak.

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Screenshot credit: deepdotweb.com

So, that’s the easy part.  The question is – how does it compare to other markets?  Well, if you go by the reviews on Deepdotweb: Dream Market, it’s a very good site (although sometimes these reviews are made by the vendors themselves).  You can’t trust anyone, can you?  (Well, sometimes you can; other times, you just learn the hard way.)

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Short of trying the products yourself, it can also be helpful to visit the official Dream Market Forum, in which customers often share their experiences.  If there are scammers within the market (and this seems to be a frequent occurrence), they usually get outed sooner or later.

I Don’t Like the Drugs…

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As I mentioned before, drugs aren’t the only product available, even if they are the most popular.  Though I have yet to actually purchase any goods, I’ve half-considered buying some of the legal goods (like the books on hacking), to see if I would actually receive the product.

If I succeed at this in the near future, I’ll definitely post about it.  Other products you might come across include include pornsite accounts (that you would normally pay a fortune for), hacked accounts (PayPal, etc.), skimmed credit cards, computer equipment, and other things.

For those of you who’ve never ventured into any of these markets (but might be curious), feel free to visit Dream Market and experience it for yourself.  As Eileen Ormsby said, the site itself might be boring, but if you’re the type to do drugs (or what-have-you) anyway, this is probably a safer alternative than buying them on the street.

Some people do get scammed out of their bitcoins, and others do sometimes get arrested in the process, just to warn you.  On the other hand, that seems a bit less common than it used to be with the “Silk Road” markets.

So…if you do decide to shop at Dream Market, just know what you’re getting into.  And don’t tell them I sent you.

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Exploring Darknet Markets (One Pill Makes You Larger)

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DISCLAIMER: This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to condone illegal activity.  Anything you do on the dark web is at your own risk.

As those who regularly keep up with Tor news know, the original Silk Road marketplace was shut down in 2013. Its successor, Silk Road 2.0, was shut down in 2014.

Obviously, this has barely stopped the darknet market business from booming (in fact, it probably helped).  Currently, there is a market going by the name of Silk Road 3.0.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it:

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Be that as it may, I’ve heard from some sources that this site is a scam (basically trying to capitalize on the Silk Road name), while others have said that they’ve had no problems.  It may depend on the individual vendors.

“I Used to Do Drugs…I Still Do, But I Used to, Too!” – Mitch Hedberg

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So, you may wonder, where else can I get reliable recommendations? Well, let me start off by saying that I’m not the requisite expert in darknet markets, but I do my research.

Someone had recently asked me on another site, “Which is the best darknet market?” I’m not sure if I can really answer that question, but I can compare them.

First of all, most darknet markets accept bitcoin, although some accept other cryptocurrencies as well (Dogecoin, Litecoin, Peercoin, etc.).

Second of all, they offer a variety of products (not just drugs) – although some specialize in products such as psychedelics, stolen credit cards, banned books, etc.

Third of all, different customers will inevitably have better or worse experiences than others on various sites (hey, the same thing happens on Amazon, right?)  This is where customer reviews and word-of-mouth come in extra handy, because you don’t always know whom you can trust…

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Shout-Out to Deepdotweb!!

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Hey guys!!  Beyond visiting the markets themselves, one of my most reliable sources for information on darknet markets is DeepDotWeb – Surfacing the News from the Deep Web.  You can also visit them at the above onion URL: DeepDotWeb on Tor.

They feature a Darknet Markets List that’s updated pretty frequently, and generally has very accurate information.  

According to them, some of the top markets are these:

Alphabay

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Valhalla (a.k.a. Silkkitie)

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Outlaw Market

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Dream Market

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Also among their list of trusted markets are:

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Vendor Shops

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Of note: it is sometimes helpful to read the customer reviews on each of these sites, because often the markets may look trustworthy, and they’re the farthest thing from it.

Scams and Phishing Links

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Darknetmarkets o r g / markets also features a list of markets, but this site, according to Beware of Phishing Scams On Clearnet Sites! (darknetmarkets.org) is a list of phishing links that will steal your login credentials for darknet markets. So stay away from that site altogether.

Good ‘Ol Reddit

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Finally, I would further recommend you check out the subreddits /r/DarkNetMarkets and /r/DarkNetMarketsNoobs.  They tend to give reliable, up-to-date information as well.

There are, of course, quite a few other markets and vendors, too!  In my experience, general word-of-mouth is one way you can .  Or you could just try them out yourself and learn the hard way…

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What do you see in the center??

Investigation Underway!!

Of course, I don’t simply want to take everyone else’s word for it – I’m in the process of checking some of these out as well.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be trying out the individual products (although that may help with the creativity part)…

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In the meantime, perhaps you can find the answer(s) to the question, “What were they smoking?”