Posted by: Joseph Meehan October 21, 2014
This a post in series of posts describing a personal experience from learning about the DNM’s to becoming a vendor – all the parts of this series will be available to here: ExperienceTag
Grandi pointed me towards two different Darknet marketplaces to check out: Agora Marketplace and The Marketplace. Agora is on the TOR network and The Marketplace is on I2P, although you can also access The Marketplace through TOR.
I used the referral link on the DeepDotWeb list of Darknet marketplaces to navigate to Agora Marketplace. Registering for an account was an easy process that didn’t require an email address, only username, password and wallet PIN number. Once you put in the information you can login and view the listings on the site. I was greeted with a number of different illicit substances right on the front page, as well as some ebook and cigarette listings. A standard search bar and list of categories lets users explore listings on the site. Each product listing includes the name of the product, a description, where it’s from, where it can ship to, price and a list of vendor feedback.
To become a vendor you have to have 0.6 BTC in your Agora wallet to be deposited to the site in the case of any vendor/buyer disputes that can’t be resolved.
I visited again the List of Hidden Marketplaces on DeepDotWeb and used the referral link to find The Marketplace. The Marketplace had a similar registration experience as Agora. Choose a username, set a password. They also asked for my PGP public key so any communication to me can be encrypted. I also specified I was located in North America and using USD. After submitting this information I was greeted with “Congrats, your account has been activated.” The front page of The Marketplace has some links with some information on it, as well as a search box. The white and blue, no-frills layout gives The Marketplace a clean and professional look. The website is easy to navigate.
There are two different vendor account options: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 requires a higher bitcoin deposit, but The Marketplace takes a smaller commission from your sales. Level 2 accounts require a smaller initial deposit but The Marketplace takes a higher percentage of each sale.
It is clear that both of these marketplaces, while they did offer other goods and services, were heavily geared towards substances. One of the three main categories on The Marketplace is Drugs, and the other categories had little or no activity. Agora offers a wider selection of service-type offerings, but no real freelance writing services. After poking around on both of these marketplaces there was an opportunity for me to provide freelance writing services. Before I can do that though, I’m going to have to get a verified vendor account on the two sites. I’m also going to have to do some research on multi-signature Bitcoin transactions to fully understand the process.
Grandi offered to pay me in BTC for some work he needs done. I’ll be occupying my time with that and with some research on multi-signature transactions until I have the required BTC to start my own vendor accounts.