Update: If you are looking for a Darknet Market then I would head over to Dream Market. They are the biggest, have been around for a long time and they are constantly upgrading the system to make it more secure
People are increasingly turning to online retailers for their shopping, whether they’re buying electronics, books, or music. It’s simply easier and cheaper, with great deals delivered right to your front door.
Online shopping is so convenient, in fact, that it’s quickly become the go-to for buyer’s interested in things not carried on Amazon or eBay – illegal drugs, for instance. Despite the efforts of law enforcement, online black markets like the Evolution Marketplace are only getting bigger.
Early Stages of the Online Drug Trade
It’s said that the first thing ever bought online was marijuana. This was back in the ’70s, when students from the prestigious MIT and Stanford were ushering in an era of e-commerce that would eventually change shopping as we know it. But for decades, any sort of widespread online drug trading was simply too risky to be viable.
That was all changed with a few technologies, namely Tor and bitcoin. Tor provided much needed anonymity, allowing buyers and sellers to avoid being tracked by the government. Bitcoin eliminated the paper trail created by more traditional payment methods like credit card or PayPal, meaning transactions could no longer be traced.
Many small e-commerce sites have filled the Tor Network since then, but the first marketplace to do it on a larger scale was the Silk Road. It eventually built up its user base and reputation until it had attracted thousands of shoppers, vendors, and listings.
Most people, however, still had no idea that this online black market even existed. But this all changed when the Silk Road was raided and taken down by the government.
Much to the chagrin of law enforcement, the bust did almost nothing to slow things. In fact, it only provided free publicity, with millions of people being exposed to the idea by the media surrounding Silk Road’s demise.
What the Market Looks Like Today
Almost immediately, dozens of new sites sprung up to take the Silk Road’s place, including Agora and the Evolution Marketplace. The Evolution Marketplace and other online black markets were not only still around, they were thriving.
Another raid took down hundreds of darknet sites including Silk Road 2.0 a year later, but only 17 total arrests were made. People lost money, but the vast majority of users were still safe from any sort of legal action. And the two biggest markets, Evolution Marketplace and Agora, were still standing – and stronger than ever.
The Evolution Marketplace is now three times bigger than it was six months ago. It features almost 30% more listings than it did just a month ago.
What the Future Holds
More and more people are realizing that – though not without its risks – the online black market is actually safer than buying drugs on the street. There’s no violence, only a minimal threat of prosecution, and it’s vastly more convenient, with the quality and the quantity of the product close to guaranteed, thanks to the feedback and moderation systems in place.
Sites like the Evolution Marketplace are becoming increasingly professional, offering high levels of customer service, an attention to quality control, and even sales and specials. They’re applying the examples of commercial retailers to their own brand. If dark markets keep growing at this rate, it may not be long before the neighborhood dealer goes the same way of the mom-and-pops put out of business by the likes of Amazon.