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
Despite the fall of several large darknet markets over the past, both to law enforcement and scamming, online black market is bigger than ever. Evolution Market in particular has become one of the largest darknet sites even though they offer products and services that are actually more illegal and volatile.
How are they still able to attract vendors and buyers? How are they able to withstand the best efforts of law enforcement?
Simply put, its security.
Building a Foundation
It’s been almost a year since Evolution Market has launched, and it’s yet to suffer a major security breach. Evolution Market also manages to stay consistently online more than the competition.
That all starts with a solid foundation of security and coding, with a focus on maintaining the site’s integrity behind the scenes. And they’re obviously doing a pretty good job at it, better than what we’ve seen before.
Admins of Evolution Market also offer something called “bug bounties”. In other words, they pay hackers who manage to find bugs or holes in their armor and relay that information rather than exploit it. That way, security weaknesses can be fixed before they actually become a problem.
On top of this foundation, you have all of the basics used on most darknet sites, like requiring the Tor browser and keeping transactions to bitcoins only. Just this relatively simple and common layer of anonymity is a huge hassle for hackers to bypass.
Here is where Evolution Market starts separating themselves from the pack.
Another big – but less standard – feature is two-factor authentication. When enabled, users need their personal PGP key to decrypt a message that then allows them to log-in to their Evolution account. Since that key is stored on their personal computer’s hard drive, this prevents someone from hacking their account remotely.
Not only does that keep their valuable bitcoins and information safe, it makes it that much harder for law enforcement to compromise the site and bust other users.
Most, if not all, darknet sites offer some sort of escrow service for transactions. If you’re not familiar with escrow, the way it works is by holding the money for a product with a third party. In theory, funds will only be released to seller when buyer receives what they ordered. If there’s a problem, the bitcoins can be refunded to the buyer.
This helps cut down on scamming significantly, but it’s not without its flaws. So Evolution Market takes things a step further with what is called multi-signature (or multi-sig) transactions.
It’s another form of escrow that establishes buyer, seller, and Evolution admin as three parties. For money to be released, two of those parties have to accept or provide their “signature”. That way, a smooth transaction is confirmed by buyer and seller; one gets their product, the other gets their money, and everyone is happy with no involvement from the admins.
If there’s a problem, say the seller doesn’t ship what was agreed, buyer and admin can then sign off on the money to be returned to buyer. Or vice versa, if buyer disappears or otherwise refuses to release the funds rightfully to seller.
Perhaps most importantly, the multi-sig transaction system prevents something that has become a fairly big problem on the markets, which is the site admins or hackers taking the money themselves or bitcoins being seized by law enforcement. Since buyer or seller’s authorization is required, those types of situations become a lot less likely.
We’ve already seen a rapid evolution (no pun intended) of security standards since the early days of darknet markets. Each breach and vulnerability inevitably makes surviving sites stronger.
By appeasing buyers and fending off law enforcement, markets like Evolution Market just keep getting bigger and bigger.