Some Thoughts From a Vendor Regarding the Future of DNM’s

The following PGP-signed message was posted to Reddit’s DarknetMarkets subreddit by well-established darknet vendor Houba.

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As we don't keep a reddit presence bear with us as this will be somewhat of a long winded post to say what we want to say.

Drugs over the internet has been around since Al Gore invented the internet, this used to be done merely over forums with no actual markets and different payment methods. That being said markets do have their place. They are great for centralization and that's also one of their biggest flaws for multiple reasons. But they allow the average user to just hop on and search for whatever you have a craving for at the moment and to easily compare prices without having to know anyone or anything beforehand aside from how to acquire BTC and a market URL.

First and foremost no relationship on darkmarkets is one sided. Sites need vendors, vendors need customers, customers need both and so on. Before there were centralized markets, feedback, reputation, and word of mouth were much more important than they are now and you can see and imagine the weight they carry when deciding to order from a specific vendor or not.

Before the centralized market two or three accusations of scamming would completely ruin a vendors' career. Now you can easily find multiple vendors accused of selectively scamming and continuing to operate for months after the fact, in fact we would guess this applies just by reading reddit and market forum posts to probably somewhere in the ballpark of 25% of all vendors. This is sad.

The past day or two has left us with a very strange feeling about the safety and future of the existing markets. We won't go into a lot of detail for what forms our opinions and they are just that, opinions. We want to ask you what you would do if every last market disappeared overnight and that no immediate "pop up" markets were feasible to take their place?

Really all that is now needed is a vendor directory/forum and or a service such as GRAMS, email, and pgp. Reddit already exists as somewhat of a forum to keep track of trustworthy vendors or ones that are scamming although a dedicated forum would be much more organized and user friendly. The forum could be maintained by a very small staff as it wouldnt be a general forum, just ratings, reviews, and information on vendors for the most part and I would assume the easiest way to pay staff and server /hosting costs would be a small monthly fee paid by vendors.

The legalities of such a forum would be no different than reddit we would imagine. No deals done on site and we assume that's how reddit can get away with it. Regardless it would be a forum, not a market, and funds would not be generated from it aside from the minimal payments required to keep it running and slightly compensate staff so it's not possible for another market exit scam and we can't unintentionally make someone a multimillionaire.

Now the downside to all of this is unless you find a vendor that trusts you and depends on YOUR reputation all of your direct deals would be FE deals. Many vendors are FE only already and a decent amount of you FE already. My advice to you is stick to the bigger vendors, the ones who do this for a living and cannot afford to throw away their "career" for scamming you out of a $500 order. Stick with the vendors who need your business, the ones that are customer service orientated, the ones that have been around a while.

WIll exit scams still happen? Sure they will. Do they happen now all the time? Sure they do. We believe it will actually cut down on the frequency of these since we would know every deal is an FE deal and if you have several claims of packs not arriving then that's the end of the vendor's "career" and to come back under a new name isn't as easy as spending $500 on a bond and having instant trust because there's a market, disputes, and escrow offered. In other words it will become much more expensive and time consuming to scam.

You may think this would create a monopoly but this setup would actually allow new vendors to enter the market and it would benefit buyers greatly. New vendors would obviously have no trust off the bat and would have to enter with great deals, lower prices, and go above and beyond with customer service to build a customer base. Every new vendor would have something to prove.

There would be no more having to worry about is "XYZ market" a honeypot, has the market been compromised, why is the market down, when will the market be back up, is TOR still secure, will the admins run off with escrow, has the site been hacked, where's my withdraw, how long until my deposit shows, etc etc etc. The list goes on. Your only concerns are "is my vendor honest" and "is there any reason to believe my vendor has been compromised by LE". Which are already concerns that you deal with anyways when shopping from a market. Even without the use of TOR all that would be needed is pgp, public wifi, and email. Preferrably a pretty secure email (it would be ideal if there was an email service that had 2FA).

I don't know about you but we are growing pretty tired of letting people run off with millions at the expense of us and others. It hurts our pockets and destroys trust in the community as a whole. We are not saying that as of this moment we are going to direct deals but we are getting contingency plans in place to do so and believe you should do the same. Have a short conversation with your favorite dependable vendors about this and if they're anything like us and honest they will pass the 4% average market commission savings on to you or you may decide to split it. You don't have to be unprepared, go without, or be scrambling to find your drugs should a major exploit be found in TOR be found or something else catastrophic.

Make use of the markets now to find those dependable vendors who are consistent and value their customers, build a business relationship, etc. Get prepared before something happens .

Alright that's it and thanks for listening to our rant. We won't be back on reddit to discuss this but we are on several markets so feel free to message us there if need be. We're sure we left some stuff out and there's better versions of some of the ideas presented here so take what you can/want from this post. Stay safe

Houba
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