Many believe a new day is dawning with the launch of the decentralized market OpenBazaar. However, it still doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to those dealing with black market goods. In fact darknet markets (DNM) are stronger than ever and have continued the legacy of the original Silk Road with much success. Here’s a look at some of the vendor platforms currently ruling the roost when it comes to the online shadow economy.
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The current leader of the infamous darknet markets is the Alphabay platform created by a “carder” named alpha02. Carders are people who buy and sell online credit card data stolen from retail store breaches and phishing sites. Launched on December 22, 2014, the market saw exponential growth of 14,000 users within its first 90 days. In October 2015, it was recognized as the largest DNM according to statistics from Gwern.net and the Deep Dot Web (DDW) publications. Following the demise of the DNM Evolution, the platform again saw significant growth. The marketplace founder alpha02 recalls how it happened in an interview stating, “within the three days following the closure; we had 18,000 new registrations, 7,000 new forum