Exit scams are one of the worse problems for any honest deep web user. Even though escrow mechanisms can be employed to protect both the buyer and the seller, these are often centralized and even if they are not they require an arbitrator to determine who wins a dispute. This, along with the prospect of L.E discovering any relevant information makes the deepweb experience rather scary for an average user. Unless you know what you’re doing, chances are you will eventually be scammed or worse.
Fortunately, alternatives are being developed to protect buyers from these issues. This is the case with TheDealersChoice (TDC) (http://thedc57twhipqks3.onion/), a client-side, encrypted market that allows users to buy items in a trustless environment. Despite being new and a bit rough on the eyes, TDC provides buyers with a model that does not require the market to mediate disputes nor does it store any valuable information regarding the users.
Unlike most dark net markets, TDC has no fees at all and relies instead on an anonymous ad revenue system. Since TheDealersChoice market never receives or holds any funds from users, it has a direct incentive to stay online and provide a continuous service for both buyers and sellers who can be assured that exit scams are 100% impossible.
Instead of using a centralized or multi-signature escrow, TDC allows the users to seek and hire an external escrow (from sources like Bitcointalk or others). Both users must agree on an escrow, which makes scamming buyers or sellers nearly impossible and ensures that the market itself does not have to favor neither one of them in a dispute. Keep in mind, however, that problems may still arise with external escrows.
Not only does TheDealersChoice protect the buyer’s best interests, it also protects their privacy. By encrypting information with E2E encryption between the client and the dealer and ensuring that the orders are in the dealer’s realm, not the market’s, the user’s personal info is greatly protected when in compared to traditional options.
TDC also does not require you to register or login to buy a product, although sellers are required to do so in order to post a listing. Along with usernames and passwords, users can also forget about onion links, since TDC provides a clearnet link via I2VPN, which is based on the darknet I2P network.
To top it all off, TDC is open-source which means that anyone can check out the code on github.
Although TheDealersChoice has some minor disadvantages like being less intuitive than most markets, it is a step in the right direction for a safer and fairer deepweb experience.
Other relevant links: Reddit and Bitcointalk