Despite the fact that several AlphaBay admins tried to calm the storm of angry vendors and buyers who lost bitcoin during the market’s so-called “maintenance shutdown,” it seems that AlphaBay has indeed exit scammed and closed for good.
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Though this may be the case, some sites which maintain a darknet market “superlist,” such as DeepDotWeb, are temporarily leaving it displayed. Notwithstanding, even DeepDotWeb has left a note to users, saying “AlphaBay is gone for now – Use Dream or Hansa instead!”
This begs the question – which markets are reasonable replacements for AlphaBay? Obviously, as stated, two alternatives are Dream Market and Hansa Market, especially given that they are already considered some of the top markets at present. Both have numerous listings for drugs, as well as several other categories (though drugs tend to be the most popular).
Several other options exist as well, such as Apple Market, Valhalla (Silkkitie), and Wall Street Market, although these are limited in certain categories of goods that the above markets have in abundance, and don’t necessarily have the reputations that Dream and Hansa do.
During this time, rumors and stories also continue to swirl through the community as to what actually took place, as well as numerous questions from former AlphaBay customers about transferring markets.
On the r/AlphaBay subreddit, in a post entitled “Rumours, speculation, and the truth,” user torchflora attempted to make sense of the situation:
It’s evident that as we all endure this sucky ordeal the propaganda, lies, & bullshit will be ever flowing. So far we’ve heard rumours of exit scams, police intervention & stories that I don’t even want to repeat because I feel they will dumb down my intelligence. We can all dwell on the money/orders lost but it isn’t going to change a thing, this is the risk we all run by using any marketplace on the deep web.
It seems all too logical that former AlphaBay and Dream Market vendor EtiKing (also known as Jeremy P. Achey) was recently arrested following a DEA investigation tied to the death of one of his customers. Such incidents have garnered negative attention for the major darknet markets.
Like the original Silk Road market before them, current darknet markets, while they may enjoy widespread success, always run the risk of being targeted by law enforcement or being suspected of scamming their customers. This is why the peer-to-peer aspect of such markets plays an integral role in their functioning.
Hansa Market, which is experiencing an influx of new users, has a good reputation due to what it calls its “trustless payment system.” In other words, it enables multisig escrow payments, does not require on-site deposits, and forbids finalize early (FE) transactions. Dream Market has a ratings system for its vendors, based on their number of successful transactions, as well as feedback from users.
While such systems don’t necessarily guarantee that a market will be without problems, they do help prevent them. Based on their experience with AlphaBay, users of these markets (and others) may tread more carefully with regard to their cryptocurrencies.
It remains to be seen what will become of the other major markets, but for the time being, they are operating profitably.