Touted as the “biggest anonymous marketplace,” Russian SilkRoad is a darknet market for Russian speakers. It does not have a section for English speakers. The site features a good variety of products although it does not have as many listings as the other leading darknet markets we have already reviewed here. At the time we did this review, Russian SilkRoad had 60,770 members.
- Russian SilkRoad Market link URL:
- Russian SilkRoad Forum link and Alternative Links Onion Link:
How to Access Russian SilkRoad
The http://rusilkusru6f57uw.onion/ Onion URL of Russian SilkRoad obviously means that it is a website that can only be opened by the Tor browser. You cannot access it using just any kind of web browser as you will just end up getting an error page. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with the Tor browser as it is basically just like Firefox with anonymizer features. We also have a Tor browser guide you can refer to.
With the Tor browser and bitcoins, you can already proceed to shopping at Russian SilkRoad. However, these are not enough to make sure that you can shop safely. You also need to use a VPN service and PGP encryption/decryption. A VPN service will ensure that your online activities will not be monitored and that you will not be leaving online tracks that can be used against you. PGP, on the other hand, is for ensuring that the messages or information you send are only read by the intended recipient. We also have a PGP guide so be sure to check it out if you are not familiar with this encryption-decryption technology.
Before you can sign up for an account, you will have to go through a page that presents the rules in having a Russian SilkRoad account, especially the things you should not be doing. Once you’re done reading this, you can proceed to registering for an account.
The account registration process may take around 10 to 15 seconds. It’s a quick process. You will just be asked to enter your desired username (6-20 alphanumeric characters), password (minimum of 8 characters, case-sensitive, must contain at least 1 uppercase and at least 1 lowercase character), and a codeword (minimum of 8 characters). Of course, there’s the usual CAPTCHA you have to enter to complete the account registration process. Be mindful of the characters you are entering into the form (the number of characters, etc.). Otherwise, you will have to keep repeating the process.
You may encounter instances when the site redirects to an error page (Unable to Connect error). This usually happens when you make mistakes in the details you enter. The characters of the password you entered, for instance, may all be in uppercase or lowercase. Just repeat the process if this happens.
You will be automatically logged in to your account after a successful account registration.
Russian SilkRoad Interface and Functions
Unfortunately, Russian SilkRoad is only available in Russian. The site does not have a section for English users. There is no automatic translation. It’s obviously intended for Russian speakers only.
Unlike other darknet markets, even without signing for an account and logging in, you can view the categories and listings available on Russian SilkRoad. You can browse through the different sections of the site and find things you may find interesting.
You will find a typical darknet market setup or web design with Russian SilkRoad. The menu bar right below the site’s logo provides quick links to the marketplace (Market), a directory of shops on the site (The Shops), Forum, the page for the Rules, the Search tool, Notes, Profile page, Purse (Wallet).
The Profile page has a variety of features. Aside from allowing you to change your password and add your PGP key, you can also set your time, add a signature, add an avatar, and change the account dashboard style/theme. If you enter your PGP keys, your messages will be automatically encrypted. Your shipping address will likewise be automatically encrypted.
Like most other decent darknet markets, Russian SilkRoad has an internal messaging system. The link is located near the upper right corner of the site or the lower right corner of the Russian SilkRoad logo.
Moreover, like other darknet markets designed to be secure, Russian SilkRoad has an automatic session timeout system. We’re not sure how long it is but you will likely be timed out if you don’t do anything on the site for 10 minutes or so. Even if you have the site in an active tab on the Tor browser, you will still be timed out if the Tor browser window is not active or if you are not doing any click, scrolling, or other form of interaction with the website for around 10 minutes. This is definitely not a bad thing. It’s actually a good secure setup. We just want to mention it because there was one instant when we were doing this review when we didn’t realize session timeout already took place and it wasn’t that long when we left the Tor browser idle.
Categories and Listings
At the time we did this review, the site indicated a total of 435 listings in 6 major categories. The site’s category tree is as follows:
- SAW (239)
- Cannabinoids (87)
- Stimulants (72)
- Eyforetiki (28)
- Psychedelics (31)
- Opiates (8)
- Dissociatives (6)
- Sets (5)
- Digital Products (95)
- CC (15)
- Hacking (23)
- Bases (3)
- Karzhenye Products (17)
- Samples (26)
- Miscellaneous (7)
- Documents, Money (45)
- Scans (15)
- Documents (17)
- Auto Document (6)
- Certificates (7)
- Counterfeit money (0)
- Miscellaneous (0)
- Maps, SIM, Accounts (32)
- Bank cards (9)
- SIM-card (6)
- Purses, accounts (16)
- Miscellaneous (1)
- Services (15)
- Jobs (5)
- Delivery (9)
- Transportation (0)
- Miscellaneous (1)
- Miscellaneous (4)
The categories are neatly arranged, shown persistently on the left side, so you can quickly hop from one category to another without having to go to an index page before you can get to click on another category. However, we noticed that the numbers indicated on the categories don’t add up (the sum of the numbers indicated in the individual categories is 5 less than the total indicated). We’re presenting them here as they are presented on the site, though, to avoid confusion.
The listings are presented in the usual way listings are presented on darknet markets (in grid view). They look neat although they don’t show a lot of information. What’s shown is just the product name, product thumbnail, price, and rating. Some thumbnails are animated, something that may looking appealing for some but annoying for others. By the way, you can hover your mouse pointer over a listing to see the longer (descriptive) name of the listing.
When it comes to prohibited items, Russian SilkRoad lists the following in its Rules page:
- Goods being sold in the guise of another product
- Sports and other projections
- Synthetic substances and smoking blends based on them
Search and Listing Filters
Russian SilkRoad appears to have no search bar. If there’s one, it’s awfully lost on the page. We just couldn’t find where the search bar is while doing this review. What we found on the site is just an option to filter the listings shown on the page. There’s no text field where you can enter keywords and find listings that match.
UPDATE: There actually is a search function on the site. However, you have to click on the Search link in the menu bar first so you can open the page where the search bar is located. This is just unintuitive, as proven by our initial failure to find the site’s search tool. Nevertheless, the site’s search tool can do an advanced search wherein you can specify which category to focus the search on and do other configurations to narrow the search down. There might be instances when the results returned are forum postings. Don’t be surprised by this, the search tool automatically goes to the forum to find matches for your keyword in case nothing is found in the site’s collection of categories and listings.
How to Choose a Vendor
Russian SilkRoad, just like other darknet markets, has vendor profiles to help buyers in deciding which vendor to choose. These vendor profile pages provide information on when the vendor registered, the last post made by the vendor, number of transactions completed so far, contact details, and review ratings.
Obviously, you have to choose a vendor that is active on the site (based on the last login detail), a vendor with long experience selling on the site (based on the registration date and number of transactions completed), and someone a high feedback rating.
Of course, you should not rely entirely in the information provided in the vendor profile pages. It is also recommended heading over to the forums to ask for information and advice about specific vendors from those who have already experienced transacting with them.
How to Pay for Purchases
Russian SilkRoad only supports the use of bitcoins. It has an account wallet where you will have to deposit bitcoins so you can have funds to pay for your purchases. To go to your account wallet, just click on the Purse/Mixer link on the top part of the site so you can go to the page where you can enter your deposit.
In the Purse/Mixer page, you will have to click on the blue button for generating your deposit address. Once the deposit address is displayed, you can start sending bitcoins to have funds in your account. It’s not mentioned on the site if the deposit address changes every time you make a deposit but to be safe, always make sure that if you are making a deposit, you have to go to the Purse/Mixer page first to generate a deposit address. You might end up losing your bitcoins if you use an old deposit address when making a deposit.
How to Order
We will not be presenting a detailed ordering guide here because Russian SilkRoad actually has a very well presented buying guide on its site. Just look for the “How to Buy?” link in any page of the site and you should be able to go to the site’s comprehensive buying guide complete with screenshots.
Items can be brought through pre-order or Momentalka (the usual Buy Now option). These are similar to how it works in the usual online shopping sites. Obviously, you can’t Buy Now an item if it’s only available for pre-order. You will have a longer waiting time for items you still have to pre-order.
Here’s a summary of the steps:
- Go to the listing page by clicking the Buy button or by clicking on the listing link. Indicate the quantity you want to buy then click on the blue Make a Deal or Buy button.
- Once you click the Make a Deal button in the listing page, you will be taken to the page where you will enter your shipping address.
- After entering your shipping address, you will be asked to send the bitcoin payment to the payment address shown on the page.
- For pre-orders, the process is similar wherein you also have to click on the blue Make a Deal button.
- You will then be communicating with the vendor and will be asked to send the payment. The vendor will then tell you the address where the vendor will give you the item. The address will be given to you within 24 hours.
- Just wait for the alerts regarding the address. The alerts will be sent to your via private messages or Jabber message.
- Once you receive the address, you have 24 hours to pick the item up. After the allotted 24 hours, the transaction will be automatically closed with a positive review.
- If you did not receive the item or if you have complaints about it, you can change the positive review for the transaction.
- If you failed to get the item in the address sent to you, you have to initiate a dispute by clicking the Dispute button in the transaction page.
Russian SilkRoad Support
User support on Russian SilkRoad is through a ticket system. Just click on the Support link near the upper right corner of the site so you can proceed to asking your question or requesting for assistance. The site also has an official forum board so make good use of it to gather information and insights that can help you in deciding which vendors or products to choose.
Pros and Cons
- Neat-looking, intuitive website
- Responsive website and relatively good uptime
- Automatic encryption
- Limited number of listings
- Only available in Russian
- The CAPTCHAs can sometimes be difficult to read