The original Silk Road brand is presumed to have already ceased existing but many darknet markets have emerged and are taking advantage of the Silk Road fame. Silk Road 3 is not related to the original Silk Road but it seems to have assumed the Silk Road identity. Its website uses the Silk Road name without any indication of being a sequel or successor to the original Silk Road darknet market (no “Reloaded” or numbers appended to the name). This darknet market is related to Crypto Market. In fact, you have the option to upgrade to an account with login details that can be used in both Silk Road 3 and Crypto Market.
Silk Road 3 Market URL link:
Alternative onion and not onion Links to Silk Road 3 Channels and Forum and PGP page:
- Not related to the original Silk Road darknet market
- Silk Road 3 is visually and functionally similar to Crypto Market.
- Automatic encryption when sending the shipping address
- Interface needs improvement
- The thousands of listings on the site seem artificial or padded (this is just based on plain observation, though)
How to Access the Silk Road 3 Market
Like the other darknet market we have reviewed here, Silk Road 3 has an Onion URL http://reloadedudjtjvxr.onion/. This means that it cannot be opened by the typical web browsers. To access Silk Road 3, you need the Tor browser. If you are not familiar with this browser, be sure to go over our Tor browser download guide.
In addition to the Tor browser, you also have to make sure that your online activities will not be tracked and that you don’t leave anything online that can be used against you. That’s why you also need to use a VPN service, PGP, and bitcoins. VPN or Virtual Private Network ensures highly secure connections to prevent the monitoring of your online activities. PGP or Pretty Good Privacy is an encryption-decryption software that you have to use every time you communicate with vendors or with other users of Silk Road 3. Check out our PGP guide if you are not familiar with this technology. Lastly, you need to know how to use bitcoins if you intend to buy or sell on darknet markets. Bitcoins enable anonymous fund transfers so it’s basically the safest currency you can use on Silk Road 3 or in other darknet markets.
As you access Silk Road 3 using the Tor browser, you will have to go through an “Entry Point” page where you will be asked to enter a CAPTCHA before you can proceed to another page, the phishing check page, where you will be asked a question related to the Silk Road 3 URL. Take note that in answering the phishing check question, you have to count the characters in the URL excluding the “https://” part.
Silk Road 3’s account registration can be completed in around 15 seconds. The registration form only asks for a username, password, and PIN code. You will also be asked to set your currency but this does not mean that you will be using this currency as you make your deposits. You will only be setting the currency with which the prices of the items on the site are shown.
Once you are registered, you will get a buyer account by default. If you want to gain vendor privileges, you have to pay for it. You have to go to your Settings page (the link is just below the Silk Road logo, in between the Forums and Logout links). You will be asked to pay 0.11 BTC to get a regular vendor account but if you are going to sell items that cost less than 4 USD, you can be granted a free vendor account. Just contact the Silk Road 3 support center for avail of this free vendor account. Wait for 3 confirmations for your payment to be completed.
You also have the option to upgrade to a Buyer Pro account, which can be used in both Silk Road 3.0 and Crypto Market (as mentioned in the introductory part of this review). A Buyer Pro account also provides access to an exclusive discussion area for pro account owners, grants a Pro tag for user profiles to indicate a higher level of credibility, and allows users to leave +10/-10 feedback reviews, a wider range compared to the usual +5/-5. Upgrading to a Buyer Pro account costs 0.02 BTC and is not available to vendor accounts.
Account Suspension and Banning
Silk Road 3 appears to have a not-so-reliable questions and answers section but its rules, especially concerning account suspension and banning, are quite clear.
Silk Road 3 Account Interface and Functions
Again, Silk Road has an interface similar to that of Crypto Market. They also use the same slogan: “The darknet’s most resilient marketplace.” If you have already used Crypto Market, you should already be able to quickly find your way around Silk Road 3.
Upon logging in, the first page that appears is the Messages page. We’re not sure if it makes sense making the Messages page the landing page after logging in since other leading darknet markets usually point users to the Settings/Profile page or the site’s homepage upon logging in. There’s nothing much to do with the Messages page as it only presents a welcome message, although if you scroll up there’s a section labeled “Account Recovery Key,” which asks you to save this key to be used whenever you need to have your password recovered. Well, perhaps the site’s design and our experience with other leading darknet markets has something to do with this perception.
Silk Road 3’s site design, just like Crypto Market’s, could use some improvement. It’s confusing to see a page with a link and URL that supposedly implies that it’s about something only for you to find out that there’s a lot going on with the page. The Messages page, for instance, has a URL that indicates “messages” as well as a link that infers that it’s about messages but if you examine it, you will see news and updates on top and other elements you will find difficult to make sense of unless you’ve had a view of the entirety of the page. The links for drafting a new message, viewing messages, making a quick reply, and viewing sent messages and blocked messages are near the top part of the Messages page but you are likely going to not notice them as the other elements appear more important and you will likely be scrolling below to look for the section that really makes the Messages page about messages.
Similarly, if you click on the Silk Road 3 link (supposedly for the site’s homepage), what you will see is a small news section on top, a search section below it, vendor news, listings updates, then the Silk Road 3 categories and listings section. You will be doing a lot of scrolling here because of the inefficient use of the space. Things can get confusing. There may even be cases when you can’t find the site’s section for categories and listings because it is not properly labeled. It would have been better if the categories and listings are given their own page.
If it’s any consolation, all of the Silk Road 3 links to the site’s most important pages are located in one place – the section below the Silk Road logo. To avoid getting lost in the site, just go to these links to quickly go to the page you want to go.
In addition to the less than appealing user interface, the Silk Road 3’s automatic session timeout is rather quick. You can’t leave the Silk Road 3 page not more than 4 to 7 minutes (we couldn’t do an accurate measurement) if you don’t want to repeat the process of filling out the CAPTCHA in the entry page, answering the phishing test question, and entering your login details plus another CAPTCHA.
Categories and Listings
As mentioned, the categories and listings section of Silk Road 3 is not that easy to find. It is at the bottom part of the site’s homepage (the Home link). There is also no link that points to it. We need to emphasize this: it would have been better if it was given its own page.
Anyway, the categories and subcategories on Silk Road 3 are as shown below.
- Weed (7157)
- Hash (1020)
- Edibles (291)
- Concentrates (434)
- Seeds (226)
- Others (6112)
- Stimulants (833)
- Cocaine (1905)
- Speed (945)
- Meth (603)
- Ecstasy (1226)
- MDMA (1568)
- Methylone (208)
- Pills (1495)
- Opioids (918)
- Oxycodon (827)
- Heroin (1007)
- Opium (106)
- Methadone (157)
- Fentanyl (290)
- Benzos (781)
- Valium (265)
- Xanax (1022)
- Diazepam (117)
- Dissociatives (72)
- Ketamine (672)
- MXE (70)
- GHB (130)
- Psychedelic (352)
- 2C (174)
- DMT (187)
- LSD (714)
- NB (109)
- Mushrooms (297)
- Prescription (3142)
- Steroids (620)
- Relaxants (108)
- Analgesics (67)
- Digital (4920)
- Bitcoin (251)
- Accounts (1766)
- Money (2299)
- Software (717)
- Counterfeit (704)
- Misc (566)
- eBooks (8149)
- Services (581)
- Others (3981)
These are the same categories and subcategories found in Crypto Market. The only difference is the Counterfeit subcategory under Others.
It’s worth noting, though, that the site’s number of listings does not seem to coincide with the number of users. Some users happen to point this out on DeepDotWeb, and we have to agree that it’s a somewhat valid observation.
Silk Road 3 accepts most items but it also imposes some restrictions. The following are not allowed on this darknet market:
- Explosives, terrorism-related items, and weapons
- Illegal or banned pornography
- Carding on Russian citizens
- Sales to Russian citizens
Silk Road 3 Search and Search Filters
If you are new to exploring the Silk Road 3 site, you may not easily find this darknet market’s search bar. It’s actually near the top portion of homepage (the same page where the categories and listings are located). A section that presents vendor news and listing updates separates it from the categories and listings section. It would have been more intuitive to position the search bar and the section for categories and listings closer to each other.
Anyway, Silk Road 3 provides a search results filtering system that allows you to set multiple parameters before doing a search. With it, you can set the search function to filter results based on whether the item is offered on escrow or FE (finalize early) basis, based on shipping origin, and based on the location of the buyer or the location where the item is to be delivered.
It’s a limited search results filtering system but it’s better than not having anything at all. It would have been more useful, though, if there’s an option to do a search based on price or vendor/item rating.
Escrow and FE, for those who are not familiar with the terms, refer to the payment terms. With escrow, the payment from the buyer is withheld and only released to the vendor once the item purchased has already been delivered or once the terms of the sale have been fulfilled. FE items, on the other hand, allow vendors to ask buyers to finalize the purchase transaction (and have the payment transferred to the vendor) even before delivery is made.
How to Choose a Vendor
Silk Road 3 has vendor profiles to help you decide as you go over your buying options. Each vendor profile presents the number of positive and negative feedbacks received by the vendor, a vendor rating, last login time, sales terms and policies, PGP key, buyer feedback or reviews, and a record of the different complaints or issues raised by buyers against the vendor (under the Vendor Support link).
These information can help you assess if it’s worth buying from a particular vendor. As a rule of thumb, choose vendors with the highest number of positive feedback, lowest or 0 negative feedback, high vendor level, and favorable terms and conditions. Of course, you have to evaluate the feedback or reviews given by buyers. Also pay attention to the Vendor Support section to see how the vendor handles complaints—whether or not the vendor is able to promptly resolve the issues raised by buyers.
There are times when you may need more information about vendors, information that are not reflected in the vendor profiles. For these instances, you can ask for insights from other Silk Road 3 users through the site’s official forum.
Adding and Withdrawing Funds on Silk Road 3
It is not required for Silk Road 3 users to deposit bitcoins to the site’s wallet or to maintain an account balance. To pay for purchases, you just have to directly send bitcoins from your bitcoin wallet to the order pay address that will be generated as you place an order (more on this in the Ordering Guide section below).
We will no longer be discussing here the steps in placing an order on Silk Road 3 since the site already has an excellent guide, as shown in the screenshot below.
Here are some important things worth emphasizing in the ordering process:
- You need to carefully evaluate the terms of the sale and the description of the item being offered.
- As much as possible, avoid FE items unless you have already established some degree of trust for a particular vendor. Also, don’t agree to finalizing a transaction early if the item is not explicitly tagged as an FE item.
- Listings have indicators if they come with free shipping or if they are highly sold. Take note of these indicators.
- Give preference to domestic shipping or buy from local vendors. Avoid the possibility of customs inspection as much as possible.
- Only contact vendors through Silk Road 3’s encrypted messaging system. Don’t be tempted to use email as some vendors include email contacts in their profiles.
Silk Road 3 Market Support
If you need assistance from the Silk Road 3 admin or support team, send a message through the Messages page. Additionally, there’s a Questions and Answers section where you can post questions and go over the questions posted by other users. You can also go to the site’s official forum.
Pros and Cons
- Relatively good uptime
- Fast page loading
- Quick session timeout (good for security but may be annoying for some users)
- Free vendor account (vendor upgrade fee waived) for those who only want to sell items priced at $4 or lower
- Not so intuitive site design/interface
- Meticulous login setup (you have to enter a CAPTCHA for the “entry point” page, answer a question for the phishing test, and enter your login details and another CAPTCHA when logging in)
- Does not support multisig payments