Cryptocurrencies are used for most of the transactions that take place on the dark web.
The cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most commonly used currencies and they have been dominating the market for quite some time now.
However, the realization that the digital currencies do not provide total anonymity has encouraged users to seek alternatives to the use of digital currencies.
Monero, an open source cryptocurrency, is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative among the users of the dark web.
Recently, AlphaBay Market and Oasis announced that this currency can be used for purchases on their websites.
Monero works on CryptoNote protocol, unlike Bitcoin forks, and is significantly different in terms of algorithm employed for maintaining the blockchain.
This is to say that the CryptoNote protocol prevents tracking of the transactions – understanding as to who received or sent coins – through the blockchain because of its very nature.
Bitcoin and other related cryptocurrencies inherently lack this feature.
It is important, at this point, to note that traceability of Bitcoin transactions is not a design problem, but a feature of the blockchain technology.
Though Monero’s market value has grown to $20 million since its launch in 2014, the cryptocurrency has not received the kind of response expected. The user-base continues to remain small.
Currently, Monero does not have any GUI wallet. Monero can be accessed only through command line or web-based wallets.
Work on a native GUI wallet has been going on for two years, and users believe that it is in the final stages and will be released at the earliest.
Oasis Marketplace Supports Monero
The darknet marketplace Oasis announced on August 19, 2016, on their forums that payments in Monero would be accepted. In the announcement post,
Oasis said that users who place orders on their marketplace can now make payments in Monero (XMR) provided the vendors accepted it by suitably editing their listings.
Answers to the questions posed to Oasis moderators revealed additional details as regards the cryptocurrency.
Monero IDs have already been integrated, and it would function as an integrated payment method. However, deposits into an account cannot be made using Monero. According to the post, this feature would be introduced soon.
Additionally, Oasis has requested vendors to modify their listings so as to allow payments in Monero.
However, Oasis has not given a firm date by which full support would be provided and whether vendors would have to definitely accept Monero.
AlphaBay Market Supports Monero
Three days after the Oasis announcement, AlphaBay also announced that the marketplace would also accept payments in Monero.
The update provided by AlphaBay includes more details as regards Monero support. It provides a date by which deposits would be openly available.
In their post, the AlphaBay Market said that it is implementing Monero with immediate effect given the demand made by the community and taking into account the security features offered by Monero.
AlphaBay Market also said that deposits and withdrawals in Monero could be made from September 1, 2016 onwards.
In addition, AlphaBay noted that the platform has been upgraded to enable Monero Escrow/FE transactions and allow vendors to modify their listings suitably.
If a vendor does not modify his/her listings, then only Bitcoins will be accepted.
AlphaBay also said in the post that users would see their Monero balance on logging into the site, and they could search listings supported by the cryptocurrency.
Further, AlphaBay would add other currencies in the future depending on their demand.
AlphaBay would implement Monero support in two phases because of the marketplace’s size and side effects that the change could cause.
AlphaBay expects that the price of Monero would spike because of these changes and recommends that this is the best time for investors to purchase Monero.
AlphaBay and Oasis site upgrades would not affect users who are not interested in changing the cryptocurrency they use. However, AlphaBay and Oasis have urged vendors to be prepared for the changes that are likely to come along.