One of the largest marketplaces on Deep Web, AlphaBay, was and still is a heaven-like place for those looking to buy or sell black market goods. AlphaBay was founded right before the Evolution market controversy and has had a huge growth spurt, partially due to that incident. Being founded by a well-known carder and carding forums member, alpha02, the AlphaBay has a good reputation in the deep web community.
AlphaBay is what one would consider a classic marketplace-type website. It has its own categories and two distinct groups of users, buyers and vendors. What separates the AlphaBay from its competitors is the increased security levels implemented on the site. In an interview for deepdotweb.com, the founder of AlphaBay explained the security features presently put up on the site and what how they affect the overall security. This being said, one would find the amount of scam accusations on forums, relatively high. If one visits AlphaBay sub-reddit they will encounter a pretty much 50/50 mix of positive and negative reviews about their experiences on the site.
This should not discourage potential users, because of the fact that while AlphaBay has, until now, proven to be very reliable there is a huge number of scamming sites on deep web praying on new users and their credentials. Approximately 80% of all negative, scam-related post’s directed towards AlphaBay and their business policy can be pinned down to new users being phished out of their credit and account information and ultimately bitcoins. It is important for this reason that one uses different passwords on every website they sign in and look into learning to use 2FA and Multisig transactions before conducting any business on deep web in general.
If we exclude potential outside threats, AlphaBay does seem to take extra care about their security. After following the onion link, one will be directed to what seems to be, their custom captcha verification page. While not being too important in the overall security, it helps prevent DDoS attacks and spam-bots to some extent, making the site’s uptime a quite commendable 97.4%. The site itself is also custom-coded which, while being a common feature on deep web still increases security.
All transactions are done in bitcoins to ensure user’s anonymity and there are several layers of transaction protection present on the AlphaBay site. The withdrawal PIN, vendor bond and forced vendor PGP are constantly up and operational and the site also supports 2FA and Multisig transactions making it one of the most security-heavy on deep web.
There are multiple categories on the site, with firearms drugs and stolen credit card information being permitted for offering. There are close to 20, 000 entries currently available on the site and surprisingly, not much of them are drug listings. Compared to other marketplaces the ratio of drug listings to total listings is much lower, but that does not mean that the quality of the merchandise or service is bad. As it stands, some of the most well-reputed vendors have their shops set up exclusively on AlphaBay. Unfortunately, with so many vendors there is also a large amount of scammers present, but those can generally be found out easily, by looking at the reviews that buyer’s post about the level of satisfaction to the service they received and generally sticking to tried and proven vendors.
While the entire site is accessible only on the deep web, AlphaBay is one of the rare darknet markets that openly market themselves on Clearnet. They have a single page website set up with directions to their darknet market and a sub-reddit forum actively moderated by alpha02 himself and his moderators. The moderators of AlphaBay were known to be very prompt and quick to respond to disputes, but as of recently, more and more posts are appearing criticizing their ‘lack of care’ for their users’ problems.
There are recent rumors circling the forums that AlphaBay may have started to show symptoms of exit scam preparation, but none are conclusive and for now, there does not seem to be an immediate threat of exit scam being planned. There are also plans of cooperation with Russian deep web community in order to establish a mutually productive partnership and increase the market, but as of now no concrete action was taken in this direction.
All in all, while the Evolution exit scam has left everybody’s trust in darknet markets shaken; AlphaBay seems like a good place to do your business. With a little bit of research on protecting your account info from theft and the use of common sense, one can purchase and sell from this site without the need to worry about its owners and their hidden plans.