The announcement by the AlphaBay Market that they will be integrating Ethereum payments into their systems as of May 1st has elicited an array of mixed reactions from its users.
The highly popular darknet market has reached similar altitudes as Silk Road I did during its heyday.
Its adoption of a fairly controversial digital currency puts a cap on some of the problems the AlphaBay Market has recently been experiencing, particularly when it comes to payment methods.
On Ethereum’s part, this will be considered a monumental victory for a digital currency that has recently been struggling for a solid foothold in a niche dominated by the long-time cryptocurrency favorite Bitcoin and an upcoming rival currency Monero.
A lot of the reactions point to a general displeasure at the adoption of what many see as a dysfunctional digital currency on a platform as authoritative as the AlphaBay Market.
Concerns over whether the highly censored Ethereum chain is worthy of a darknet market that is fundamentally run by illicit drug and weapons trading are rife.
Many users see this move by the AlphaBay Market as the beginning of a horde of problems rather than the inception of a more efficient payment system.
Bitcoin is Still the Leader, But Not for Long
Undoubtedly, Ethereum has quite a distance to cover to reach the heights of Bitcoin.
However, for the alternative currency to even dream of competing on an equal footing with Bitcoin, moves such as this are necessary.
The recent hike in popularity and the price of the altcoin have a lot to do with the AlphaBay Market’s decision to start accepting it as a payment method on their marketplace.
Ethereum had previously been suffering from an acute lack of real-life application, but it seems like the AlphaBay Market is determined to make that a thing of the past.
Pundits, however, are not expecting it to get the same reception as privacy-centric blockchains such as Bitcoin and Monero.
And it is for that same reason that Ethereum is unlikely to usurp Bitcoin from its position as the leading digital currency anytime soon.
That said, the future looks promising for the alternative currency.
A Rocky Start Predicted for the AlphaBay Market’s New Payment System
It is fairly clear that a lot of AlphaBay Market vendors are not happy with the integration of Ethereum payments.
With a track record of at best unsavory hard forks—one particular fork was designed to return stolen money to their owners; not the best approach for a currency that is appealing to a largely criminal user base—not even the proposed Metropolis hard fork is enough to get people excited.
Nevertheless, the AlphaBay Market has made a sound decision to finally introduce Ethereum payments.
Going by its recent hike in value and popularity, the altcoin currency has finally gotten out of the rut it had previously been in and is looking healthier than ever.
Currently, the AlphaBay Market team is in the process of setting up the payment functionality, which has a projected launch date of May 1, 2017.
Vendors on the platform will be expected to manually enable the payments by going to the account settings.
The attitude surrounding Ethereum is unlikely to change soon, especially with its surprising lack of privacy in an industry dominated by privacy-centric competitors.
Nevertheless, the AlphaBay Market users may be more accepting of the currency once the Metropolis hard fork is finally implemented.
The hard fork currently has no official launch date as of yet, though.
AlphaBay Market will set a Precedent for other Darknet Markets
AlphaBay is currently being watched by other markets that are waiting to see how their move plays out in the long run.
If successful, the popular drug-fueled darknet market will be considered a trendsetter and will consolidate their position as the world’s most popular darknet market.
If not, it will be clear that the power to make or break any large darknet market lies squarely in the hands of the consumer.
A lot of their success is clearly dependent on Ethereum’s proposed privacy-enhanced hard fork.