Identabit: The Opposite Of Bitcoin

Introduction

Perhaps the strongest thing about Bitcoin transactions is its anonymity. This is because transaction verification does not happen through checking identities but via a complex algorithm. But this very aspect of Bitcoin is what has endeared it to criminals and underground market dealers. In the process, this has earned it the wrath financial regulators and government officials.

Enter Identabit

An Australian-based has announced plans to introduce a digital currency called Identabit that will allow regulatory acceptance by means of user association. Called Thinking Active, the startup categorizes Identabit as the first decentralized identity-ensured currency. Identabit represents a means of liberating decentralized currencies and many are already saying that this will be the ultimate Bitcoin replacement.

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Identabit was borne out of collaboration between Cryptonomex and Thinking Active. Cryptonomex is a Virginia-based firm led by Dan Larimer while Thinking Active is owned by John Underwood, a New York-based software entrepreneur. Larimer has been identified as one of the brains behind Blockchain 2.0 project, BitShares.

Bitcoin Plus Identities

Bitcoin is a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention in 2008 and released it as open-source software in 2009.

Despite the closure of Silk Road and increased attention on Bitcoin transaction that may involve criminal transactions, digital currencies are still being rampantly used in ransomware attacks by hackers. As a result, it has made it all the more difficult for government authorities to trace payments, something that has led to most governments to be skeptical about Bitcoin.

Although the underlying technology known as Blockchain has tremendous potential in disrupting different industries given its more practical applications, government agencies seem hell-bent to suppress innovation with compliance. To offer something of a compromise, Identabit seeks to come up with another version of Bitcoin but one that is identity-based. This will allow the development of Identabit without the element of criminal activity.

Because Identabit is basically creating a permission-based ledger, it will not necessarily leave all transactions open to public scrutiny. Those behind Identabit claim that they are able to process 4x transactions of MasterCard and 6x transactions of Bitcoin network.

Is Identabit Superior to Bitcoin?

If the information from the Identabit website is anything to go by, Identabit meets counterterrorism and anti-money laundering acts. In other words, this makes it unusable for felons. It uses technology that makes it superior to Bitcoin in more ways than one. The technology that it uses is called DPos or Delegated Proof of Stake and it’s a fairly new technology. This has given it a transaction capacity that exceeds that of MasterCard, while the transaction capacity of Bitcoin is a meager 0.035 of MasterCard’s. Similarly, Bitcoin has a big disadvantage in that once the money is transferred, it cannot be recovered.

However, since Identabit requires that the identities of both parties be revealed, it enables disputing of transfers as well as recovery. This is because of the plenty of digital proof. In some ways, Identabit is more preferable and also more secure compared to Bitcoin.

How Will Identabit Introduction affect the Deep Web?

At the start, people seemed to be quite taken with the novelty of anonymous and safe currency such as Bitcoin. However, due to the public bashing that Bitcoin received, more people don’t want anything to do with this anonymous currency. Identabit seems to be the answer and has tapped into the fear of law enforcement by the public. It’s a privacy minded digital currency that also complies with all elements of the law. Looking at the wider scope of things, it spells trouble for darknet markets.

A theory has been advanced to the effect that majority of people who buy drugs on darknet markets like Silk Road don’t do so primarily because they need drugs or other illegal items. Rather, they do this for the novelty of online drug trade.

Bitcoin is a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention in 2008 and released it as open-source software in 2009.
It’s possible that these people initially bought into the Bitcoin concept and then began to explore more ways of spending their newly acquired currency. The deep web almost always pops up when people search for Bitcoin, something that tempts people to explore about it a bit more. This might mean that a user eventually ends up at Abraxas or other markets, whereupon they will be overawed by the sheer fact that places like that even exist.

Instead of just window shop, a user is stimulated to purchase the goods by the ease of buying unlawful goods and the relative safety. But given that Bitcoin popularity has been under steady decline, coupled with heightened vigilance from law enforcement, darknet markets have been gradually losing customers and revenue. It is possible that the exit scams that many successful darknet markets committed were not simply to get customers enraged but to get out of business fast before Interpol catches up with them and before Bitcoin value comes down crashing.

The net effect is that the deep web will eventually experience a slow decline and a remarkable decrease in their user bases. Bitcoin is simply not the place to rake in the money anymore. The ever decreasing interest in Bitcoin is a major concern for deep web, no doubt.

Identabit will usher in a new era of cryptocurrency, and in the process it will devalue as well as stigmatize the Bitcoin. It is sad to say but the Bitcoin that all of us loved might be sliding quickly into oblivion.

Stolen Data For Sale On The Darknet

It is not so rare to find the stories in the news of identity thefts being perpetrated or large databases with personal information being hacked. While personal information are being stolen on a daily basis it often begs the question, what is this data used for?

stolen data
First of all, there are several types of personal data “packages” that can be bought on darknet markets each having their own bitcoin price, but the most popular ones are the full data sets consisting of anything from name and address to social security number, called “fullz.” These fullz are usually obtained in large numbers by performing hacks on databases of companies that deal in finance, social security or insurance and it is not uncommon to see them put up for sale days after news of data breach is reported.

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stolen data
Fullz can go anywhere from few Satoshi to a full bitcoin or two, depending on what information they provide and who said information belongs to. One thing that is mostly looked for and which greatly increases the bitcoin value of fullz is if credit card information is usable or not. While there are some buyers who will deliberately go for “dead” credit card information, in most cases, fullz with proper, working credit card information will go for a much more bitcoin than dead ones. The credit card limit is also one of the deciding factors when creating a price in bitcoin for personal data. It was reported that some fullz went for as much as 2 Bitcoin, since the data obtained belonged to somebody who had a $10,000 spending limit on their card.

stolen data
While carding, term for stealing credit card information, is quite advanced and wide spread on Russian part of the darknet where it can fetch a hefty sum of bitcoin, it seems that the English-speaking community is much less prone to it. There is also the inherent distrust towards carders that makes selling carded information not too spread on English marketplaces, due to which only a handful of marketplaces, like AlphaBay Marketplace actually sells them to begin with.

The Deep Web And The Darknet Hidden Services

It seems like only yesterday when most people where browsing the internet, blissfully unaware of what is happening underneath its surface. Then the media realized there is an interesting story to be told there and thus series like House of Cards was created, followed by an “in-depth” story on the Deep Web and Silk Road’s downfall.

What this did is create an unnecessary confusion over the terms “Deep Web” and “Darknet”(or Dark Net) and the things these terms represent. The mistake here was the use of said terms interchangeably, probably caused by the lack of research done on their history.

The term “Deep Web” was actually coined by Mike Bergman and the company Bright Planet as a name for unindexed part of the web. To understand this better one would first need to understand the way in which search engines look for content. For a search engine like Google or Yahoo any content not connected to something via a link is practically non-existent. This includes dynamically created pages like, a Gmail account or information you need to use the site’s search box (which search engines cannot do) to find. This being said, it is clear that about 96% of the web can in fact be considered “Deep Web”.

deep webThe misconception was created when people wrongfully started using the term “Deep Web” to describe what is known as “Darknet”. The difference here lies in the fact that while Deep Web is unindexed due to technical inabilities of a search engine, the content on the darknet is purposefully hidden from the surface net. While there are numerous ways to hide content on web, the one most commonly used by users is through the use of Tor or The Onion Router.

This is specialized software used to access sites with hidden content which can be recognized by having an “.onion” suffix in the URL. It was first created by the US Navy as a way to encrypt data and increase anonymity, but since all the data was sent from the US Navy and to US Navy the project was abandoned and shared with the public due to obvious lack of practicality. The way Tor works is by having a network of computers become “nodes” through which users are rerouted when making a search query. This makes their IP change every time it jumps from node to node making it increasingly difficult to track. While this system is very strong it still has its vulnerabilities and should not be takes as completely untraceable. The main thing to note about browsing the darknet with Tor is that it differs from conventional Internet browsing. Since it is unindexed, you cannot type the name of the web page in the browser and hope to get a list of pages that match your query. Instead, you need to have the link to the page given to you by somebody who already visited the site in order to be able to enter it. There is no comprehensive index of websites residing on the deep web. Some have built small lists of deep web links.

This system however opens the possibility for a whole new world, or rather “underworld” on the internet. By creating special randomized URL’s that can only be read by Tor, a completely different community has appeared fueled by anonymity. Any black-market good from stolen credit card information to firearms and drugs can be found on the darknet. Another thing that became synonymous with it was “hacking” or rather “cracking” for those who have term preferences. The anonymity that the darknet has to offer makes it a haven for those looking to offer their “technical knowledge” as a service, but also those praying on less tech-savvy people, looking to relieve them of their credit card and personal information.

tor browserThe most common places where one could find illegal goods being marketed are the darknet markets. After the downfall of the biggest and most notorious online black market, the Silk Road, many new contestants began to battle for the top place. In the upcoming period hundreds of marketplaces where created and brought down continuously, mainly due to newly found mistrust in the safety of Tor and darknet in general. One other thing that this created was the rise of false marketplaces and opportunities for scammers. The most notorious story one will hear on the darknet is the one revolving around the Evolution marketplace’s exit scam. The owners of said site created a stable community and were one of the prime contenders to replace Silk Road before closing the site and disappearing with $12 million of their customer’s Bitcoins. After this incident the darknet market community was severely shaken, but despite that it still remains functional on sites like AlphaBay, Agora, and Nucleus.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are some sites on the darknet that contain child pornography and other disturbing content. This is the one major downfall with the darknet because while it gives a place for free thinkers, political activists, drug users and anyone else that cherishes their privacy, a place to be open and free it does also give the same liberties to the sick and twisted scum of the earth pedophile’s.

With all the illegal actions taking place and questionable content being posted on the darknet, it is easy to forget the good sides of such a place. For example it offers a possibility for uncensored freedom of speech for countries where governments are stricter regarding their media. It also offers a safe place for people to exchange information and stories with the media and between each other, anonymously.

To summarize, the difference between Deep Web and Darknet, while not too big still exists and lies within their scope. The Deep web is the entire wealth of information unindexed by search engines for one reason or another. The Darknet however, is actually a small fragment of the Deep Web, artificially hidden from the search engines and usually connected to illegal actions.

While both Deep Web and Darknet terms are relatively new and still evolving, it is important to use them properly now more than ever to raise technical awareness of the public and avoid misinformation as much as possible.

The Anonymous Virtual Currency “Bitcoin”

bitcoinBitcoin is largely considered the first decentralized cryptocurrency created. It was published as an invention by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and it was released as open-source software in 2009. While there were systems similar to it before it was published, Bitcoin has brought about a revolution in online economy and has inspired the creation of multiple other cryptocurrencies.

What makes Bitcoin one of the favorite means of payment online is the fact that while today’s economy largely relies on big banks, Bitcoin does not, since it is a completely decentralized system to begin with. This means that no single person, corporation or country has control over the Bitcoin market and nobody can claim them unlawfully. This is possible due to Bitcoin system’s design, making it essentially one big, virtual ledger. Everybody can access it through specialized software and since it is open-source, everybody can check it out to make sure that it does exactly what its creators said it would.

The primary way one can get a hold of Bitcoin is through mining them. While normal currencies are based on gold or silver reserves, Bitcoin are based on mathematical algorithms. By allowing your computer to be used for solving complex mathematical calculations using the Bitcoin software you are carrying out an action known as “mining”. Your computer is essentially helping in finalizing transactions which are part of Bitcoin block-chain earning you a small part of transaction fees which are translated into Bitcoin of value equal to the amount of your contribution. As its name suggest the block-chain is a structure made of Bitcoin blocks, lists of transactions happening all over the world. The block is updated regularly and its updates are sent to all miners working on it.

The way miners work on a block is by applying a set mathematical algorithm to it and gaining a so-called “hash” out of it. It is very easy to create a hash out of a block and computers can perform this task very rapidly. To make sure that the amount of available Bitcoin does not become too large, developers designed a way to make mining more difficult the more coins are mined out. This is done by prompting the miners’ computers to create a hash with specific properties which differ for every hash needed. Another important thing when mining for Bitcoin is “nonce”.  When Bitcoin block is hashed along with a “nonce” it should give a set output and unless one does not get that exact output, the “nonce” is incorrect and searched for again. Since “nonce” is checked in order from 0 upwards, it takes a considerable amount of time to find the right one.

A thing to note about Bitcoin is the anonymity involved with making transactions with them. To store Bitcoin, one needs only a personal address of their wallet. While everybody can tell how much Bitcoin there are on a certain address, no one is able to tell who the address belongs to. If one uses different Bitcoin addresses constantly and never deposit Bitcoin from different addresses into a single one, there is virtually no way to trace who the Bitcoin belong to.

It is for this reason that Bitcoin have become the primary currency when doing any form of business on Darknet. Due to illicit nature of many actions conducted on darknet markets it is vital that its users remain anonymous. There are multiple ways to protect one’s Bitcoin when dealing with unknown vendors, but one should always make sure to deal with reputable people before giving away their personal information. It is also important to note that there are numerous phishing sites around darknet, praying on inexperienced people and their Bitcoin wallets.

The most important thing is not to use the same account information twice and to make sure that the information you give does not link to any of your personal information. More than 80% of reported scams on darknet are nothing more than inexperienced users giving away their information to phishing sites, just to find their Bitcoin taken away by somebody.

Lately the Bitcoin has begun to take heavy criticism of their privacy policy, mainly due to their block-chain being public and accessible by anybody. It is for this reason that many people contemplated switching over to a different cryptocurrency like Altcoin or Darkcoin. The problem that has risen from this was somewhat counterintuitive to what one might think happened. Since the two above mentioned crypocurrencies have a “hidden”, encrypted block they raise more suspicion about the people using them. Firstly, there is the mentality that, it is obvious that if somebody would go to such lengths to protect their identity they must be hiding something.

Bitcoin-CryptocurrencyThe second thing needs a little bit more explanation. It is obvious that for those looking to hide something, it is the best option to increase possible suspects as much as possible. If there is only information that the suspect is using Bitcoin to conduct business it is not too helpful since millions of people are doing so just to buy a coffee at a local coffee shop or order something over the internet. The amount of people using other, more anonymous cryptocurencies is much lower, meaning less people to sift through if one was to look for you. So, essentially the decreased anonymity of Bitcoin has made it much safer and less suspicious to use than other, safer cryptocurrency options.

The only real problem that users of Bitcoin face, which greatly affects small vendors on darknet is its volatility or constantly changing value. For a small business, a single Bitcoin, with its value changing by tens or hundreds of dollars on a weekly basis can make a difference between making a profit and losing money. This is the primary reason why people are looking into alternative payment options, but so far none has offered the benefits that Bitcoin does.

If we sum it all up it is clear that Bitcoin will remain the currency of choice for darknet market users as long as its benefits outweigh the risks, but if a good alternative appears in the future, there is no doubt that it will be accepted with open arms.

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