Empire Market: A Replica of the Famous AlphaBay Launched

Stylized text darknet. 3D illustration.
Stylized text darknet. 3D illustration.
A darknet site modeled to mimic AlphaBay is live. While Empire is basically a replica of the fallen market, admins say the code is original.

Last summer saw the ultimate downfall of two of the most influential darknet markets of their time—AlphaBay Market and Hansa Market.

By the time they were seized by law enforcement authorities, these darknet markets were among the biggest in the world.

They generated income running into the upper thousands of Bitcoins on a daily basis for both sellers and site admins.

The sellers would cash in from profits acquired after the sale of goods or services, while the admins would rake in commission revenue generated from the sites.

Due to the influence of AlphaBay and Hansa on the dark web scene, the operation that led to their ultimate seizure was regarded as the biggest ever dark web takedown.

Several arrests were made, including the arrest of AlphaBay Market admin Alexander Cazes, who later died by suicide in a Thai jail.

The takedown was a major blow to thousands of darknet users who ended up counting losses after their cryptocurrency funds were seized by the law enforcement agencies heading the operation.

Not only that, most of the customers who had purchased goods/services on the seized markets never received their order.

A month after the shutdown of AlphaBay and Hansa in mid-2017, a group of developers began working on what is now known as Empire Market—a replica of the long-gone AlphaBay Market. The new darknet market is built in memory of Alexander Cazes.

The screenshot below is a message from the admin of Empire Market detailing how the site is modeled.

The admin goes by the name Syd, and it seems he is in charge of announcements since most posts in the forums were posted by him.

Acknowledging the fact that AlphaBay was a beacon of hope to most darknet market users during its time, Syd implies that Empire’s developers have put a lot of effort into bringing new life to AlphaBay’s design and interface.

Features & Capabilities of Empire Market

Most of the features in the new darknet market are a replica of AlphaBay’s features, including user interface, the use of Two Factor Authentication (2FA) and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), deposits and withdrawals, plus a grading system.

However, Empire Market seeks to offer more security and anonymity by adding new features to the model currently in existence.

The addition of new features, referred to as phase 2, seeks to integrate altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash, Monero, Ethereum and ZCash as payment options. Other features will include affiliate programs, multisig and CC Autoshops.

Despite all the similarities, the admins are quick to note that every code is written from scratch to be completely original.

One thing to note is that before the seizure of AlphaBay, the market had adopted Monero, Ethereum, ZCash and, of course, Bitcoin. For Empire, the only cryptocurrencies currently in use are Bitcoin and Litecoin.

AlphaBay never integrated Litecoin, but perhaps it would have done so by now if it were operational.

Remembering AlphaBay’s Innovative Qualities

Darknet word cloud concept. Vector illustration
Last summer saw the ultimate downfall of two of the most influential darknet markets of their time—AlphaBay Market and Hansa Market.

To generalize, one can say that AlphaBay was a trendsetter.Having four cryptocurrencies added as payment options before the site’s seizure showed its zeal and determination in maintaining its position as the world’s top darknet market.

Months have passed since AlphaBay Market was closed, but still, no darknet market has been able to integrate the four altcoins that AlphaBay had.

If it were still in existence, the only conclusion is that AlphaBay would have added several new features to make it stand out among other markets due to the level of innovation the developers shared.

Establishing a new darknet market that operates similarly as a previous top market can be considered as a marketing strategy in the eyes of many.

Of course, the more darknet users hear about Empire, the more curious they become and in turn, they may end up opening accounts on the market to see if it has any potential.

A Look into the Future

From previous case studies, it is evident that the trends and patterns of darknet markets are highly unpredictable. But the most notable factors that cause markets to exit from the scene are seizure by law enforcement, hacks and exit scams.

Depending on the reason, a market’s closure may be temporary or long term. But what is evident is that exit scams and law enforcement seizures are permanent.

Crackdowns by law enforcement agencies lead to arrests and prosecution, as was the case with AlphaBay last year.

Hacks, on the other hand, can lead to either temporary or permanent closure. If users lose funds as a result of the cyber attack, then the admins may not be able to recover and will opt to shut down all operations.

But in the past, some markets have been brought back despite suffering major hacks.

In one of the most recent situations, a DDoS hack was orchestrated targeting the most popular darknet markets. As a result, some sites were offline for weeks.

As of now, the fate of Empire Market lies with a high level of uncertainty because what is for sure is that law enforcement agencies are already on the dark web radar, continuing to monitor other marketplaces to see if they can bring them down.

You can find Empire here: http://empiremktxgjovhm.onion. This address is sourced from Empire’s official subreddit page. (Note: Never enter a darknet site or market unless the URL is from a trusted source. Double-check to make sure you have entered the URL correctly before visiting the site.)

AlphaBay to Accept Zcash Payment Soon

AlphaBay is set to integrate with yet another type of cryptocurrency come July 1, 2017.

The leading darknet marketplace announced the move to accept Zcash payments starting next month in a Reddit post, citing the growing nature of Bitcoin as a major reason why the darknet market has seen it fit to implement other cryptocurrencies.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

AlphaBay’s recent integration with Ethereum earlier this year was a move that met strong opposition by significant portions of the community who felt that Ethereum was a poor choice of cryptocurrency to use in an environment dominated by its privacy-centric counterparts.

While Bitcoin has already established itself as the most reliable cryptocurrency on AlphaBay and on other darknet markets, Zcash brings to the table a significantly more privacy-oriented approach to making transactions on various dark web platforms.

Zcash has Grown Exponentially this Year

Zcash Cryptocurrency secured chain. Digital money
AlphaBay announced that it will accept Zcash payments from as early as July 1, as the darknet market looks to expand its payment options.

The adoption of the cryptocurrency by AlphaBay is a move that has been anticipated by many after the cryptocurrency’s soaring performances since the beginning of this year.

Much of the intrigue surrounding this new partnership is focused on the immensely privacy-centric nature of Zcash, which promises to drastically improve the anonymity of transactions carried out by AlphaBay users.

The cryptocurrency’s admins have justifiably compared the form of payment to HTTPS.

Among its key features is the ability to shield transaction details including the sender, the recipient and the value transacted on the blockchain completely.

Unlike the appraised Monero, which received high acceptance ratings from the AlphaBay community, the move to implement Zcash cannot be interpreted as another cash grab.

Many believed that the AlphaBay admin only implemented Monero as a way of increasing its usage and thereby boosting the value of the cryptocurrency, which many suspect they had bought significant amounts of.

Admittedly, Monero went on to be wildly successful on darknet markets such as AlphaBay, with some experts calling it “the drug-dealer’s currency of choice.”

The secure cryptocurrency experienced a massive 2,760% growth spurt, making it by far the best performing currency in 2016.

Support Readied on AlphaBay in Record Time

AlphaBay has reportedly prepared Zcash support in a remarkably swift manner.

In their announcement, they stated that support for the newly integrated cryptocurrency would be available as soon as the following day.

As is custom, making Zcash payments an option is a voluntary decision that the AlphaBay marketplace delegates entirely to its vendors.

Their unusually quick efforts this time around was notably absent during previous implementations, which took roughly a month each to be fully integrated into AlphaBay after they were announced.

This shows that the AlphaBay admin has had this particular move in the works long before the official announcement was made.

All Systems Go on AlphaBay

All over the internet, the reaction towards the AlphaBay announcement is largely positive, especially since Zcash bears some significant differences to its counterparts.

The cryptocurrency’s ability to provide maximum transactional privacy while simultaneously being capable of enough transparency to trace back to cyber criminals—such as those behind the WannaCry ransomware attacks—puts it on a slightly higher pedestal than the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which has been linked with several crime sprees over the past few years.

Cryptocurrency provides maximum transactional privacyHowever, questions have been posed on several occasions regarding the decentralization of AlphaBay’s latest offering in the cryptocurrency department.

Among the major appeals of digital currencies is undoubtedly their decentralized nature.

Unlike its completely decentralized rivals, Zcash is the proprietary digital currency of the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, according to its website.

The cryptocurrency is clearly owned by a single company, making it less immune to the forces that impact fiat currencies, such as inflation.

As essential as the cryptocurrency may become to users of platforms such as AlphaBay in the near future, its centralized nature might eventually become its downfall—especially when it begins to fold to the pressures that affect normal currencies.

AlphaBay Now Accepting Ethereum Transactions

While those trading Bitcoin rejoiced over its price peaks, the darknet market AlphaBay recently announced it would begin accepting Ether, the cryptocurrency more popularly known as Ethereum or ETH.

Insiders likely knew this would happen, and since the currency has gained value over the past few weeks, this adoption by AlphaBay could not have come at a better time.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <== 

Ether wallpaper dark
The addition of Ethereum on AlphaBay has generated much debate about darknet markets adopting their own strategies to suit convenience.

Following through with its announcement earlier this year, AlphaBay began accepting ETH for making deposits and withdrawals on May 1.

Mixed Reactions from the Community

The move by AlphaBay has evoked a range of reactions from those who frequently trade in these cryptocurrencies, as well as from some observers who follow the trends in the trade.

One point of concern for many users is the site’s reputation. AlphaBay is known as an online marketplace for selling and buying illicit drugs.

The second set of apprehensions come from people who say ETH itself is a currency traded without permissions, and the operators of the currency don’t offer privacy for transactions.

To be more specific, there have been instances in which companies prefer not to use the currency for trading, so they turn it down.

Though the currency made a recovery and returned to full operations, AlphaBay could have avoided taking this currency on board. Some see the decision as reflecting a lack of values and principles on the part of AlphaBay.

There are others who generally support the move, and their take is based on the premise that Bitcoin is also going through some turbulent times.

Ethereum offers an alternative currency for completing transactions on the site. For the record though, there is a third alternative in Moreno, available on AlphaBay.

The trouble with BTC right now is that transactions are taking too long to complete.

Additionally, the fee charged per transaction has risen, much to the disliking of users within this darknet market. The general refrain from this segment of people is that the use of the currency on AlphaBay cannot be stopped by the ETH’s community, even if they object to it.

Ether Could Gain through This Move by AlphaBay

Ethereum cripto currency chrystal art icon for apps and websites. Ethereum vector logo for print of web.
While those trading Bitcoin rejoiced over its price peaks, the darknet market AlphaBay recently announced it would begin accepting Ether, the cryptocurrency more popularly known as Ethereum or ETH.

AlphaBay’s decision can be examined from a different perspective, as well. ETH is the second largest traded cryptocurrency after Bitcoin or BTC.

The traction and acceptability it has received from mainstream and frontline companies like Microsoft, BP and JP Morgan has only strengthened its claims.

This is mainly because the currency has managed to offer smart contacting solutions that work for those carrying out transactions.

It is understood that financial powerhouses are already busy putting in place dedicated applications on their websites to handle ETH-based transactions.

The formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is also cited as a justification for the recognition AlphaBay has accorded to Ether.

Data indicates that some 90,000 transactions were done in one day recently, transferring almost a billion US Dollars in value terms.

Hacking, Theft and Forking That Occurred with ETH

AlphaBay users who don’t favor transactions using Ether have some concerns. Some refer to incidents where hackers could break in and take away someone’s currency.

But Ethereum started using the blockchain system to break transaction rules and records, ultimately restoring the money to its original owner.

This is termed “hard fork” within the cryptocurrency dealer community. Some agree with this solution but other Ethereum users reject it, electing to use the old rules instead.

Still, the possibility for hacking and theft is a threat to secure transactions using ETH on AlphaBay.

This drawback is often overlooked when considering benefits that the currency can bring on to AlphaBay users.

But it does appear that the dust will settle down soon within the AlphaBay user community and those trading in Ether will find its price increasing in the coming months.

AlphaBay Rising to be Become the Amazon of Dark Web

Silk Road 1 was considered a trailblazer.

During its heyday, the site was undoubtedly the largest of the darknet markets ever created.

Ross Ulbricht started the venture as a legitimate business with no intentions to entangle himself with the illicit trade that was hinged on the exchange of drugs, weapons, and illicit paraphernalia.

Several mishaps and a major FBI crackdown later, Silk Road 1 was relegated to memory as one of the most successful darknet markets ever to exist.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

Darknet market in the form of binary code, 3D illustration
AlphaBay, the most popular dark web marketplace in existence, has been justifiably compared to e-commerce giant Amazon.

Compared to the modern day AlphaBay, Silk Road 1 would have seemed insignificant.

AlphaBay has risen to become the largest and most reliable English-speaking darknet marketplace in the entire dark web.

Experts have compared the soaring success of the high-earning market to e-commerce giant Amazon.

In a niche that is famous for incessant FBI crackdowns, numerous exit scams, and unexplainable disappearances, AlphaBay has displayed resilience that has been termed “uncharacteristic,” but is undoubtedly the reason why the AlphaBayis still going strong.

AlphaBay Gunning for the 1,000-Day Mark

Come December this year, AlphaBay will mark a milestone no darknet market has had the honor of experiencing—1,000 days in operation—making it the only English-speaking market to have ever lasted that long.

Although most experts are generally at a loss over what has kept the lights on at the organization for so long, some insightful opinions have helped to shed some light on the well-oiled machine that is AlphaBay and the reasons why it will only live to grow bigger.

Terbium’s Emily Wilson believes that AlphaBay’s unprecedentedly long run can be attributed to its unquestionable reputation.

The dark web is not famed for its honest breed of characters and a series of exit scams performed by vendors, and even entire darknet markets, attest to the fact that no one can be trusted there.

AlphaBay’s levels of honesty and transparency mirror those of any legitimate business operating in an environment regulated by laws and regulations set by authoritative institutions.

In addition to being trustworthy, Wilson attributes much of its popularity to its user-friendly design.

AlphaBay Hidden Services are hosted in Russia

Hand of businessman in suit on dark digital background using wireless computer mouse
AlphaBay has risen to become the largest and most reliable English-speaking darknet marketplace in the entire dark web.

Experts are in unanimous agreement over the following fact: AlphaBay has remained safe from takedowns for so long because it hosts its hidden services in Russia.

Considered the global core of all activities pertaining to cybercrime, Russia is one of the few places where the FBI has no jurisdiction.

Coupled with the fact that AlphaBay is run by a team of highly organized professionals, it is easy to see how the platform has managed to thrive for so long.

Nicolas Christin from the Carnegie Mellon computer security firm admits that the marketplace’s growth isn’t as significant as it was in 2013.

He explains, however, that AlphaBay is still as lucrative as ever.

A curious detail about AlphaBay, one that is often unmentioned in the media, is the fact that the administrators have instated rules that are meant to protect Russia as a whole.

For instance, it is prohibited to sell stolen data from Russian organizations, government institutions, or private citizens.

What’s more, a prerequisite for malware vendors is that all their products should have a built-in feature that prevents harm from coming to a computer with a Russian IP address.

Malware vendors who target citizens from the Russian Commonwealth as a whole are banned from using the platform entirely.

Law Enforcement’s New Approach to Cybercrime May Facilitate Further Growth

The change of authorities’ approach will also positively impact the growth of AlphaBay, says Christin.

Unlike in the past where federal agencies were bent on killing internet crime one takedown at a time, a more relaxed approach has been deployed.

Focusing on major vendors instead of struggling to shut down massive darknet marketplaces has proved to be more rewarding.

As such, it is unlikely that AlphaBay’s demise—should it ever occur—will be a result of a well-orchestrated takedown.

A Reddit thread from the site administrator of AlphaBay revealed just how well-organized AlphaBay’s strategy is.

Far from solely relying on service fees to make a living, AlphaBay actively invests in various ventures using the Bitcoin stored in the platform’s virtual wallets much like banks and other financing institutions.

It is clear that AlphaBay is more than just a run-of-the-mill marketplace with the sole aim of providing a platform for the crime.

It is, in many ways, a pioneer and one of the only places on the dark web where the lines between legitimate and highly illegal are often indiscernible when it comes to trade.

AlphaBay Staff Paid Alleged Extortionist Demand

Dark web marketplaces such as AlphaBay have gained unprecedented popularity in the past few years.

For a long time, darknet markets have been associated with all sort of internet-related crime including drug trafficking, arms dealing, fraud, illegal pornography, and also extortion as well.

For these and other reasons, darknet markets have increasingly become the focus of law enforcement agencies all over the world.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

However, law enforcement agencies are not the only parties that dark web markets have to worry about.

Other dark web users and extortionists are quickly becoming a major threat to darknet market platforms.

AlphaBay staff allegedly paid an extortionist who discovered the identities of a former administrator and other employees.

Cyber criminals are adept at targeting the platforms in efforts to milk as much money as possible from the administrators and users.

A recent report shed some light on one of the latest extortion schemes on AlphaBay, the largest darknet market at the moment.

According to the report, the AlphaBay staff seem to have made several payments to an alleged extortionist.

Apparently, the cyber-criminal in question managed to discover the identity of a former AlphaBay administrator as well as that of current staff members.

This notorious and common attack method is known as doxxing.

It is the practice of researching information particularly identifiable or private information about an organization or individual.

Doxxing is not always done for sinister reasons such as coercion, extortion, online shaming, or harassment.

In some cases, it is conducted to aid law enforcement, business analysis, and social justice.

In the case of cyber criminals such as the AlphaBay extortionist, they often threaten to broadcast the information if a fee is not paid.

An online news and media outlet learned through an official Reddit account tagged “alphabaysupport” that AlphaBay staff had not conclusively determined the authenticity of the dox.

However, they reiterated that the bits of information sent by the extortionist seemed to confirm the dox.

This indicates that the payments made served a precautionary purpose in efforts to protect the identities of the affected employees.

The extortionist boasted of having identified AlphaBay’s creator, Alpha02, last year along with other website employees.

Screenshots provided by the extortionists appeared to confirm that AlphaBay had indeed paid them not to broadcast the information.

The screenshots showed an unconfirmed customer support account conversation on the official AlphaBay site.

The news outlet revealed that they had contact with the said extortionists, where they availed a Reddit account username and password.

The Reddit account was said to contain conversations detailing the exchange between the extortionist and AlphaBay throughout February of this year.

According to one of the threads in the conversations, the extortionists claimed to have traced and uncovered the real-life identity and locations of two AlphaBay employees going by the usernames BigMuscles and Raspi.

The AlphaBay staff then inquired about the price for keeping this information private.

According to the conversation, the extortionist may have received approximately $45,000 in bitcoin (35 Bitcoin) from AlphaBay staff in February.

However, this is mere speculation since the payment could not be verified.

The extortionist allegedly used a PGP encrypted message to send the Bitcoin transfer address.

extortionist was requested to disclose how they acquired the informations

Cybersecurity experts and law enforcement agencies often insist that victims should not pay the demanded ransom or extortion fees demanded by cyber criminals.

According to the aforementioned thread, after the extortionist was allegedly paid and requested to disclose how they acquired the information, they turned around on the deal and demanded approximatey 147 bitcoin ($190,000+) that was left in the payment wallet.

AlphaBay staff confirmed that they had indeed paid the initial ransom.

However, they would not pay the additional amount demanded by the extortionist.

This is in accordance to a policy implemented by AlphaBay, which strongly prohibit paying extortions and ransom twice.

AlphaBay staff have now resigned to ignoring the alleged extortionist hoping the incidence will blow over.

The question that many people will be asking is why AlphaBay staff readily admitted to paying an extortionist the first time around.

AlphaBay Bug Exposing Users’ Private Messages, Fixed

AlphaBay has disclosed a bug that allowed a hacker to gain access to private emails, and has closed the loophole in their system.

AlphaBay has discovered a bug that’s responsible for breaching into people’s private messages.

Following this development, the administrator has released a statement giving users updates on what occurred.

The attacker apparently had access to AlphaBay emails not more than 30 days old, and with ID numbers ranging up to 2609452.

The IDs are often likely not sequential, though, since around 218,000 messages were retrieved.

(==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==)

To prevent such events from happening again in the future, AlphaBay paid the culprit to reveal his findings so that a solution can be found.

The person agreed to disclose the methods used to get this sensitive information, and AlphaBay developers immediately sealed all loopholes in order to safeguard the security of users.

The hacker contacted moderators through private mail and provided proof that he was indeed able to read user messages.

The administrator verified the claim by opening two separate accounts, sending a mail between them, then providing the person with their message ID.

After checking these details, the hacker revealed to them the content of their exchange.

As an AlphaBay user, you can verify the bug yourself by creating “Throwaway” accounts then sending messages between them.

Despite assuring account holders that everything is now under control, not everybody is pleased, with some saying that AlphaBay could have encrypted sensitive data in the first place.

Additionally, there are complaints that AlphaBay is taking too long to block vendors who’ve been using the platform irresponsibly, leaving other users exposed to unscrupulous individuals on the site.

Some vendors even threaten to doxx customers they get, and this has been continuing for months unabated.

AlphaBay’s job to care about security.

The inaction by AlphaBay to restrict such dealers has left many wondering whether the admin is active in resolving any disputes raised by users.

However, the moderator assured people that this isn’t the case. They say the bug has been fixed, and the mods are currently discussing the aftermath of this data breach with an aim of preventing it from occurring again in the future.

Another user posted that it’s AlphaBay’s job to care about security, as it’s “90% of the service” they provide to its users – presumably a private and secure platform to link dealers with buyers.

Therefore, if the site can’t assure users of privacy, people should cease their activities and involvements.

Others have said that they manually encrypt everything that’s done on AlphaBay market, despite the security checks promised by admin.

They are afraid of unauthorized parties, including the admin, gaining access to their personal info – which could be used in a dishonest way.

Though AlphaBay is one of the few markets with a global presence in countries such as Canada, some foreign users can’t justify endangering their security due to breaches on the site.

If this anomaly was discovered on the platform, chances are high that other security holes exist which haven’t yet been found, but may still be risky to users.

Moreover, the fact that one can omit the anti-DDoS captcha when signing in shows that a lot more needs to be done in terms of security.

AlphaBay Vendor Known as Blime-Sub and BTH-Overdose, Arrested

A dark web vendor known as Blime-Sub” and “BTH-Overdose,” was arrested for selling illicit drugs on the darknet market, AlphaBay.

Emil Babadjov – the AlphaBay vendor behind the usernames BTH-Overdose and c was arrested, and subjected to a court appearance in San Francisco on 14th December 2016.

According to indictment report, Babadjov sold illicit drugs which included heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl on the AlphaBay darknet market.

Further reports say that “Blime-Sub” and “BTH-Overdose” AlphaBay accounts were linked to over 2,000 dark web drug sales.

(==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==)

The lead DEA agent investigating the case is John Rabaut, who belongs to the Central California Darknet Strike Force, a body that is tasked with the roles of combating illicit activities on the dark web and the use of digital currency with the intentions of distributing narcotics and committing crimes on money laundering.

Reports have it that John Rabaut began his anti darknet narcotics investigation in January 2016, and AlphaBay vendor BTH-Overdose has been one on the watch list. In September 2016, a full-fledged investigation was launched to look into the activities of the AlphaBay vendor.

a vendor Blime-Sub through the AlphaBay darknet market.

It was mentioned on darknet market forums that both Blime-Sub and BTH-Overdose clients received parcels from California, specifically pointing to West Coast.

The lead investigation agent, John Rabaut, linked the PGP key belonging to BTH-Overdose and tied it an email [email protected]

The subsequent online search gave a Facebook profile that had the AlphaBay vendor’s actual name, Babadjov Emil, except it was written backward.

On 14th November 2016, the agent sent an official request to Coinbase for the intentions of getting any information the platform may have had about the email address.

The platform, that is, Coinbase, gave prompt reply to the agent’s request. According to the information, the mentioned email was linked to an account belonging to an individual by the name Emil Babadjov.

Somewhere in March 2016, there was an attempt to coin another Coinbase account, again from Emil Babadjov; however, the email address was [email protected]

Through the similarities in the name for the two different accounts, the agent came to a conclusion that the AlphaBay vendors Blime-Sub and BTH-Overdose were likely to be operated by a single person.

Further investigations confirmed Babadjov’s address through his driving license. It was revealed that Babadjov was a subject in an arrest made in 2013 for being found in possession of prohibited substances, though this was later dismissed.

On 19th October 2016, agent John Rabaut used bitcoins worth $800 to purchase 3 grams of an illicit drug, heroin, from a vendor Blime-Sub through the AlphaBay darknet market.

After he had received the parcel, the content was taken to the DEA Western Regional Laboratory for drug and fingerprint analysis.

Two weeks after the analysis, it was stated that the parcel contained mixed fentanyl and heroin. Further analysis of the parcel’s PVI gave a confirmation the postage used to send the parcel was purchased on 18th September 2016 through a kiosk that was found not to be away from Emil Babadjov’s known address.

The turn of events gathered enough evidence to link Babadjov to the illicit drug trade. If convicted, he is likely to face 20 years of jail time and fines that can be as much as $1 million.

AlphaBay Upgrading Their Server, Downtime Expected


AlphaBay has been encountering temporary downtime that has affected many users; most of them are experiencing 504 timeout errors upon trying to log in.

Furthermore, during peak hours the server is usually slow and backend also seems to be struggling.

As this problem persists, AlphaBay is optimizing its scripts with the hope of improving performance and downtime is expected for a few hours.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

Server Upgrade

AlphaBay Market is experiencing downtime due to server upgrade.
AlphaBay Market is experiencing downtime due to server upgrade.

Nevertheless, the community forum will remain open as they conduct server upgrade given that it uses a different backend.

The site admin is requesting for patience from members of the public as they continue looking for solutions and performing upgrades.

Some users claim that AlphaBay is probably trying to migrate servers without notifying them beforehand.

But there are those who are adamant that this isn’t the case as AlphaBay would require a huge amount of data to back up the existing files, which include seller profiles, feedback, user messages, wallets, vendor feedback, images and so on.

It’s also possible that they will try imaging the bitcoin server but this is unsafe since all transactions made may be lost in an instant.

Shutting down the site is necessary to image it, as the image might be corrupted during the downloading process.

New features added by Alphabay
New features added by Alphabay

Moreover, even after uploading all necessary images, AlphaBay site admins will still need to reconfigure source codes for new servers, as well as upgrade database, security and “load balancing” of servers.

The entire procedure can take several hours to complete and activate, which is probably why AB is currently experiencing some moments of downtime.

Over the years, AlphaBay has been adding new features that other markets have not yet adopted.

These include FE Vendor’s remediary wallet for preventing fraud, tumbling withdrawals, Vendor stats and so on.

Considering that they’ve been in business for the longest period of time, AlphaBay has a very clear intention of keeping the market running for many years to come.

They are not about to take it down for good partly because the site is being hosted from a “comfortable point where they aren’t worried about the authorities.”

For those who’ve been trading on darknet markets like AlphaBay, such downtimes are quite normal and it has happened even on other sites for an entire week.

But when the site finally comes back, it loads faster and functions much better than before.

As for marketplace users, they should be appreciative that admins usually take lots of time to create a convenient place for trading, and practice even more patience while waiting for people to actually use it.

It takes hard work, good timing, persistence and innovation.

Nevertheless, some people still think it would have been more appropriate if AlphaBay told them of the downtime ahead of time, so that they could prepare for the inconveniences caused.

Update: AlphaBay is back online.

AlphaBay Users Are Getting 502 Error

AlphaBay darknet market users are complaining that the site has developed loading issues; each time they try to access it a 502 error comes up.

The AlphaBay is returning a message that processing gateway met an internal error during access and thus cannot serve any request.

Further requesting visitors to refresh the page or try their luck much later.
AlphaBay could be upgrading their system, meaning that this is just a temporary error that might soon go away.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

AlphaBay users have raised concern about a 502 error message that’s affecting the site’s ability to load.
AlphaBay users have raised concern about a 502 error message that’s affecting the site’s ability to load.

The user of AlphaBay have been trying to enter the site all through the previous weekend, but only getting a 502 error every time they try to do so.

To make matters even more complicated, connection plug has not working for certain people. However, not all AlphaBay users are taking it in a bad way since some are optimistic that it could be something to do with the Thanksgiving holiday and its related promos.

They are urging those who are dissatisfied to practice a little bit more patience since such technical hitches happen, but it doesn’t mean AlphaBay is about to close all operations.

Moreover, there are users who say that they’ve logged on just fine, and maybe others can try using one of the available mirrors to see if they will get similar results.

502 bad gateway error
502 bad gateway error

For those encountering problems on the darknet market, it would be wise to withdraw coins as soon as possible for safety reasons.

Anything can happen and it is good to be prepared. Some AlphaBay users are raising concerns that the site was working just fine moments earlier, but as soon as they placed some coins in it the darknet portal started giving errors.

Such are the reasons why it is important to withdraw any remaining balance before it gets too late.

Nevertheless, for those who keep getting the error message, there seems to be no immediate solution.

AlphaBay Also Offers Attraction Tickets and Luxury Goods

Developments in Information Technology (IT) have definitely led to unprecedented changes in the way business is conducted over the last two decades.

While the internet has resulted in great improvements in commerce, it has also brought with it some negative aspects.

One key area is the ever growing influence being exerted by online black marketplaces on the so-called dark web.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

AlphaBay also has a huge selection of physical luxury goods.

Darknet sites are well-known to be complacent in real-world crime including vending drugs, weapons, pornography, and counterfeit items.

These and other reasons have forced academics, policy makers, and law enforcement agencies to reassess the effects of IT on societal issues today.

However, it is important to note that darknet vendors do not exclusively deal in explicitly illegal items as most people think. A considerable number of them including AlphaBay also market supposedly legal goods and services.

The typical items on sale on any reputable dark web marketplace include drugs, weapons, stolen personal data such as credit card information, and other non-legit wares sold under the cover of anonymity provided by the numerous online cloaking methods.

A dinner reservation is the last thing you would expect when browsing through AlphaBay.

The elaborately listed reservation included screenshot and a fluent description that gave the prospective buyer a peek into the luxurious experience offered at a 5-star establishment in London known as The Shard.

The reservations which were originally priced at 110 Euros were going for only $50.

In another separate but similarly peculiar listing, another vendor was advertising the sale of Disneyland and Hollywood’s Universal Studios tickets.

Despite the lightly detailed listing, over 20 people have apparently made purchases from the vendor since October 2015.

The string of luxury packages was seemingly endless as another listing advertised a flight and hotel package for the meager price of $500, of which 17 buyers were all too willing to cash in on.

Not many had been aware of this seemingly softer side of the darknet markets, although AlphaBay is a prime example of how the practice has been going on longer than most of us know.


AlphaBay is what one would consider a classic marketplace-type website.

AlphaBay was launched officially on the 22nd of December 2014.

Since then, it has grown steadily to become one of the most popular and largest darknet markets today.

AlphaBay operates on the Tor network and employs Bitcoin as the major currency.

Commenters say that the site’s popularity may be a result of AlphaBay’s up-to-date new features category. AlphaBay is constantly upgrading and diversifying their listings.

Recent online reviews and user data suggests that people are actually taking advantage of these listings.

Going by the publicly posted sales records, it looks like the voucher for the London hotel already found a buyer.

Also included on listings on AlphaBay are a collection of luxury goods including Burberry and other designer handbags, Fitbits and, Seiko watches.


Although some of these items offered on darknet sites like AlphaBay are not often associated with underground markets, internet users should not assume that they were obtained lawfully or are authentic products.

AlphaBay has been known to list stolen credit card information.

As such, it is definitely possible that some of the luxury items featured on the listing were obtained through carding.

Carding is purchasing goods and services through stolen credit cards.

Several vendors on AlphaBay have explicitly indicated that the attraction tickets on the listings were carded.

Therefore, depending on the source of specific vendors, there is no conclusive guarantee that the buyers actually get original luxury items.

Even in the cases where they do, there is still a chance that the items delivered to them are stolen or invalid goods.

For instance, Disneyland got wind of the E-tickets being listed on AlphaBay and implemented extra security measures effectively canceling unauthentic ones.

The exact means by which vendors acquire such items is obviously difficult to ascertain.

The current evidence from forum conversations and anecdotes suggests that they either source from offline dealers or use other darknet markets to buy these goods in bulk.

The vendors then resell it in small more profitable quantities.

The dark web has always been a hot-button issue, and these recent reports of diversification of goods and services will definitely not sit well with those strongly against these corners of the internet.