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Deepbay marketplace owner steals sites bitcoins

Unknown amount as of right now. UPDATE COMING SOON.
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The Race To Silk Road 2.0 – Eight Sites Battle It Out To Become The Internet’s Go-To Drug Site

Clearnet link with images:
It’s almost two weeks since I reported on the race to create Silk Road 2.0 and it seems the mass migration is well underway with existing sites busting at the seams to accommodate the huge increase in traffic with some sites witnessing a 600% increase in listings in two weeks alone and with several more new sites in the final stages of testing it looks like it won’t be long before silk roads legacy of 12’000 drug listings are divided out among its suitors. So who will be the big winners and losers in the battle for the spoils, well it would seem Sheep Marketplace with its slick interface and easy to navigate listings has seen the biggest explosion in growth while the well established heir to the throne Black Market Reloaded has almost doubled it number of drug listings despite having to temporally close the site on several occasions due to huge influx of traffic and a security breach on another occasion.
This morning the Silk Road subreddit graced me with a list containing links to many new TOR marketplace sites and since many of these untested and unproven I decided now might be a good time to assess the state of the union and check each of them out for myself. Black Market Reloaded
Link: http://kss62ljxtqiqdfuq.onion Discussion Forums: http://fec33nz6mhzd54zj.onion/
First up the site many users see as the obvious alternative to Silk Road since it’s now been open over two years with its owner backopy incidentally announcing the launch in the same bitcointalk thread discussing the launch of Silk Road although I’m guessing he didn’t make the same mistake as DPR by using his real e-mail in his forum profile. From his public demeanor backopy seems much keener to focus on business and security than long posts musing over how to win the war on drugs as he was quick to point out when many ex Silk Road users were looking for the politics section of his marketplace forums. Blackopy No Politics
If you’re looking for a side order of philosophy and politics along with your drugs Black Market Reloaded might not be the site for you
After briefly closing the site to new registrations to facilitate server upgrades BMR is now open to new customers and vendors alike. The main complaint I read about the site is that it’s not pretty, can be difficult to navigate and there is no real way to sort listings by county/bestselling etc so initially finding the right vendor for your needs can take some time. However in my view function trumps fashion and while it may not be pretty backopy has at least demonstrated he’s got what it takes to stay one step ahead of the law (at least for now) BMR dated interface?
While some users claim BMR looks like a site they visited through netscape back in 1999 BMR is now the trusted veteran marketplace
In terms of numbers, Screenshots taken today and on the day of Silk Roads closure show the number of drug listings increase from 3075 to 5104 representing a 70% increase in the past two weeks. In terms of turnover backopy’s own figures (last published April 2013) show the site had monthly sales of nearly 70,000USD and considering they were rising month on month that figure is likely to be in the region of 150,000USD per month now.
What plans do they have for the future? well it would seem becoming top dog overnight has encouraged a bit more development and instead of implementing updates on the fly blackopy prefers to release an entire new version of the site in one single update. In a post announcing a 5 BTC ($750 at time of writing) reward for a new logo design he states “BMRv5 will feature mostly responsive HTML5, allowing the site to adjust to other media, such as tablets and smartphones along with no need for JS [JavaScript] anymore or an even more minimalistic version may be present.”
If he’s willing to drop $750 on a logo I can’t wait to see the site. Sheep Marketplace
Link: sheep5u64fi457aw.onion Discussion Forums: sheep5u64fi457aw.onion
If being the veteran black-market which outlived Silk Road and Atlantis makes BMR the tortoise than Sheep Marketplace has to be the hare. In what now seems to be tradition the marketplace was also announced in a bitcointalk thread dated “May 03, 2013″, The owners say the site is based on the open source Nette Framework and while little is known about the sites history or owners there has already been some reddit drama surrounding a non TOR version of the site hosted at which has now been replaced with a removal notice by the Czech hosting provider, meanwhile the owners have claimed this site was unaffiliated with them and at the very least it was hosted on a totally different server, however the Czech connection maybe something I have to return to for a future post.
On the business side of things however the site is booming and seems to be the fan favorite among the Silk Road diaspora thanks to its sleek interface, product search and filtering features and near lack of downtime during the Silk Road seizure. Perhaps its sudden popularity was also helped by the fact Black Market Reloaded is historically seen as “a place for scammers” by many Silk Road forum users but again if I compare screenshots of sites taken today with another taken the day of Silk Roads closure it’s clear the site has just undergone explosive growth with the number of drug listings increasing from 855 to 4165 which is almost a 400% increase in two weeks and this number is increasing daily. sheep mod note
Sheep Marketplace has yet to prove itself but they seem keen to impress with Sheep forum administrator “ctrlaltweed” eager to answer questions and keep everyone up to date with the rapid deployment of new features which the sites admins have been furiously adding to keep their new customers happy.
After a pain free registration process and quick browse around the site I was very impressed to the point of being confused if anything had really changed from the Silk Road days, After only two weeks the same familiar brand-name vendors were top of their respective category’s when I checked the best selling list and when I wanted to see what was available to my location I only had to click the large “domestic” button to see who was selling in my region. Sheep marketplace's clean interface
Sheep marketplace’s clean interface seems to be a hit among Silk Road users
If Sheep Marketplace keeps rolling out new features and listens to the huge Silk Road community who have found exile there I’ve no doubt they will surpass Black Market Reloaded as the biggest online drug marketplace within weeks but I would still hold some concerns about their security in the long term. Project: Black Flag (beta)
Link: ajd4yqq7ngzmqo3p.onion Discussion Forums: http://blackiiw5nozs6i5.onion/
Launched on 14th October 2013 not much is yet known about this project only that its aim is to be a replacement for Silk Road and is run by a character knows as “Metta Dread Pirate Roberts” who appears was not involved in the running of the old site but is building a new site in its image with same policy’s and features meaning no weapons sales. Black Flag screenshot
Screenshot of “Project Black Flag” which has the look and feel of Silk Road circa 2011
While there is not much to show yet a few features they plan to implement to differentiate it from other markets include allowing users to optionally store funds in their own wallets as opposed to one central website wallet making seizure of everyone’s funds less likely. Right now you can register as a user on the site and have an input in the development process but will be a bit longer before it’s fully functional. In a forum topic entitled “Applying for a vendor account”, Metta Dread Pirate Roberts states
“With the open beta just a couple days away, I wanted to get everyone up to speed on applying for a > vendor account.
Currently it is not possible to automatically sign up for a vendor account. This is to prevent vendor spam, as vendor accounts will be free during the beta. To apply for a vender account you will ether need to message me or reply to this topic.” 
With over fifty replies so far and joke listings starting to appear on the site it looks like they won’t have any problem moving forward onto the next stage of the project which I assume means handling real orders once the site has been tested to be secure. I managed to register an account there and buy a few fake items, While the project has lots of work ahead of it the decentralized wallet idea is at least innovate and the site works pretty well which I must say is impressive for a two week turnaround and considering they have a community of 500 members already I’m sure things will progress quickly. Silk Road [2.0] (Working title)
Link: Eta 1- 2 weeks before live Discussion Forums: http://silkroad5v7dywlc.onion
This seems to be the project to watch over the next weeks as the team who worked behind of the old Silk Road (Did anyone every believe it was just one person) regroup and try to implement all the ideas that were shelved to focus on keeping the old pirate ship afloat, Now with time on their hands they seem intent on ensuring when they do return that the new marketplace will be just as revolutionary as the old one was when it launched over 2 years ago.
Nothing has been officially released yet but it seems the new site will also be TOR based since an open job application posted on the forums states they are looking for somebody to manage high bandwidth [TOR] relays funded by Silk Road leading me to believe this is to directly counter a possible threat posed by NSA TOR traffic analysis which was revealed as a potential weak point just recently via Ed Swowden leaks. In any case nobody is taking chances and the new DPR seems to run a tight ship.
“I have taken steps the previous Dread Pirate Roberts wouldn’t have even thought of so you may rest assured, you are in the hands of a technically competent expert.” 
While nobody knows who’s the new face behind the pirates mask or if it’s even one person, Speculators say it’s well known contributor to the old forums “StExo” who was very active in making sure vendor PGP contact info could be collected in one place and had previously made many security audits and backups of the site should anything happen. In his opening address on the new forums DPR goes on to state
“As everyone is now aware, the previous Silk Road has fallen. For law enforcement worldwide this was a small victory for them where they would receive a pat on the back from their superiors and maybe a good Christmas bonus coming up for them. However, what law enforcement has failed to understand is the consequences of their actions. Silk Road is not one man. Silk Road is an idea, and where Silk Road now lies is in the people who made it what it was and it is those people who will, with a little help, bring the idea back to life again under a new name. We are not afraid of our governments, and we never should be. I hope this next phase in the life of the Silk Road is going to be just as interesting, just as productive and just as helpful as the last one was and we will move on from the individual man who started the idea to produce a new site for the free exchange of substances and materials.” 
Vendors from the old Silk Road will be allowed to sign up for free provided they can prove a link to their old identity on the SilkRoad forums, While It’s honorable they will allow vendors to link their accounts from the previous site maybe new public identity’s would be advisable considering how some vendors may have been compromised as I discuss in a previous post.
Anyway this looks to be the site to watch and as things start to take shape the new DPR’s tone is certainly becoming confident, hopefully that means we can expect a release very soon. New DPR aiming high
The new Dread Pirate Roberts says anything less than doubling silk roads previous business would be a disappointment to him Budster
Link: ajd4yqq7ngzmqo3p.onion Discussion Subreddit:
Perhaps somebody was listening when I posted that a cannabis only marketplace would attract a lot less heat from law enforcement but that’s essentially that’s what Budster is. The website didn’t exactly blow me away and is basically a customized wordpress install with the Woocommerce plugin handling transactions but Budster aims to be a simple concept whose main benefit it seems is the claim you will never lose any funds again due to a site-outage or shutdown since payment is made directly to from customer to vendor with the customer releasing funds to the seller via a unique code when the product arrives and in the case of a dispute Budster will intervene.
If they can prove themselves as legitimate the site could do reasonably well as a niche cannabis market but in its current form won’t be scaling up to Silk Road levels in the near future. Right now they have four “hand picked” vendors on board and anyone who wants to sell there has to meet their standards for quality and customer service.
Time will tell if it’s a success or not, credibility is an issue at the moment but if they keep can bringing on board verified ex Silk Road vendors maybe it has a chance to stand in the shadows of the big players. Budster
Budster might be one of the more “simple” marketplaces but there not exactly selling crack cocaine either
Link: ajd4yqq7ngzmqo3p.onion Discussion Forums: http://dbfrmwvtxmiz2vmz.onion
Links for this site have been spamming up message boards for sheep and other marketplaces these past couple of weeks which doesn’t make the best first impression to me. I’ve not seen too much action there but it does seem the owners are also working on rolling out a new version of the site which according to a post on the forums should be released any day now. Deepbay 2.0 to be launched any day now according to the site owners.
Deepbay 2.0 to be launched any day now according to the site owners.
The site itself doesn’t look bad and is easy enough to search and navigate through but it’s seriously lacking in vendors right now with only about 200 listings on the entire site. One other thing that bugged me when I first checked it out was at least one of the vendors was a known scammer from another site, It seems they have now been removed but after a bad first impression I didn’t stay too long. A screenshot of the product pages of Deepbay
A screenshot of the product pages of Deepbay Other Notable Sites That Deserve a Hat Tip
Silk Road Reloaded: Link: Not yet live Wiki:
Nothing much to show yet but the project wiki is very interesting and if it’s to be believed we should see something very soon, What’s interesting about this is they hope to launch it on the I2P network only which in simple terms works just like TOR but instead of communications being bounced through several nodes everybody connected to the network IS a node so in theory it should make the network much more secure but at the expense of being less user friendly than TOR. From what I read on the wiki this could bring something new to the table so is worth keeping an eye on. Drug Market: 4yjes6zfucnh7vcj.onion Not seen any updates or admin communication so maybe it’s fair to say this is a scam or ghost town
In conclusion, whats clear to me right now is the less tech savvy customers seem to be moving over to Sheep while those who vote for reputation over function are moving to BMR. Right now there is no clear cut winner and with many more holding out for the new Silk Road it’ll be quite a while before any market leader emerges.
Lastly some security advice, If you’re going to use any or a combination of these sites make sure to use a unique username/password combination on each, after all would you trust your real life drug dealer with a spare set of keys to your house. There are way too many Phishing sites out there trying to pose as legit ones in order to harvest your username/password in the hope you will use it on other sites as well where they can then do real damage
Another thing to keep in mind is while many of these sites are unproven and will remain so for some time so don’t hold bitcoins in your account that you can’t afford to lose and less money on the site creates less incentive for owners to cut and run should they feel the heat is closing in on them.
After looking through all these sites and projects that must be consuming every waking hour for dozens of people it’s seems what the old Dread Pirate Roberts said about the power being in the idea seems very very true.
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