Following our previous report about Grams search engine new features – We are happy to release the “2 parts” announcement about their new features, the first part here is directed at the users using the infodesk system and the second part will be for vendors & The “gramwords” (Advertising system for promoting listing on grams search results working in a similar way to Google’s Adword’s system).
The second part of this article is available here
Infodesk for Visitors users that have no-grams account
As the Grams admin told us:
The InfoDesk is a collection of vendor identities. A vendor identity page displays all the information on a vendor from their different market accounts linked by pgp key. Visitors can search the InfoDesk directly or get linked directly to a vendor identity page from Grams search results. The information these pages have are invaluable to making buying decisions and stopping scammers.
These items include:
- Pgp Key
- Email address extracted for pgp key.
- Some of the emails the vendors use for their keys are fake, but the
- Some of the emails the vendors use for their keys are fake, but they pretty obvious to spot, for example – this fake email address from one key:
- Grams reviews
Reviews form Grams’ users
- Reddit reviews
- Reviews scraped from /r/darknetmarket
- Market Reviews
- Reviews from the individual markets
As the Grams admin added:
Not all vendors have a profile page though. Grams is only scraping 6 markets right now for pgp keys – Agora, Silkroad2, Evolution , Pandora, Black Bank & Cloud9 So only vendors in those markets will have profile pages. I will be adding the other markets soon. I picked those 4 to do first because they had the most listings so would cover the most vendors. the same thing applies for reviews but Grams is only scraping agora and silkroad for the same reason. I am working on adding Evolution reviews as we speak. I have updated the market widget on sidebar to show which markets what information I get from which markets ,along with their online status.
New Features for Grams’ user accounts
To get a user account on grams you must have:
- A pgp key which will the user will have to verify upon registering.
- .01 btc as an entry fee. Grams charges this to help deter fake accounts.
As the Admin explained:
I want the Reviews on grams to matter and not to be faked. They will reflect an overall rating of a vendor and help give useful information to help buyers avoid scammers, which are a plague on tor. Your entry fee will be credited to your Grams balance so you can use it for grams services. The only grams service right now is Grams Words but I have plans for at least 3 more which will on the way soon.
User registration will be invite only for a little while, mainly to work out bugs and get the best quality reviews on Grams first. I will be giving out invites to trusted people and also posting some invite links in the forums and on reddit every day. This will only last a couple of weeks at the most and then Grams will be open registration.
Registration is easy. Just fill in username, password and pgpkey:
The next page will give you an btc address to pay the entry fee. The system doesn’t keep any bitcoins or bitcoin client on the server. Instead it checks the bitcoin address transactions every 15 minutes. Users can refresh the page as they wait and see the confirmations come in. Only 3 confirmations are needed. After the payment is verified users will get a pgp verification message which they need to decode to verify they own the pgp key they signed up with. Once verified they will be able to access all the Grams features. Also when verifying the pgp it will check it against any know vendor pgp key ,if there is a matches it will link the vendor profile page to the user account. More about that in part 2.
Once logged in, a user has access to some important features, such as:
Messaging – They can send message to any grams user and more importantly – to any vendor(who is also a grams user) through the InfoDesk. This means if a market goes down a buyer can still contact their vendor. All message are pgp encrypted on the server and stored that way. Since every user must verify their PGP it makes it easy to know the recipient will be able to read the message they get. and the admin added:
I don’t expect you to trust me to encrypt it though. Users can pgp encrypt the message themselves and the system won’t double encrypt it.
If you go to the send message page from a link such as the “message” button on an InfoDesk profile page or the “message admin” button the user’s pgp key will be at the bottom of the page. If a users composes a message from scratch then they can type in the username of the person they intend to send to and click the verify user button. It will check to make sure it is a correct Grams username and return their pgp key.
Reviews – Users can review any of the vendors from the infodesk at anytime. They can also edit their reviews at anytime. The reviews are consist of a 1 to 5 star rating and also a short comment. The top vendors are displayed on the InfoDesk page. Their ranking is based on star rating and number of Grams reviews. Later, an option to rate any .onion site will be added as well.
Grams Words (which will be discussed further in the next post) – Even if a user’s pgp did not get linked with a vendor account they can still use Grams Words to advertise on grams through keywords searches. It is listed under the services section. Grams Words is a little more complex and will be explain in part 2 of this article.
We can sum up that exactly like we anticipated Gram is becoming the most exciting feature on the deep web and is proving to be a major leap forward for the way people will conduct their business and attract new audience to the various marketplaces. part 2 of this article will be dedicated to the vendor side of the system and the Most exciting gramwords advertising dashboard.