As cryptocurrency developers fight it out to differentiate themselves from the crowd it is increasingly clear that two approaches are being staked out: coins with a business/corporate angle and coins focused on anonymity. In the latter case there is a long-standing battle between various coins promising various methods of anonymizing transactions. Despite Bitcoin’s reputation for discrete trade it is, in fact, built a quite open form of exchange, the public ledger, and in many ways the ability to analyze it means Bitcoin is less private than using a bank (this changes if the law needs to look into your finances, of course). Hence for the past few years coin-mixing has been the order of the day for clients and vendors on dark net marketplaces. Frustratingly this has meant delays to allow for mixing and a cut going to the mixing service providers. In such scenarios sloppiness surely becomes a danger as people get frustrating pinging their Bitcoin around a bunch of sites they are forced to trust.
It may seem remarkable that no attempt has been made to integrate anonymity into Bitcoin as such, but it only looks this way from the perspective of the deep web. It is true that Bitcoin’s success depends much on the deep web, but it was clearly not developed for the purposes of facilitating the trade of narcotics or stolen data. Its ambitions, as evidenced in the mainstream Bitcoin community, extend beyond this. Each time a potential adoption into the world of business is announced it is greeted with excitement, as is every new corporate site, say Dell, which accepts it as payment. For the trader or the investor this is what counts and anonymity sounds nice, but it’s not a pressing issue beyond sound anonymity practice online (VPNs or PGP for example are surely going to be interesting to a Bitcoin tech nerd).
This has left the burden of developing a ‘dark’ cousin that might act as an ultra-private counterpart to the foundational cryptocoin. Amongst these Darkcoin has enjoyed the most sustained community support and the developers are well-regarded, level-headed types. Amongst the hyper-cynical anonymity cryptocoin community Darkcoin tends to edge ahead and for this reason it is not surprising that it has become the first alt coin to be accepted by a dark net marketplace. However, one should note here that the markets in question are small, in fact users of this site’s updated list will need to scroll down a little bit to reach them.
The first is Diabolus who made their announcement recently, Already vendors have posted advertisements in Darkcoin and one must note this may be an interesting move for this small marketplace. If it can attract vendors through Darkcoin it could slowly gain a reputation, a powerful one in such a world, for providing for truly anonymous transactions, via Darkcoin’s Darksend feature. With an escrow system in place, multi-sig on offer, and the addition of privacy this is worth paying attention to. It would also, we must note, mean that the coin-mixing services could be avoided totally since there would simply be no need to use them. For the vendors this could mean quite large savings as those percentages presumably add up for these guys. For clients a little stress and effort when making their purchases.
At the moment Diabolus is a very small site with a smattering of weed, benzos and stimulants on offer. I also want to stress that when one registers passwords are returned in cleartext for verification which will hopefully be addressed by the administrators, but for now if you are going to look be sure to use a dummy password. The site is, however, very clean and the interface actually outshines many of the uglier marketplaces. There is definite promise in the simplicity of the site, the decent volume for a new marketplace and the willingness to innovate.
The next site open to Darkcoin is Nucleus market which is just emerging from Beta and has very small volume at the time of writing. The interface is a little cluttered, but by no means difficult to navigate. However the site is new and will surely take time to grow. It is worth noting that they also accept Litecoin, the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, but this is simply because the value and volume of Litecoin is stable and higher than the vast bulk of alternative cryptocoins.
That two such markets have embraced Darkcoin at roughly the same time is only surprising to those who do not follow the alt coin world closely (and not should anyone be expected to). Whereas many coins have kept the promise of anonymity on the long figure Darkcoin remains steady and consistent in terms of delivering. The most recent innovation has been the implementation of Darksend with no major issues. This seems to have turned a few heads in the dark net marketplace community and such trends have a way of mimetic ally spreading, especially once a couple of administrators have been happy to take the leap.
The next phase, of course, will have to involve adoption by a major marketplace. Whether we mean by this Agora or Silk Road 2 or Evolution is beside the point. One can safely presume that once one adopts the rest will follow; this is especially true if adoption of Darkcoin sees clients and vendors moving to the first exchange to introduce the holy grail of the anonymous cryptocoin (which remains a long-standing chink in the Armour of the entire dark net marketplace enterprise). For now we must watch and wait as one of the most exciting phases of the deep dark web may be upon us.
Both markets can be found in the new / under construction section of our Dark Net Markets list.