I recently saw a post on /r/darknetmarkets that confounded and frustrated me.
I am not saying I have done this, but hypothetically, if I were to sell drugs on Agora, take my BTC and transfer them to some exchange or website where I could buy Amazon Gift Card Codes with BTC. . Would it be possible for anyone to trace those BTC, monitor the Gift Card Code, and then see where the items bought with those codes were delivered?
I know a lot of people accept Vanilla Reload Codes, because those codes cannot be traced in this way. Is the same true for amazon? Also, let’s just say I did send coins from Agora wallet to some place like the site that sells gift cards for BTC. If that site were a honey pot, just because coins are coming from Agora, doesn’t mean anything illegal had been done with them, right? I could be selling legal things on Agora. The transaction can’t be linked to MY account right?
And once again, before I get flamed, I send all my agora coins to helix before sending them to my Tails Electrum Wallet. From there I send to various wallets for either savings or trading for cash. Just wondering if I could save some expenses by skipping the tumbler and skipping exchange rates by doing my shopping with BTC directly, or at least more directly.
Thanks ahead of time for your help staying safe, friends.
I was not surprised that the only response up to that point seemed more about the responder feeling self-important and judgmental than it did to offer the OP any answer. It really frustrated me because I think places like deepdotweb.com and that subreddit consisted of a bunch of likeminded adults that operated under a very strict belief that is was us against the world. Sure, disagreements are not only expected, but they are vital to our shared cause. What I see more and more however is a group of people that project more of an attitude of it’s me against you.
At the start of all this, even before DPR but made more powerful by DPR, there was a community that operated blissfully at a group-think level. I suppose we were hypnotized by the promise of the darknet. Sure, it was nice to get our medicine delivered to our door but there is no questioning we were also fueled by the Utopian societal promises offered by this new world. Right or wrong about issues, we could count on nearly blind loyalty to each other. We were energized and excited at the presumption that there was a community, albeit cloaked in anonymity, that would have our back in ANY battle that pitted us against the “unenlightened”. Looking back I see this was pretty silly and probably in stark contrast to the realities that are required of such a community. Regardless, it was both comforting and pretty fucking romantic!
I don’t know when it happened, but at some point “snark” became a meme that certain people latched onto. Once this happened it seemed like everything I tagged as great and revolutionary about this new world of freedom, was in reality mostly a fantasy. I soon had a resigned understanding that there was nothing romantic about any of this.. Most of us quickly realized that the “religion” of libertarianism was a fleeting mirage of hope. DPR was no deity and my optimistic notion that we were changing the world began to fade. It seemed that certain people had entered our world – users and vendors – that only cared about the enterprise of the markets. They came on scene devoid of any belief that the markets were anything BUT simple enterprise. Gone forever was the (mystical) pride we carried that we were pilgrims of some fantastical movement. Gone was our self-assured confidence that the ideals of our little community were the sole reason the new markets survived and thrived. Gone was confidence we had of being the eventual, key impetus to the map that would lead the world toward the Yellow Brick Road and directly into the heart of Oz. It turns out that for the most part the drug markets were just that – drug markets. They did not represent a way of life.
Don’t misunderstand me, I accepted this. While I will always chase the high of feeling like this is more about freedom, I understand that to most – especially the youngest among us – this is all about scoring drugs. I accept AND embrace it because I am practical. I am practical out of necessity because of my awareness that we needed to exponentially grow the amount of people participating. Participant growth was like Apple’s proprietary power chords. The chords piss me off royally but the benefit of the device easily nullifies any thought of protesting via boycott. For the free markets to be successful we had to embrace the weird cords. I’m no longer stuck with the ridiculous, romanticized notion that I, or any of us, can enjoy continuing benefits of door to door drugs supplied by a private, small community. That’s not reality, it is delusion. While romantic for sure, a small, tight community is designed for failure and completely unsustainable. One needs only look at (one of the many) blunders that defined SR2. The day they closed vendor registration was the day the final nail was hammered. I don’t need to flesh out in this article how destructive this act is. All of you should understand that the only outcome plausible was an implosion of some sort. It was a fatal error. Similarly, thinking a small, private community was equally fatalistic. Any advantage of a closed, small system cannot survive the certain, fatal problems that would inherently arise from the group remaining small. Even at the embyo stage there were red flags regarding the entire concept. However, nobody spoke of these potential problems. Those of us who could see the challenges ahead were not nearly brave enough to question the weaknesses out loud. We wanted to be a part of it, we wanted our drugs to keep coming, and we slept at night on hopes that they were right and I was wrong. The unquestioned belief that we should “keep all this quiet” came immediately. From day 0 there was a faction that did not agree with DPR’s tactics and they were not shy about raising these issues in semi-private discussions. There are many who think shilling on shroomery for example and open registration was the beginning of the end. But they were assholes. There had not even been a beginning yet! DPR had enemies that long predated redandwhite and Curtis!
I understood the need for an economy of scale from day one that I analyzed what DPR was creating. As an aside, I sometimes wonder if those that were so vocal with misinformation even read DPR’s words thus did not understand what was being built. Regardless of whether everyone understood the basic need to let all the neighborhood kids play or not, I did assume (hope?) that the “it’s us versus them” mentality would be a trait that was inherent to All the kids. I think for the most part this sense of loyalty and protection of each other existed until the day SR1 was seized. Regardless of whether we felt the market was on the right course or not, we absolutely shared a sense of family that you don’t see anymore. We would argue through 72 hour drug binges but if a newbie asked if his choices in OPSEC were well founded, they got an answer. Even the snarks gave an answer. Yes, there was people were ONLY snark and selfishness and never were constructive – but they did not last on the forum. Their voices were almost always ostracized and they would disappear after growing tired of talking to themselves. There were only two people I can remember who were unabashed blowhards. They did not “feel the love” insofar as nobody spoke to them or fed their words, but at the same time they were not in the least bit deterred by being ignored. I am sure there were many more than the two I remember but in these two cases they eventually were silenced by DPR’s ban-hammer. To some, the actions and goose stepping that was prevalent at the beginning almost seemed to resemble the blind faith of a Branch Davidian or Temple of Love member. I actually don’t think this is an unfair comparison actually as long as you remove the lemonade and shooting babies thing. This whole thing required a subset of normally rational thinkers to assume roles that were founded in complete trust of the cause. If there were more pot-stirrers than lemmings at the beginning there would not be a darknet scene today. I am sure of that.
As to the state of the state these days, at the core, it’s certainly people’s prerogative to be snarky or even condescending. But it’s not about “people’s rights”, to me it is about the sad reality that the “us versus the world” concept is really long gone. I’m not going to be nostalgic in this space. I just wish people could at least “fake” the community spirit a bit by simply being constructive after their snark. I guess it comes with the territory these days but that does not make it less sad. The power of the DNM subreddit is that it creates a community where buyers and sellers of medication can discuss both harm reduction as well as trade ideas on how to protect ourselves from hyper-aggressive law enforcement that are making up the rules on the fly, and more and more using tactics that oppose the ideals of what the Founders imagined. The agencies in the US seem to have decided that the “war on drugs” is such a major threat that it justifies suspension of the freedoms afforded to us by the US Constitution. The tactics and strategies they are utilizing have morphed into a kind of marshal’s law that has run seriously amok. I would argue that the reasons behind this is all about self-preservation and not in any way based on the actual threat that Tor marketplaces are to society or law and order. The billions being spent on the drug war have produced nothing but more criminals and jail populations. It has not in any way resulted in people doing fewer drugs. The billions they spend could completely SOLVE so many issues like improving education, feeding the hungry, subsidizing small business which could employ generations and even wiping out certain diseases through scientific grants. All of those things that are more deserving of the federal and state funds have one problem though – they are not self-sustaining. If we threw a billion to a University that is right on the edge of creating a vaccination for HIV (just an example), lives of millions of future patients could be saved. One of those saved could be the person that solves the technological barrier to a perpetual motion machine, or it could simply save the life of a single mother and allow her kids to live a normal life as a family instead of splintering 4 siblings into separate paths of a Foster system that is massively expensive. A program with an incredibly poor ROI because the Foster system simply does not create good citizens or societies (statistically). So, while nobody could disagree that it would be nice to invest in these altruistic causes, there really is zero chance that there will ever be a paradigm shift to fund all these issues. We will continue our misdirected, national path that could actually save countless lives and increases quality of life. All because this path that should seem worthy of commitment does not address what we need to do for the doughnut maker. You see, continuing with the same example, once they come up with a vaccine for HIV then that’s it. The formulation creates profit for the next seven years to a pharmaceutical company and its shareholders but have no other measurable benefits.
OTOH, the drug war sustains food on the table and F-150 pickup trucks for tens of millions of people via the paychecks from their millions of jobs. Jobs of Judges and Janitors, cops and court clerks, ammunition makers and armor vest manufacturers, and many other indirect players all rely on this war on drugs.
But this is a curios war. It’s a war that governments worldwide are engaged in. It’s a war that’s been fought for a century. It’s a war that places all the countries on the planet against a common enemy. It’s a war that has cost trillions and trillions of dollars worldwide to fight.
But wait a minute – Let’s ask this question; Has the war on drugs “cost” multi-trillions in fiat, or is it a “war” that has instead infused the capital required to sustain tens of millions of people? And what of the “common enemy”? Is there really anyone that would be so naive as to think that users and pushers are collectively smarter than an entire planet of governments? If we took the global man power of Drug Enforcement and funded them with their global value of fiat they are budgeted would this all powerful alliance still fall short?
Is it possible that the Mexican cartels and Afghan farmers are just way smarter?
No, of course that’s impossible. I would put the intelligence staff of a small US State against the capabilities of all the cartels combined. We are a brilliant bunch in the free, fully developed world. Give me control over all of those people and all of the budgets currently spent worldwide on the drug war and you know what I could do?
If these people and pesos are collectively directed they could solve every single problem that man has. As a group, and with their budgets, they could cure cancer in January, solve the world water crisis in February, create and implement solar energy to power the globe in March, and eradicate world hunger in May. Just imagine what this “super-force” could do the rest of the year and beyond! Want to travel to Mars? No problem. Want to create artificial humans to be sex slaves for every depravity you could imagine? Easy Peasy!
But here is what all the enforcers and all their wealth could not do so therefore the entire grand plan is doomed; they could not convince the ignorant or evil FEW that make all the real decisions in the world that using all these people and dollars would pay off quick enough. The commitment to shifting all the resources from the global “prison state” toward these enormous Meta issues would mean a period of instability while transitioning power from Departments of Justice to Departments of Righteousness. That may actually seem like a valid concern from these world order leaders we have in place. What do you do with all the prison guards, cops, lawyers, armor plated flak jacket makers and the guy that has a doughnut truck that parks outside One Police Plaza?
I don’t know. If I had these answers I would be talking to people who could actually affect these changes instead of just writing about the travesty of it all. But I know it is solvable! If we were to decide as a planet to immediately shift toward a world of future thinking instead of human warehousing, there is certainly enough fiat to fund worldwide retaining while also making sure those that lose their gigs in this farcical “war” don’t end up hungry or homeless. Yes, I suppose it would create a period that saw massive increases in a sort of entitlement scheme that would need to be created. But the payoff is so potentially huge that it would be justified and well worth it.
The war on drugs is no more than a Ponzi scheme. The difference is that those that are at the top of this Ponzi scheme have the keys to the BEP and can simply continue to print the money needed to feed those that make up the pyramid. There is not much danger in this Ponzi collapsing as long as those at the top retain their power and then pass it on to those that are already chosen and groomed to continue with the status quo. It’s actually a very good con. The more successful the scheme is – i.e. the more people arrested, the higher the seizure of their assets etc. – the more guards, judges, lawyers and doughnut makers will be needed. This war on drugs, in all appearances, seems not only self-sustaining but actually results in net growth of people and funds needed to support the war.
But this growth represents a massive danger. It is a danger that our current leaders, and perhaps even many of us do not see. In reality it is not as self-sustaining as it seems on first examination. The war is rife with peril but I’ll just address the sustainability quagmire. There will be a point that the kingpins are mostly imprisoned, dead, or sufficiently in hiding. This will lead to a decentralization of sorts in the drug world. The enforcers will be chasing a million leads from a million people instead of concentrating on organizational flow charts that allow scalability via synergy of confidential enforcers and technology surveillance that has provided a slow but steady stream of arrests (by the cops), that are sent through the courts (by the Department of Justice), housed in prisons (by the Department of Corrections), and sustained by a huge network of indirect people (uniform maker, chain-link fence purveyor, turnip farmer and doughnut truck guy). With this decentralization the system becomes way less efficient. More resources must be spread more thinly with the “quality” of arrests plummeting. It will take 10 cops to bust a dude selling pounds and then he has nothing to really roll on so the cops are lather, rinse, and repeat. As decentralization progresses the duration of average prison sentences will fall dramatically. You can’t really give the pound guy 25 years. Shorter sentences will result in higher turnover in the prisons. To sustain and grow the Ponzi, there will be an urgent need to increase the quantity of “cattle” needed to feed the situation. This creates a requirement to move the critical mass “goal posts”. To feed the system there will need to be in place a deadly combination of needs – the need to arrest more people to fuel the scheme, the need to house these individuals for periods that far exceed justifiable sentencing, and the scariest of all – the need to continuously lower the bar in sentencing. There will be QP resellers that are handed 20 year sentences and users – many of which are addicts and therefore are disabled as per the AMA – will end up with mandatory minimums for first offenses of even the lowest amounts of possession. How does a mandatory minimum of 1 year plus $1,000 sound for 3.5 – 7g of weed? How about 5 years mandatory minimum for an ounce? What about 10 year’s mandatory minimum for over an ounce which has been re-classed as “intent to distribute”? This hypothesis may sound extreme, but I assure you that the concept is sound.
What can we do? Sadly, there are probably not a lot of actions out there that will result in changes that WE see in our lifetimes. But a solid start, and perhaps our only power, lies in replacing the elite that we can’t use reason with. As Americans this must be facilitated with our vote. In smaller under-developed countries maybe a revolt is the only answer. And we need to understand, and not be frustrated by, the reality that the change we are trying to facilitate will never be seen with our own eyes. We need to be OK with the fact that the tiny changes of today are required to bring the world around to this diametrical solution. If you don’t have the “let’s do it for our grandkids” feeling inside, then get creative. How about do it just in case reincarnation is real so you are helping yourself. Are you a devout, gay atheist with no possibilities of grandkids and confident that there is no afterlife? Do it just as a FUCK YOU to the people that are perpetuating the Ponzi. Do it even if it is a wasted vote. Wasted or not, it is still a fuck you.
Because of his apparent stances on certain social issues I am going to be doing something in 2016 that is not only something I could not have imagined just a few years ago but it is also an action that would have literally scared the shit out of me in 2013. I’m going to donate some Bitcoin to Rand Paul in the hopes he can win the nomination. Is it a wasted use of Bitcoin? Very likely, yes. But it remains the only viable action I can take and proclaims a big fuck you to the ruling elite that has always presumed (correctly) my allegiance. What about you? Are you going to do something? If you think it is impossible to affect changes then you are part of the problem.
Oh, to the OP. I am sure you are referring to purse.io and I can tell you that proper wallet OPSEC – both creation and funding – can mean 100% anonymity on purse.io as a seller. Well, there is a risk but it is not the risk of connecting you to drug dealing (assuming again proper wallet OPSEC), the risk would be purse.io absconding with all the escrow. From what I observe in the finished product along with some simple math estimates of their daily revenue, one could confidently surmise that they are so far in the hole in recouping their investment that it is not a threat any time soon. But that of course is a dynamic factor that would require you take a pulse of their market before each transaction or periodically (things can change overnight). From what I have gathered via pretty close study since 2 months pre-launch through current time is that you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that these particular operators had everyone’s right to privacy at the very top of priorities when they created this site. Once you use the system you will be in absolute awe of the seamless interface with Amazon. I won’t get into why it is not a honeypot. If it is then the whole world is fucked in ways that even the most paranoid have imagined.