The days of darknet markets driving bitcoin are long gone, but even for those with no compunction to visit the deep web, its activity is worth monitoring. From anonymous coins to multi-sig wallets, the darknet often leads the way when it comes to adopting tech – especially when that tech can be used to enhance privacy. What happens on the deep web permeates the clearnet and has real-life ramifications.
DDoS Ceasefire Holds Up
Since news.Bitcoin.com last reported on the status of the darknet’s primary markets, the DDoS-ing cessation has largely held up. Major sites such as Dream, Point, and Wall Street Market have all enjoyed significant uptime. Aero hasn’t fared so well, not only in the DDoS stakes, but also in terms of customer satisfaction.
Widespread reports of withdrawals remaining unprocessed have been filed, with a market admin responding: “Support has little to no availability due to changes we were making, everything will be caught up on as soon as possible. This will be before the weekend. Missing withdrawals are beginning to process automatically, the block chain is simply not synced due to the server downtime. Please be patient.”
In the past week, another new market, Omega, has launched, though as always caution is advised when visiting untested sites. P2P marketplace Openbazaar keeps going from strength to strength, and seems set to claim a large slice of the DNM trade in the months to come. For anyone curious as to what the hell has been going on in the world of darknet markets this year, a succinct tl;dr can be found here.
Another Week, Another Tor Browser Update
As privacy-enhancing free software goes, Tor is excellent but it’s certainly not foolproof. With new vulnerabilities regularly discovered, it’s vital that users keep their browser updated. The splendidly named TorMoil is the latest vuln to have emerged, one which threatens to expose the IP of Mac and Linux users. It’s since been patched, but deep web users seeking to prevent such mishaps should consider properly configuring a VPN to connect to Tor. As recently reported by news.Bitcoin.com, AirVPN now accepts bitcoin cash plus a bunch of other cryptocurrencies, and there are plenty of other providers that also smile kindly on crypto.
Alphabay Claims More Victims
Alphabay has been down since July, but the repercussions from the bust continue. Former Alphabay mod “Trappy” aka Ronald L. Wheeler III, a 24-year-old from Illinois, has been charged with access fraud. “By acting as a spokesperson for the criminal element on AlphaBay, he served to further the agendas of those who chose to defy our laws and victimize our communities,” states a U.S. attorney.
Emulating Alphabay mastermind Alexandre Cazes, who hung himself in a Thai prison cell in July, suspected fentanyl vendor Theodore Vitaliy Khleborod has followed suit. The South Carolina man, who went by the name “Peterthegreat” on Alphabay, was found dead on November 6. While most people would struggle to defend selling fentanyl, which has been linked to a spate of deaths in the U.S., it’s evident that the threat of lifelong incarceration and the resultant suicides it induces is not the answer. There are no winners in this sorry tale.
Should Have Used Monero
After Alphabay’s dismantling, when it emerged that investigators could only quantify an “unknown amount of Monero” a new meme was born – Should Have Used Monero. This was further heightened after a number of arrests was achieved by following bitcoin transactions through the blockchain. That meme may require a light edit however from SHUM to SHHM – Should Have Hodled Monero. XMR is one of the few altcoins to have largely kept pace – and often exceeded – bitcoin’s meteoric rise this year. It’s currently sitting at $150 a coin and $200 looks well within its reach.
Coinpouch Hacked, Millions of XVG Missing
In the last 24 hours, little-known iOS blockchain wallet app Coinpouch has announced a hack. All of the Verge coins it was sitting on, believed to number around 126 million, are missing. In a statement, Coinpouch explained:
It is very important to note that it was most likely a node that was setup to process Verge as connected to Coinpouch that was hacked. This does not mean Verge was hacked nor does it mean Coinpouch was hacked.
In other words, they have no idea.
A mantra that every cryptocurrency holder would do well to heed.
While it would be stretching the truth to say that Verge sees widespread use on the deep web, it was developed with the Tor browser in mind. The Tor Android wallet provides complete mobile privacy, which is unique among privacy coins. Affected Coinpouch users are understandably irate. It’s a bad world out there on the web. Keep your loved ones close and your private keys closer.