AlphaBay emerged first back at the end of 2014. After the Agora Marketplace went offline in 2015 it became soon the No. 1 choice marketplace of the dark web.
AlphaBay was founded by ‘Alpha02’, a reputable member of the carding community and well known among experienced carders.
Today, Alpha Bay is considered the largest dark web marketplace by listings and members. In addition AlphaBay is offering normal escrow, multisig and shared account access, among other features. Non-standard services include customisable digital contracts around building reputations.
In April 2016 AlphaBay’s API was compromised leading to 13,000 messages being stolen. In January 2017 the API was once again compromised, allowing over 200,000 private messages from the last 30 days and and a list of user names to be leaked. The attack was from a single hacker who was paid by AlphaBay for the disclosure. AlphaBay reported that the exploit had only been used in conjunction with this attack and not used previously.
All this was possible because because users hadn’t encrypted their messages, as is typically recommended when dealing with any dark web marketplaces.
Despite, AlphaBay developed into the largest dark web marketplace at the moment and also introduced some innovations. In 2015 its administrators launched a fully automatic credit card shop, and offered contracts for just about anything. More recently, the market has enforced two-factor authentication for all vendors.
On the other side, it is very inconvenient that visitors to the site are forced to signup before being able to browse AlphaBay’s listings.
Another big drawback is that AlphaBay allows FE. FE or ‘Finalise Early’ means you are giving the vendor the money before delivery took place. We feel this is a bad idea. Marketplaces have escrow systems in place and that is the way to go. Sure, there is always the risk of so called “Exit Scams”, i.e. the market shuts down, but also to reduce the vendors risk from bitcoin price fluctuations. However, we consider dark web market vendors as entrepreneurs and as such they have to bear an entrepreneurial risk.
Recently we have ordered a small quantity of Marihuana and it was delivered to our doorsteps in the UK from a Dutch vendor within two days . Payment was made by escrow.
The quality was as described and we left a positive rating.
However, before you decide to buy drugs online on any dark web market – use common sense: Check reviews about the vendors reputation on the marketplace, as well as on Reddit and as always: Stay Safe!
Despite the past API hacks, Alpha Bay remains the leading marketplace, but must keep an eye on security. Hacks and FE payments doesn’t score big. Popularity, Listings and Uptime are well above closed competitors, however Support lacks big time, according to our research.
AlphaBay’s .onion link
Epilogue: AlphaBay was shut down on July 5 by Dutch law enforcement, in collaboration with Europol, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in different countries.
- Multisig and normal escrow
- Shared account access
- Great variety of products on offer
- Members forum
- Past security flaws of API
- Allowing FE payments
- Temporary issues with Captcha
- Reports of poor support
- No usability for visitors