Darknet marketplace usage guide
This guide is provided for informational and educational purposes only. We do not encourage you to break the law and cannot claim any responsibility for your actions.
This is a basic darknet marketplace usage tutorial for browsing and purchasing legal items on the darknet. While this tutorial does make considerations and recommendations for your safety and security, that is not its main focus. This is not a guide for those in need of a high level of security.
- 1 Tutorial
- 1.1 Step 1. Download the Tor Browser
- 1.2 Step 2. Browsing the darknet marketplace
- 1.3 Step 3. Buying bitcoin
- 1.4 Step 4. PGP encryption (recommended)
- 1.5 Step 5. Transferring bitcoin
- 1.6 Step 6. Buying products
- 1.7 Step 7. Finalizing
Step 1. Download the Tor Browser
Using a Windows or Mac operating system to access the darknet may compromise your privacy and security. It is recommended, but not required, to use a Linux system such as Ubuntu or TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System).
The deep web, including its various darknet markets, cannot be accessed using the standard internet protocol. The Tor Anonymous Network requires a special software package called the Tor Browser in order to access its hidden content. The Tor Browser is available for free on Linux, Mac and Windows operating systems here. TAILS, the anonymous live operating system, comes pre-installed with the Tor Browser.
Step 2. Browsing the darknet marketplace
Market example: Agora
For the purpose of the tutorial, I will be using Agora.
Main article: Comparison of darknet markets
Once you have downloaded the Tor browser, go through the installation process and access the marketplaces via the link below:
Step 3. Buying bitcoin
It is highly recommended to use caution when using an unknown exchange website as it is easy to get scammed. The search function on /r/bitcoin should be utilized in order to check user feedback before investing money.
To make a purchase on the darknet, you must exchange your local currency for bitcoin using an exchange website.
Coinbase uses your bank details and credit card information while LocalBitcoins uses cash, online bank transfers, and many other payment methods. Another exchange that is commonly used is Circle.
Option 1. Coinbase
Coinbase is a bitcoin wallet and exchange service used in the United States and eighteen European countries (Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and Poland) for a fee of about 1% of the value of the transaction. To use the buy/sell service, customers have to provide photo identification and bank details, setup two-factor authentication on a mobile phone, and wait seven days.
Option 2. Local Bitcoins (more private)
On this bitcoin exchange, users post advertisements on the website where they state exchange rate and payment methods for buying or selling bitcoins. Other users reply to these advertisements and agree to meet the person to buy bitcoins with cash or pay with online banking. LocalBitcoins offers a reputation and feedback mechanism for its users and an escrow and conflict-resolution service. It is more private than Coinbase because you do not have to include your real name and address.
Step 4. PGP encryption (recommended)
Although it is strongly discouraged and will leave your identify and address insecure, this step isn't always necessary.
Below are instructions how to create your personal key pair as well as encrypt and decrypt text. Different graphical user interfaces of GnuPG program are explained.
Installation: The Gnu Privacy Assitant (GPA) can be compiled under every Unix-like operating system and Windows as well. It may be available in the repositories of your Linux distribution.
Installation: GPG4USB is a portable GnuPG program. Executable starters for Linux and Windows are included. A decent guide for GPG4USB can be found at DeepDotWeb.
Installation: Gpg4win is the windows version of the Gnu Privacy Assistant. It can be installed with the setup files available at the Gpg4win website.
Installation: GPGTools can be downloaded here.
Step 5. Transferring bitcoin
In order to make a purchase, you must transfer your bitcoins from your Coinbase or LocalBitcoin wallet into the marketplace's wallet. This can be done using both of your 26-35 character bitcoin addresses via the "send bitcoins" link. It may take several hours. For extra security purposes, it is recommended that you use a separate service to tumble your bitcoins such as Helix, as this will make your personal details untraceable. However, this is not required.
Grams by Helix
Step 6. Buying products
Market example: Agora
If possible, avoid buying from vendors who require you to finalize early (FE) as it is easy to get scammed when going outside the escrow system.
Step 7. Finalizing
Market example: Agora
Finalizing your order in the escrow system allows the vendor to get paid for their service. If you have an issue with your order, ask for a time extension or have it resolved by the vendor or Agora staff as soon as possible.