FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions related to how to use AlphaBay, AlphaBay itself and the decentralized market network project are available here. The section is constantly being updated/added to.


About AlphaBay

Per our original description

AlphaBay is an auction-style marketplace for all black market items. Here, anyone can obtain a seller account and put listings for the community. Transactions are made through our secure Escrow system to ensure safety for our buyers. We have a zero-tolerance policy for scamming, so you can buy with confidence! All products are sold by vendors.

Feel free to search us up on the Internet like Wikipedia or news websites for further information/history.

AlphaBay (2021-now) has been put online by the AlphaBay Organization. Public figures of the current Administration include DeSnake who was the original other co-founder of AlphaBay and security administrator in the period 2014-2017. Now DeSnake is back to make AlphaBay great again.

Yes, it is the real AlphaBay. DeSnake has signed a PGP signed message confirming his identity and the return of AlphaBay. The administration is almost the same as in the 2014-2017 period which means you will find again AlphaBay runs with mature management, unparalleled security, 24/7 professional & well-trained Staff and of course unique vision for the future not only for itself but for the darknet market scene too.

As per quote from DeSnake from the PGP signed message:

The reason for returning is not only the poor state of the DNM scene with lack of quality and professional marketplaces, or the monetary gains that come with running a marketplace but most importantly for me is leaving a legacy behind which is worthy of the 'AlphaBay' name and one which alpha02 would be proud of. We had big dreams and decentralized market project was on our to-do list to announce but it was all cut short way too soon by opsec failures, lack of following my opsec guidelines and of course dirty playing by LE with their parallel construction.

Another reason of vital importance of why AlphaBay is returning is how everything ended with alpha02. Arrests, indictments, prison time it is all part of the game. Killing a man without any trial and staging it as a suicide is not. The fate which he was given was unjust. Our searches for the truth have led us to believe that he was Epstein'd (or should we say Mcafee'd more recently?) in a way which shocked everyone. He did not deserve that, I knew him and he really was a nice, bright guy who was genuine about the community and people regardless of what he did.

Over time I tried to deal with the situation as I had seen many arrests of people in the game for over 20 years some with fatal fates but never one where a person was killed in custody by Law Enforcement. Shocking as the AlphaBay situation was, what really struck me and gave me the 'Fuck it' moment was the infamous college/university presentation of US agents showing a never seen before in public video of the arrest. Seeing the agent laughing and mocking the arrest in a high-spirited manner making it as if he was doing stand-up and the students infront of him were his audience. Disgusting. Complete disregard for human life by Law Enforcement, disregard for someone who was presumed innocent unless proven guilty, disregard for their duties as police.

That disregard made me make the decision that alpha02 deserves to be honoured better even as a human and no one was ready or going to do it so fuck it here I am doing this. Achieving the Decentralized Market Network project for the entire DNM community is what I have aimed for and that is how AlphaBay will (literally) live on forever and the alpha02 legacy honoured.

I want to dedicate this to alpha02 first and foremost we promised each other to go to the bitter end, here I am keeping my end of the deal. Second to all the previous AlphaBay users buyers and sellers alike who believed in us and support us throughout. I know all of you lost millions to seizure from Law Enforcement, this time around I have created a very well tested system called AlphaGuard which ensures even if seizures happen on all servers, users will be able to withdraw their funds, settle disputes and leave without a cent lost. Ideally the decentralized network would be up making any LE near impossible to actually disrupt operations. Third to all who keep silent and refuse to cooperate when LE asking, we saw who are real and who rolled over visible from the given sentences. Last I dedicate this to all people who finish something when they start it and keep their promises regardless of the situation.

Many positive changes have been applied to AlphaBay and the way it operates from Administration to Staff to ScamWatch to how we organize and reward the community for helping the marketplace stay clean and free of bad vendors/products. A non-exclusive list of changes:

  • Developed from scratch and battle-tested for years AlphaGuard which ensures even if seizures happen on all servers, users will be able to withdraw their funds, settle disputes and leave without a cent lost. AlphaGuard and its systems can not be detected by LE to be taken down and even if they were, there are 'sleeping cells' which will make sure the core objectives of the program are fulfilled.

  • New built from the ground up secure code base for the marketplace. For security reasons we have created a new platform which has many visual similarities to the old one, however not a single line of code or code logic has been reused from the 2014-2017 period. The new platform is not based on any public scripts, it is 100% unique with best industry practices and security in mind when creating it.

  • Bulletproof servers network and automatic server reconfiguration and deployment (after manual Administration approval) in a matter of minutes, based on the AlphaGuard system. Almost all of our servers are kept in locations with high amount of armed guards and multiple security protocols to pass through before accessing the server racks. We have CCTV access which can alert us of anything happening. Our hosting providers are proven bulletproof which means they will not respond to Law Enforcement requests - local or international.

  • New Staff system to a granular system for access. AlphaBay will grow which means we will need to source more Staff. That comes with inherent risks and in order to minimise them we have developed a monitoring system of Staff actions, limiting access to profiles unless needed, permission-requested-permission-granted/denied with comments which have to be approved by higher ranked Staff members, even higher ranked Staff members have their actions logged. Administration reviews the logs on a daily basis to ensure no Staff is abusing their powers for their own benefit or otherwise.

  • Our very own Automatic Dispute Resolver (ADR) system. Based on experience we have concluded that majority of the disputes can be handled without third-party involvement given the option. ADR is basically a proposition system between buyer and seller involving extending escrow time, full refund, percentage refund or replacement options. Both parties can accept or deny proposition(s) from the other side. We strongly recommend using ADR because it is exactly the same steps a moderator would take during a dispute without the need to babysit both parties. Even if you do not reach an agreement with the vendor, you would know where you stand or you would have tried certain options like reshipping/replacement of goods. The system has been designed to ensure quick resolution if needed by moderator by looking at what has already happened. If for some reason, at any given time ADR does not work for you and you can not reach an agreement or simply refuse to use it at all, there is always an available moderator to look into it in less than 24 hours.

  • AlphaBay now accepts only Monero (XMR). We have moved away from Bitcoin because not only transactions are too transparent but also because users (buyers/vendor) do not obfuscate it enough either due to being incompetent or lazy. To eliminate this attack vector by LE and protect our users, we have decided to accept Monero only with the possiblity of adding other privacy coins in the future. To add an extra layer of defense we run our own internal Monero mixer to guarantee even if your transactions get uncovered they will never be linked to you.

  • Heavy focus on I2P rather than Tor network. In our public PGP signed message we have explained that Tor refuses to make changes to how it operates to eliminate attacks used not only to do DoS against hidden services but also used by LE to deanonymize those services and locate them (as they did with AlphaBay).

AlphaGuard is a very well tested system which ensures even if seizures happen on all servers, users will be able to withdraw their funds, settle disputes and leave without a cent lost. The system has been in development for 2 years with countless tests and has had a standalone testing period of 1 year+ where it ran on its own. AlphaGuard is quite advanced piece of code which can run even without having access to any servers provided by Administration. It has what we call 'hive-mind' which enables it to detect if there are few servers left to launch itself from which then kickstarts several programs which can either (1) purchase more servers on its own by accessing its very own cryptocurrency wallets and leveraging pre-funded accounts for bypassing captcha, or (2) automatically exploit random servers, websites, gain automatic privilage escalation and ultimately be able to fulfill its core programming objectives while preserving encrypted all information.

Let us take the theoretical scenario if any our systems detect an anomaly. Our systems will go into lockdown mode. Lockdown mode has to be disabled by administrators manually within 72 hours otherwise the systems launch the wallet recovery mode. Through different channels on the Internet will be posted the onion and/or i2p addresses of the withdraw pages. The withdraw pages are standalone and require 3 pieces of identification to allow withdraw of the funds: username, password, wallet recovery key. You CAN NOT do anything without having all 3 elements. After you have entered your information you will be granted with a field for your public or internal XMR address which you must fulfill. You CAN NOT choose to withdraw small pieces of your wallet, the wallet does not give that option or specify how much you want to withdraw. You WITHDRAW ALL FUNDS AT ONCE NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL THE AMOUNT IS.

Several weeks after withdraw mode has been running (we are not specifying for security reasons but it is more than 2 and less than 8), the self-destruct mode will kick-in which will ERASE ALL DATABASES, FILES, SYSTEMS AUTOMATICALLY. Once completed that will be the end of it. No way to recover anything ever again, not for customers, not for us, not for Law Enforcement (LE).

We take our and the security of our customers as top priority and we will not allow any kind of attacks to be successful in penetrating our defense layers. We are prepared with automated and tested systems alongside 24/7/365 administration/security to respond and react to any type of breach or even anomaly in set of operations.

NOTICE: In the theoretical situation which we described above if the password you are entering is not working, a very likely solution will be that you changed your password before we made a backup or the system can not reach one of the latest backups so it reverts to an older one. Ensure you save at least your previous password to avoid such scenario. All passwords are encrypted in accordance to security language best practices and techniques, we rely on proven and tested methods plus crypto and do not roll our own mechanisms for obvious reasons.

As per quote from DeSnake from the PGP signed message:

AlphaBay boasts with unparalleled safety, ease of use and arguably the best staff team to facilitate all your deals. From a management perspective you will be governed by a mature administration with over 20 years of experience in computer security alone, underground businesses, darknet market management, customer support and most importantly evading Law Enforcement (LE).

On the technical side we have a new built from the ground up secure and audited codebase, bulletproof servers alongside multiple safeguards to handle disruptions of any sorts (hardware, raids/seizures etc.) and our very own AlphaGuard (AG) system which assures users/vendors can access their wallet funds (including escrow) at any time on I2P/Tor as well as restore core functionalities to the marketplace such as disputes, all 100% completely automated.

Administration is the same as before but all staff members have been replaced for security reasons. Trusted members have been chosen to be moderators, people which I have verified through business dealings over many years. As AlphaBay grows, the need to hire more staff will arise, that is why we have introduced a granular system to monitor staff/ScamWatch actions, restrict access to lower level moderators (Junior) or ScamWatch to functions and data they do not need unless valid reason is provided (e.g. detecting scams, fake purchases etc.). Several big changes have been made to how Staff works, given our past experience, which leads to increased productivity and much faster response times in both support tickets and disputes.

Speaking of disputes, a unique innovation which we are bringing to the DNM scene is our very own Automatic Dispute Resolver (ADR) system. Based on experience we have concluded that majority of the disputes can be handled without third-party involvement given the option. ADR is basically a proposition system between buyer and seller involving extending escrow time, full refund, percentage refund or replacement options. Both parties can accept or deny proposition(s) from the other side.

We strongly recommend using ADR because it is exactly the same steps a moderator would take during a dispute without the need to babysit both parties. Even if you do not reach an agreement with the vendor, you would know where you stand or you would have tried certain options like reshipping/replacement of goods. The system has been designed to ensure quick resolution if needed by moderator by looking at what has already happened. If for some reason, at any given time ADR does not work for you and you can not reach an agreement or simply refuse to use it at all, there is always an available moderator to look into it in less than 24 hours.

AlphaBay boasts with unmatched reputation and good-standing within the darknet community. We have always been transparent, professional and fair to every party involved that is why we were the preferred place of business by hundreds of thousands of buyers and vendors. Unlike any other marketplaces we actually have a vision for the future which involves an improvement for the darknet market scene as a whole (Decentralized Market Network). By using our marketplace you help fund the development of the Decentralized Market Network.

As per quote from DeSnake from the PGP signed message:

In terms of community functions, in the marketplace, we have completely scrapped the formula for calculating user Trust Level (TL). TLs will now take into account a variety of account attributes without the need of collecting extra data not required by the core functions of the site. Trust Levels are both for buyers and vendors, each with a specific set of rules how they are measured but both are balanced with one another. Higher TLs may be required by vendors for buyers to view and buy their listings. For example a minimum of Trust Level 2 for buyers is required in order to see or buy the automated credit card/accounts autoshops and Trust Level 3 (and Vendor Level 3) for vendors is required in order to put up data for sell in the autoshop. Trust Levels work by forming a network of users who Trust or Distrust each other, depending on the individuals TL, the impact of clicking 'Trust' or 'Distrust' can be different for each individual. Other actions such as reporting listings, vendors and other website actions affect the Trust Level of the account positively or negatively depending if e.g. your reports have been true or too many have been false. If you put up too many fake reports you will have a warning point assigned to your account by moderators.

Warning points are used to moderate accounts who do not obey by the simple website rules. In the past we have seen multiple times users do the same thing over and over and over again without any consequences. It took many man hours to deal with few individuals who continued to do things which have not been explicitly disallowed but which affected negatively the productivity of staff. Too many warning points results in account limitation, if the violation is too severe an outright ban by assigning the highest number of warning points.

Privacy has always been important to us that is why all buyer profiles are private by default e.g. buyer information (feedback, feedback % positive, ratings/comments for user by other vendors etc.) is only disclosed to vendor when a buyer is making a purchase. The available information is shown before the vendor accepts the order and not after. Vendors are advised to leave their profile to public to enable customers to make a more informed decision.

ScamWatch is back so the most active users which help report scams and keep the marketplace clean can become part of it. ScamWatch will continue to have the same functions guarding users from scams, catching scams in their tracks, ensuring listings are truthful and vendors stick to their refund policies, review reports and relay important information to Staff etc. To increase drugs safety usage within AlphaBay as well as availability of more 'pure products', ScamWatch has a new extended function, through undisclosed methods and techniques, making sure vendor products are what they claim they are and are not fake/laced with fentanyl (banned) etc.

Referrals are available again. Perfect for those who have marketing skills/can spread the word or for vendors to get cash-back by referring their customers. We offer the highest rate in the industry up to 25% of our profits depending on TLs of the referred.

New marketplace categories like Services (programming, graphic design, remote administration, language translation etc.) and Automotive (hacking, parts, keys, exploits etc.) open the space for more opportunities for everyone involved.

AlphaBay Forum is a place where all the community comes together to talk, discuss and share. If you want to grow in your business or wish to find a new business or an idea to make money, this is the place for you.

As per quote from DeSnake from the PGP signed message:

For the majority our Forum will be run as before - it will dual between a place for vendors to interact with customers by advertising, replying in topics etc. and a place for having discussions related to hacking, fraud/carding, anonimity, malware/botnets, drugs safety, warez, making money online etc. From beginner tutorials to more advanced techniques about any topic we have it all. If you have been missing the old AlphaBay Forums you are in luck as you should find the same level of freedom of speech and expression as before.

Private sub-forums are back, this time extending to communities like hacking, carding etc. to replace the recent demise of famous underground forums. If you are a (very) advanced/elite individual and want to share a private discussion board with other members of your statue to exchange ideas, code, data or simply to do business, any of our private, vetted and verified members only sub-communities are for you. Namely the infamous VXcode - our private malware sub-community will be restarted with a few members already in who previously survived the raids and continued operating independently, all making the argument for such communities being stronger and more vital to the scene. To make the launch of VXcode even more interesting we will be dropping an updated source code of a famous banking trojan for everyone to enjoy as well as the story of how the feds tried to pin the creation of that malware on me.

As the Forum grows, language-specific sub-communities apart from the Russian available one will be created. Sub-communities follow website rules and can add additional rules/operating structures by their respective 'community manager'. The long-term vision for such communities from the start when VXcode was launched, was to be sustainable enough that in the event of a raid/seizure it can recover. Large sub-communities can even setup their own dedicated forums hosted by members or community managers while maintaining presence on AlphaBay Forum.

As per quote from DeSnake from the PGP signed message:

We know how to run our marketplace and forums, we know what the darknet market scene needs and we have come prepared.
Our main goals include:

  1. Set the 'industry standards' with our innovations as we did in the past and mold the future towards a more sustainable model. In addition we want to use our experience in counter-surveillance, counter-signal intelligence and operational security knowledge to teach users, vendors and future darknet admins what they could do to keep themselves and their lives free from Law Enforcement. Most of AlphaBays' staff surviving the raids few years back is proof we know what we are talking about.
  2. Run the market longer at least 3 times as long as AlphaBay survived in the past.
  3. Give birth and fund through parts of our profits a new generation of decentralized marketplaces. Updated and many more details you can find in our Forum, an overview below.
Our end goal is to create a fully autonomous, decentralized and anonymous network which can support the creation of a marketplace 'brand' by anyone. We will create an 'AlphaBay' market on that network and migrate our community, giving users and vendors ability to buy, sell and trade in a decentralized manner. Potentially other marketplaces will join the network as it mitigates their requirements and risk of arrest without giving up management control (disputes, what is allowed to be sold, hiring of staff, setting fees, control of their profit wallets etc). Users will be safe to purchase from multiple markets all without the need of trusting any market with their cryptocurrency or registering for each one individually. Vendors will be able to sell on multiple markets seemlessly or even create their own shop while preserving their anonimity and security.

We have a heavy focus on I2P because we believe it is the future and every DNM user should learn how to use it. To elaborate further, Tor has been neglecting much needed upgrades to how hidden services work for a very long time and it is not only me saying that. We know who discovered/weaponized (and got paid), who uses it and how deanonimization techniques are used what we do not know is why the Tor project has done little to nothing about it and continues to brush it off. It is clear by example no amount of funding given to the Tor project foundation will change that and the time to stop 'hoping' for them to make changes is over.

Looking at alternatives to Tor, I2P comes as a clear choice. It was designed for actual darknet usage unlike Tor which was created to hide the user in clearweb. I2P has grown and matured a lot as a project and their recent updates allow much-awaited higher security tunnels with latest encryption algorithms. There are some issues to getting I2P to work on some systems like Tails but all other including all Linux flavours, *BSD, Solaris, Whonix even Windows (never use it for DNM activity) are easy as 1-2-3. With enough funding and community support I2P-functionality is possible to be added to Tails too.

Learn how to use I2P and you will be able to find AlphaBay always online. Until bigger parts of the community move to I2P, we will have Tor mirrors up and running.

DO NOT USE BITCOIN FOR PURCHASES YOU WISH TO BE SECRET.

Monero (XMR) is a currency which we added previously on our marketplace alongside few others. Currently it is the only available cryptocurrency to use on our marketplace due to its higher security and anonimity. Anyone serious about their privacy should migrate from Bitcoin and the likes, and only use audited privacy coins to do transactions on the darknet. Monero offers the perfect mix between usability, community support, security and anonimity.

We do not want to integrate swappers from bitcoin to monero or other currencies to monero. If we do, we would be exposing not only parts of our infrastructure to make the trades (even if using Tor to make those API calls) but potentially enable LE to halt trades or freeze balances which would result in bad situations for our customers. Users who use any DNM which offers swap service should be very careful - one for the operators who might collect that information on you/get seized and that information is collected by LE and second for the ability to freeze trades potentially resulting in losses which would then reflect on the DNM itself. It is a serious risk which the amateur admins of many of todays most popular marketplaces ignore or are too blind to see only to make a small profit.

One even more crucial reason for why you should not be supporting/using swappers of any sorts which are integrated or tied to any DNM is the ability of LE to profile exactly who the exchanger(s) services are. By going through different exchangers what those amateur marketplaces are doing is making them "dirty". That results in breaking the law and as these exchangers are official companies... arrests, operations and the rest will follow. Anyone with a few brain cells will tell you that it is important not to taint or dirty up all exchanges otherwise you will be stuck on not enjoying your hard earned profits in the real world while making it harder for the average Ivan to use or enjoy the benefits of cryptocurrencies.

In the future when atomic swaps are available and stable, it would be possible to integrate a bitcoin->monero swapper to enable a quick and easy transition without sacrificing anonymity or security of the transaction. Using DEXs is also an option but due to lack of anonimity or high requirement of P2P connections, the technology is not there yet to make it completely viable for a DNM to integrate without risking exposure.

Per standard modes of purchase in AlphaBay are Escrow and Finalize Early (FE, given only to very trusted vendors). If you want a 'wallet-less'/non-custodial marketplace then simply transfer only amount which you will be paying into your AlphaBay XMR wallet. The whole idea of 'wallet-less' marketplaces which became popular after our raids, is naive and pure marketing bullshit, your coins always go into an address controlled by the market for the duration of that transaction. It is up to the user to find the balance between convenience and security. Multisig monero will be integrated once it is more stable and mainstream, our tests have shown it is not 'there' just yet.

Regardless of the security features of Monero, for the safety of our customers AlphaBay runs an internal mixer which guarantees that any of your monero coins will not be linked to you. The best mixer has always been and will be one with no on-chain data. For best ways to unlink coins even further, refer to our Forum for latest guideliness.

In the future our decentralized network will take care the problem of wallet trust which has been a plague to the darknet market scene for so long. Market admins will finally be able to focus on business development and customer support, exactly what we are doing now but it will be enforceable by the network and its hardcoded protocols.

As per quote from DeSnake from the PGP signed message:

4 years have passed since the indictment for the 'AlphaBay Organization' was handed down. It is time to show the DNM scene both to new and old members alike that you can be anonymous and go through the toughest storms if you are a professional and know what you are doing.

The most essential reason of why you should use AlphaBay over any other marketplace is that by using our escrow you become part of the people who help fund building a decentralized network which benefits everyone - vendors, buyers and even other marketplaces. By purchasing from vendors on our marketplace, you generate profit percentage of which is used to fund the decentralized network. Be part of something bigger, something new, something beneficial to the entire DNM scene, something which comes once in a generation and makes a core change to how people buy and sell in a private, secure and anonymous way.

If the community is ready to move to the next generation of marketplaces then do not miss your opportunity to join us and help out - either by using the marketplace or if you are a developer/security expert/sys admin go to our Forum and see how you can contribute, get paid for that and over the long run. It is a community effort that is why this is a community call for everyone - we have the blueprints, help us now, in the present, to make it a reality to help you in the future. We do not want donations, moving your business to us and spreading the word is more than enough. If you want to go the extra mile there will be other activities which we will need help with to make the network run. Those who are outspoken and are active members members/vendors or developers will benefit from the network launching in the long term.

We are professionally-run, anonymous, secure marketplace with a track record like no other marketplace out there - dead or alive. From management to Staff to the technology behind AlphaBay to our bulletproof servers we have the very best. With the protection from a system like AlphaGuard which no other marketplace has, we are clearly a choice for those who have stability and security as their priorities.



Decentralized Market Network

It is a project proposed by DeSnake in the PGP signed message which aims to create a fully autonomous, decentralized and anonymous network which can support the creation of a marketplace 'brand' by anyone. We want to be able to create an 'AlphaBay' market on that network and migrate our community, giving users and vendors ability to buy, sell and trade in a decentralized manner. Potentially other marketplaces will join the network as it mitigates their requirements and risk of arrest without giving up management control (disputes, what is allowed to be sold, hiring of staff, setting fees, control of their profit wallets etc). Users will be safe to purchase from multiple markets all without the need of trusting any market with their cryptocurrency or registering for each one individually. Vendors will be able to sell on multiple markets seemlessly or even create their own shop while preserving their anonimity and security.

Currently all development is funded through what AlphaBay makes as a marketplace. The more usage we get the more profit we receive which means more can be given to the project. We are not specifying what % goes to the project but it is/will be enough for several developers working full-time.

Yes, completely open-source. Anyone will be able to join the network and run a server once the project goes out of beta stage.

The project will have global rules which should be applied and followed by everyone for their own protection, low-profile of the network etc. Dealing with rule breakers within established marketplace 'brands' within the network will not be an issue. The issue comes when those people decide to make their own marketplace/open shop.

The blueprint allows network operators to use a global blocklist (probably manually shared) which would deny serving anything related to certain shop/marketplace. Operators should be able to add/extend the list depending on their views. On top of that we think that having a blocklist for operators themselves will be the ultimate solution - respected operators and marketplaces/shops will refuse working or having their information flow through operators who allow e.g. shops which sale guns, making the percentage profit of those 'bad' operators so small it would not be worth being up at all.

To begin with everyone involved in the project will be taught excellent operation security (opsec) practices. That will protect each person individually more than any technology can.

The project itself will sustain takedowns and seizures by operating a network of servers. The blueprint is each server which is ran must be zero-knowledge so the operator has no information what is going on and can not do malicious actions. Operating a server will be very profitable (multiple times what you would rent a normal server), all servers/nodes will be run through the I2P and Tor Network which gives individual servers some form of anonimity. With such a low barrier to enter and such big profits, it would be a no-brainer for anyone who wishes to make quick money.

There will be multiple types of servers/nodes and depending which type you decide to run, you will receive a profit corresponding to the risk you take.

There are additional protections which will be discussed in more detail in the Forum.

Right now the barrier for creating and running a marketplace is not too high. That is why there are all kinds of people creating one and pulling a fast one. Through our project, market administration will no longer have access to the wallets of users or be able to misappropriate funds which are in escrow. It would result in most marketplaces being honest if they want customers, forced by the network itself.

We want to fully migrate our community to the Decentralized Market Network project once it has been up and running and proven to work flawlessly. Apart from the network fee which is applied to all marketplaces, we will be able to set our own fees on top which would mimick the current 4%-2% for vendors fee. Moving to such a network greatly decreases our costs, almost eliminates the problems with DDoS, increases trust in our users for the long term and as long as the network is up, AlphaBay will be up.

The project will self-fund itself once it makes enough transactions volume. Currently we believe a fee of 1% of each transaction will be adequate to fund (and make a hefty profit) for developers and network/server operators.

Anyone can join the project as long as you have the skills to help. If you do not have them, you can always learn or alternatively simply use our marketplace for your transactions - that inherently helps fund the project.

You can join by visiting our Forum.

The benefits for a developer are two - money paid per complete code and if you are a long-time developer you will receive a percentage from the profit which the network makes. For sys admins/operators who provide servers/network will be two to begin with - money paid monthly for keeping servers up and percentage from the profit which the network makes. Both sys admins (operators) and developers collectively will receive an equal split between the two groups. Operators will receive different % depending on what type of server they run (we do not mean what CPU power or RAM, check our Forum for more information). Once the network is self-sufficient operators will no longer receive incentive (money paid monthly) rather all of their income will be through their own % from the fee profits which will be more than enough to make it worthwhile.

You can refer to the 'Why did AlphaBay return' section to have a full answer to this question. To summarize for alpha02 and AlphaBay legacy, ensuring AlphaBay runs forever (as long as the network is up) and making a healthy profit on the side.



Escrow

Please refer to our rules for more information. It has a section which explains every step, auto-finalize, FE, what to do if you believe a vendor scammed you etc. everything you need to know about doing secure transactions as a buyer or vendor.

AlphaBay takes 2% to 4% fee per successful escrow transaction. The fee is always taken from the vendor. The percentage depends on the vendor level. Fees are NOT taken only if the buyer cancels an order before that order was accepted by a vendor, vendor refuses to accept your order, there is a dispute and you receive 100% refund either through the automatic dispute resolution (ADR) system or through manual dispute resolution.

To offset your costs as a vendor (or user since you are buying listings which vendors have added the additional fees in the price) you can join our Affiliate (referrals) program. You can earn up to 25% from the profit we receive from every successful transaction your referred users make through AlphaBay. It is an excellent way for vendors to receive cash-back or for users to join more people they know and profit by making the introduction (giving them referral link!). Go to your Referrals here.



Beginner section

Please refer to the DarkNet Bible. It contains information which is universal and can be used on any marketplace. More information on advanced security/operational security (opsec) you can find in our Forum. Do not be discouraged to ask questions on there too, everyone has to start somewhere and we are a supportive community for those who wish to learn.

Trust Level (TL) takes into account many factors not only how much you buy through AlphaBay. We can not disclose the actual formulas for security reasons but in essence the longer and more regularly you are involved in AlphaBay e.g. purchasing/selling, report bad listings/vendors/users/spammers, resolve issues quickly with vendor through the automatic dispute resolution (ADR) system, do NOT leave all orders to autofinalize, get/give good ratings by/to vendors, use Trust/Distrust functions on other users/vendors etc. will help your Trust Levels to go up.

One tip we can give is that TL points are awarded for those who put in a PGP key and enable 2-FA (Two-factor authentication).



Vendors

You need to register an account and specify that it is Vendor account from the beginning. After that you need to go to Vendor Settings and follow the instructions. Be prepared to pay a vendor bond. Bond waivers are for VERIFIED VENDORS who have tons of feedback and track record as we do not recognise/trust feedback from other marketplaces. Bonds are refundable the first week after 3 months since becoming a vendor for those who wish to leave.

Some of the obvious answers would be:

  • Good product - the most crucial part, it is always about your product. Selling bad product ruins your reputation and here reputation is key
  • Unique Selling Point (USP) - stand-out from other vendors in your category
  • Good description - product presentation in the best way. Saying something which is not true will get uncovered quickly, say only the truth
  • Good refund policy - state clearly what your refund policy is. Ensure you protect yourself from buyers trying to scam you while striking a balance with offering favourable terms. A good refund policy is very important when a dispute arises
  • Eye-catching images - uploading good quality images for your listing can convince a buyer to make the purchase. Although AlphaBay automatically sanitizes your images and removes all EXIF you are highly advised to do that yourself before uploading.
  • Good discounts/rates - giving good rates/deals using the discount system for each listing ensures you reward loyal customers or those who wish to purchase more of your product at once
  • Excellent customer support - one of the VERY important things to have is excellent (not good) customer support team. If you do not have that, your customer will go somewhere else where they are treated better and where response time is less even if the competition has worse product. You can use the Shared Account Access feature to give access to employees or partners WITHOUT sacrificing account security (they can not access pgp, password, pin, wallet etc. pages for security reasons)
  • Forum presence - the top way to communicate with your (future) customers is through the Forum. Create a topic there in the correct section for listings, make it look nice (you can just copy description if you want) and wait for replies. Forum presence is important to ensure customers that you are there and are an active vendor who can handle any questions or remarks about their product/services
  • Freebies - one of the easiest ways to gain customers is to offer free samples of your stuff. You can do that in the appropriate Forum section
If you are still struggling after doing everything listed above you have several more options:
  • Marketplace Sticky Listing - sticky listing means putting your listing on top of everyone elses when a user searches for a specific term or in a specific category (you 'stick' it on the top). For the classic light theme the sticky listings are in light yellow color as well as the border. For the classic dark theme the sticky listings have yellow borders only not to blind the user who has chosen dark theme. Sticky listing had a very high success rate for vendors in acquiring customers in the 2014-2017 and we have made them defacto industry standard as every other marketplace has them. To access this feature go to your Listings Overview and there you will see an option for each individual listing to make it a sticky, you can also do that when you go to edit a specific listing
  • Forum Sticky Listing - exactly the same concept as the marketplace sticky listing but instead you will get your forum topic (which represents your listing) on top of the forum category where your topic resides. You have to submit a request in the Forum and have someone from Administration sticky it for you after paying a fee
  • Featured Listing - featured listings means putting your listing on the homepage of AlphaBay when a user logs in. The most premium option for vendors allows your listing to be seen by hundreds of thousands of users every single day when they login. The benefits of having your listing up there even for a two week period can result in thousands of views from potential customers and kick-start/grow your business to the next level. Due to very high interest levels by vendors, we are using the same bidding system as we did in the 2014-2017 period. Each 'bidding round' consists of 8 positions, lasting for 2 weeks. Vendors bid for a position (no need to specify position number as it randomizes) and that bid will be available within the time period 2 weeks. After the 'bidding round' is over (lasts 2 weeks), the next 2 weeks will be the time when your listing will be shown. While your listing is being shown in Featured Listings, a new 'bidding round' will begin where other vendors will bid to have their listings shown after your period is over. To access this function go to the Featured Listing page where you can select your listing and input your bid in XMR. If you have been outbidded by another vendor you will get a notification and your funds back in your wallet automatically
After exhausting all of these options and still not having enough sales, it would be time to reconsider your product, the need for your product and re-think your business plan as pretty much anything gets sold here as there is a customer for everything! Alternatively you can ask in Forum

Sticky listing means putting your listing on top of everyone elses when a user searches for a specific term or in a specific category (you 'stick' it on the top). For the classic light theme the sticky listings are in light yellow color as well as the border. For the classic dark theme the sticky listings have yellow borders only not to blind the user who has chosen dark theme. Sticky listing had a very high success rate for vendors in acquiring customers in the 2014-2017 and we have made them defacto industry standard as every other marketplace has them. To access this feature go to your Listings Overview and there you will see an option for each individual listing to make it a sticky, you can also do that when you go to edit a specific listing.

Featured listings means putting your listing on the homepage of AlphaBay when a user logs in. The most premium option for vendors allows your listing to be seen by hundreds of thousands of users every single day when they login. The benefits of having your listing up there even for a two week period can result in thousands of views from potential customers and kick-start/grow your business to the next level. Due to very high interest levels by vendors, we are using the same bidding system as we did in the 2014-2017 period. Each 'bidding round' consists of 8 positions, lasting for 2 weeks. Vendors bid for a position (no need to specify position number as it randomizes) and that bid will be available within the time period 2 weeks. After the 'bidding round' is over (lasts 2 weeks), the next 2 weeks will be the time when your listing will be shown. While your listing is being shown in Featured Listings, a new 'bidding round' will begin where other vendors will bid to have their listings shown after your period is over. To access this function go to the Featured Listing page where you can select your listing and input your bid in XMR. If you have been outbidded by another vendor you will get a notification and your funds back in your wallet automatically.

The search results system is relatively simple and straightforward. The vendors with the highest vendor levels, trust levels, most sales, most positive feedback etc. will be shown unless the buyer has set specific display options (order by oldest, highest/lowest price etc.). On top of all normal listings, sticky listings will be on top of all while having the same rules apply.

We had listened to your comments from the 2014-2017 period and we have decided to focus on offering even more fair competition. To give a chance of new vendors who do not have enough resources to put sticky listings or do not have enough sales or vendor/trust level etc., we insert random low-level vendor listings on the search pages. Usually 1-3 random listings within a standard 25 search result page. The listings are always random (but relevant to the search keyword) and thus only offer a momentary boost to that vendor but that small boost can kickstart their business. We believe all vendors should have an equal start and chance to succeed and this is our way of achieving that.



Other

We have a bug bounty program at AlphaBay. For any security vulnerability or security bug we are willing to pay $$$$ provided that you make a responsible disclosure.

Responsible disclosure consists of two elements:

  • You do not abuse the vulnerability. You can probe further at your own accord but abusing it to gain some kind of advantage or data is forbidden.
  • You keep the vulnerability to yourself. That means no public disclosure before or after fix. If there is any solved security bugs, we will mention it in the changelog and potentially your name if is severe enough.

    Contact us through a support ticket to initiate the reporting process.

If you have more questions make sure you have read all questions and answers on this page. If that does not help try our How-To guides. If your questions is still unanswered and it is not of vital importance then go to our Forum and ask it there. Alternatively if you really need the answer in order to purchase/sell products on AlphaBay then head over to the Support Center and create a ticket where a friendly Staff member will answer you as soon as possible.