Friday, July 15, 2016

OpenBazaar, Bitmarkets, Dropzone and SafeMarket: decentralized markets. Part I. OpenBazaar

Law enforcers are able from time to time to take down deep web black markets servers. But there's a risk that deep web actors will become more resilient with decentralized technologies similar how media sharing Napster took down brought decentralized torrents technology.

In December 2014 we posted reporting about some developments in this field. That post can be viewed in the Red Sky Alliance portal.

In this post I'm looking at OpenBazaar which was relaunched in April 2016 with renewed code. Currently OpenBazaar doesn't actively hide sellers IPs so currently most of the goods for sale looks legal which helps developers to continue their work on the OpenBazaar – many of them are in the US. At the same time I will show here that some cyber items are listed on OpenBazaar which include not only old and "clean" RATs but also DDoS services and manuals for fraud, hacking, carding and stealing Paypal accounts funds.

In future I plan to look into other decentralized markets: Bitmarkets, Dropzone and SafeMarket which use different transaction data storage vehicles: Bitmessage, Bitcoin Blockchain and Etherium Blockchain.

After the Silk Road blackmarket takedown a concept of decentralized market was developed during a hackaton. The idea got funding but was never finished by initial creator. Another team took the concept and released a working version in 2014 under the OpenBazaar name. Soon OpenBazaar was closed due to need to rewrite the code which was done by April 2016.

Since April 2016 Open Bazaar second launch:
  • 150,000 downloads of installer,
  • ~17k followers of the OpenBazaar store (the official swags store, doesn't include other OpenBazaar stores),
  • 6,400 listings online,
  • Number of sales is unknown but estimate is ~650 review means ~6,500 purchases.
Being decentralized OpenBazaar doesn't have default search engine and users need first subscribe to a shop to track the listing (also shops do online and back offline). But there are two major search engines for OpenBazaar made by other developers: bazaarbay[.]org and duosear[.]ch.

The full report was posted to the Red Sky Alliance portal on 7/10/16. For more information, contact Wapack Labs. 844-4-WAPACK.