Dread Forum - The most popular darknet forum

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After Reddit’s crackdown on darknet markets subreddits, most notably r/darknetmarkets, the dark net community was in need for a platform to discuss and recommend markets as it normally did on Reddit. Fortunately, prior to Reddit’s impetuous bans, a redditor named u/HugBunter was already developing a hidden service forum, addressing the need for an independent and censor-resistent platform. He created Dread, a Reddit-style discussion forum launched in February 2018. It’s a mimic of Reddit with similar user interface and core features such as sub-communities and user moderation; it’s entirely developed without the use of the notorious JavaScript. The forum gained lot of traction soon after it launched, and in few months it became the darknet markets user’s forum of choice.

SubDreads and Communities

Darknet markets administrators have become much engaged in Dread and would typically create subdreads to serve as a place for announcements and for people to discuss aspects of the specific market. Individual vendors, either selling on markets or on their own shops, have also taken to using Dread to promote themselves and provide transparency for their customers. Furthermore, users often write about their personal experiences with certain markets or vendors, and would usually either recommend or warn of sellers. From all that preceded, we can clearly see that Dread makes it a lot easier for people to learn and make better purchasing decisions on the darknet. Most of all, Dread is not limited to just market-related discussions. It’s a general discussion platform just like Reddit, and so there are many other communities and topics. Examples of various subdreads are /d/OpSec, /d/BTC, /d/Hacking, /d/SocialEngineering, /d/DrugScience and many other.

The near fall of dread

Right after Reddit’s banning campaign, everyone knew that an alternative platform was to be sought. Olympus, a darknet market which is currently defunct, hoped to host the refugees in their own forums. To that end, they began advertising their forums everywhere they could, including still surviving subreddits, while simultaneously downvoting and spamming other posts suggesting other Redditalternatives. However, their endeavor was in vain as eventually most people migrated to HugBunter’s

Dread. Olympus’ admins were dissatisfied and therefore tried all they could to get back at HugBunter. They eventually succeeded in bribing a partner of HugBunter with $10,000 for the onion private key and the site’s database. All requests made to Dread’s address at that time were redirected to addresses owned by Olympus. They claimed they hacked Dread. Eventually, HugBunter launched Dread again with improved features and the problem between the two parties was settled with Olympus apologizing to the community for the mess they have caused.

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