After launching in July 2019, the Samsara darknet marketplace exit-scammed on its users only a few months later. Vendors and buyers alike lost access to their deposits and communications, and radio silence from the site’s admins ever since suggests those same admins were the ones who made off with the loot. During the platform’s brief run, however, Samsara was a popular darknet market that billed itself as a successor to the Dream Market, which had closed up shop in March 2019. Now with the benefit of hindsight, Samsara is only the latest cautionary tale in the darknet marketplace arena.
Launched as a reboot of the Dream Market, Samsara was mostly identical to its predecessor in design. The main difference between the two platforms was that Samsara deployed 1) a unique logo, and 2) a new shopping cart icon. Beyond these points, the marketplaces’ login and category systems were practically the same. As with most other darknet marketplaces to date, Samsara supported Bitcoin (BTC) as the site’s main currency of choice. To sell on the site, vendors had to deposit a bond of 0.1 BTC each.
While it was live, Samsara offered a slew of user-friendly features that made buying drugs, digital goods, and services relatively easy. The platform used a dual-rating system, which allowed vendors and buyers to rate each other. The marketplace offered an advanced market search engine that let users greatly customize their searches, too. Samsara also required escrowed transactions to protect both sides of exchanges. Buyers could create Favorite Vendor lists to organize their most trusted vendors, among other perks. The marketplace also made use of a “Community” page, where its users could vote on the direction of the platform and what features should be added next.
At least on the surface, Samsara didn’t seem to slouch on security when it was still in operation. For example, the marketplace automatically encrypted messages, allowed passwords to be recovered via PIN numbers, and offered 2FA logins. These security mechanisms made users feel more comfortable using the site, which worked against their favor in the end.
The Samsara darknet marketplace is no more. It’s good the bandaid was ripped off relatively early so the scam didn’t go on for longer. But make no mistake: a considerable amount of Samsara’s users lost money on the platform, and accordingly for many of them the search continues for a marketplace they can actually trust.