4.0 (7 Votes)
Among darknet marketplaces active as of early 2020, Empire Market is one of the most popular. Since launching in April 2018, Empire Market has earned a reputation for being a easy to use and reliable platform. To date, its operation has been free of any major security incidents. Many traders consider its design to bring together some of the best things a darknet marketplace has to offer. Of course, the site's not perfect or infallible, and who knows how it’ll fare going forward. For example, it faces regular DDoS campaigns, which can cause users’ headaches. Until demonstrated otherwise though, it’s a solid option in the ecosystem.
Empire Market is modeled after Alphabay, a popular darknet marketplace that shuttered in July 2017. Prior Alphabay users will find Empire Market familiar. The platforms' dashboard and marketplace layouts are almost identical. Getting started on Empire Market is easy. User registrations -- which need no identifying info -- are accepted immediately. On the flip side, vendors can open up shop by supplying a $300 bond.
As for payments, the platform supports the cryptocurrencies of bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR).
Boasting some 60,000 product listings, Empire Market offers a series of features to make the trading of drugs, digital goods, and the like easy for its users. "Autoshop" is the platform's most unique offering. It allows buyers to automatically start some purchases without needing vendor approval or action, a perk that can speed up the delivery process.
Empire Market’s advanced reputation system also makes it easy for vendors and buyers to track the reliability of one another. Moreover, the platform offers forum, feedback, and support sub-pages for the benefit of its user base.
This darknet marketplace has all the security staples you’d expect. For instance, an escrow payment system and support for Multisig transactions helps to cut down on scams. The platform also offers support for PGP communications, 2FA logins, and account recovery phrases so users can stay in control of their activities.
The biggest ding against Empire Market is that it’s unstable at times. When the site can be reached and used, though, it’s a solid darknet marketplace that covers all the basics and more. Some like the platform, and some don’t. But it’s currently active, which is enough for many. For others, the search for their market of choice continues.