Launched in 2019 in response to the recurring unavailability of other darknet forums like Dread and The Hub, Envoy is a site similarly dedicated to darknet marketplace discussions. However, Envoy’s leadership has repeatedly emphasized they aren’t competing with other forums but simply providing another avenue for community discussions in case other related platforms are taken offline, either temporarily or permanently.
The user interface of Envoy is built using Simple Machines Forum (SMF) software, so its design is not modeled after Reddit like some other popular darknet marketplace forums are. Aesthetically, the platform’s dark blue dashboard looks sleek and modern, so it’s certainly easy on the eyes.
Envoy allows its users to create private groups to better manage smaller conversations. Being global in scope, the forum also offers region-based discussion sections, so threads can be localized and more easily searchable accordingly. And although Envoy is explicitly a forum, its dashboard provides a “Shop” section and the ability to send money to other users. Both of these transactional features make the site stand out from peer forums that forbid transactions of any kind.
Envoy is essentially just a basic forum that’s only accessible through the Tor privacy network, so the site doesn’t offer much else in the way of extra security mechanisms. However, one of the site’s admins, the former Dread moderator Witchman05, has previously said that Envoy maintains a small moderation team “for safety reasons,” so a lean staff is a notable security measure in its own right when it comes to ensuring a small attack surface. On the flip side, modest staffing means moderation on the site can be relatively light, so beware of bad faith actors that go unnoticed by the higher-ups.
While Envoy was created to serve as an alternative to other recently unstable darknet forums, it too has been facing availability problems in the wake of the sustained DDoS attacks that have been targeting prominent darknet sites lately. So the site may be a viable alternative at times, but not when it’s down along with all the other top darknet marketplace forums. Also, it is worth noting that the site’s admin Witchman05 has had a previous disappearance episode that was suspicious for some of the forum’s stakeholders. The incident apparently blew over, though, as nothing decisive has yet resulted from that temporary and unexpected absence — at least nothing that’s warranted full-blown alarm from the community.