AlphaBay became infamous after first launching in 2014. The illicit dark-net market was so successful, that it reached a peak of over 400,000 users. The market grew so big, it could not avoid the law enforcement radar for long. In 2017, law enforcement agencies gathered forces and took down the market in what is known today as one of the largest dark-net busts in history. Alexandre Cazes, the Canadian citizen that founded AlphaBay was arrested and sentenced.
It has been 4 years since the operation that took down AlphaBay. Despite the long while, the name was not forgotten. Old administrators from the market decided to work together to relaunch the market. After an announcement on dread, the market came back online and is looking better than ever. The market can be accessed through the traditional Tor network or through I2P.
To gain trust, the administrators of the market are using their original PGP keys that have been used on the original AlphaBay market. The market emphasizes to be the original AlphaBay and not anything else. The distance themselves from fake markets such as Alphabay 2, AlphaBay 2.0, AlphaBay II, AlphaBay Reborn, AlphaBay New, etc.
Design & Interface
The new AlphaBay market is not identical to its original ancestor. Despite maintaining a lot of its original aspects, the design and interface have been improved to meet modern standards. The design of the market is pleasant to look at. The interface is relatively standard. A top bar with all the main navigation is present. A menu located on the left-hand side contains all the market categories. Bellow that is an advanced search query with a ton of filtering options.
Security & Features
AlphaBay was always known to be a feature rich marketplace and this tradition continues. The market brings countless of new features that have not been seen before on other markets. To start, the market introduces shared accounts, which allows users or vendors to share an account with multiple users. This is especially useful for stores run by multiple staff members.
AlphaGuard is also a new feature that claims to protect your funds from law enforcement seizures. Each user has his own wallet key, which can be used to access their wallet from a separate AlphaGuard link. The market also introduced a new automated dispute process. A moderator is no longer required as there is an automatic system in place to handle the interactions. Traditional features like escrow and an autoshop are also present.
AlphaBay brags of being a very secure marketplace. The market claims that their security is handled by a man with 20 years of experience in cyber security. The market uses encryption on all communications. Only Monero is accepted as payment to reduce potential risks of tracking. The administrators also claim that the market has an advanced monitoring tool to spot any potential attacks. This will not only help with security, but stability.
The return of AlphaBay came as a huge surprise to many. After being supposedly chocked by law enforcement, no one expected the market to resurface 4 years later. There is a lot of speculation and many concerns but only time will tell the true faith of the market. For now AlphaBay has started to grow, and currently has a little over 170 listings, nowhere near to its old ancestor.