Darknet Markets Are Back But With the Blockchain Bloated, Who's Buying?

Darknet markets, prized for their range of wares not commonly found on the clearnet, are back online. For the past three weeks, the most popular DNMs, including Dream and Aero, have been offline due to sustained DDoS attacks. Now, following a lengthy hiatus, the majority of markets are back online. There’s just one problem: with bitcoin transactions sometimes taking hours or even days to confirm, several markets are still largely unusable.

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You Can Browse But You Can’t Buy

On the Dream marketplace, which only accepts bitcoin, customers have been left to window shop, gazing enviously at the goods on offer but unable to buy until their bitcoin transactions clear. The number of unconfirmed transactions in the mempool passed 150,000 on Saturday and is now touching 160,000.

Darknet Markets Are Back But With the Blockchain Bloated, Who's Buying?
Anxious Dream users await confirmation.

Users on r/darknetmarkets complained of transactions sent to Dream, the largest DNM, that were unconfirmed after five hours. The Dream forum is filled with similar tales of woe, including dozens of complaints filed in the last 24 hours. Customers of the darknet, who are often in a hurry to get their goods, think nothing of paying high confirmation fees – even when those fees are approaching $10, as has been the case with bitcoin recently. Even with higher fees selected, however, transactions have still been slow.

Having survived since 2013, Dream is a veteran among darknet markets, whose tenure is often limited to mere months. Despite its size and reputation, the site has been slow to evolve however, and still only accepts payment in bitcoin. As a consequence, it’s vulnerable to Read More Here