Versus Market, otherwise known as the Versus Project, is a relatively new darknet marketplace, it’s been in business for 3 years now. However, it has already managed to establish the reputation as a trustworthy marketplace among the dark web community.
Versus Market Link:
Versus Market Mirror:
The project’s administration claims to initiate this venture because of the ideological reasons, like escaping the governmental tyranny, but not for the quick and easy profits as many other markets do these days. Indeed, they invest plenty of efforts and money into banishing scammers from the market, protecting users, and creating a community based on mutual respect. Are they successful? Well, let’s dive in and see.
Versus Market Basic Features
|Established in||December 2019|
|Multisig Escrow (MS)||Yes (2/3 & 2/2)|
|Finalize Early (FE) and Fast Pay (FP)||Yes|
|Accepted Currencies||Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR)|
|2-factor authentication with PGP encryption||Yes, mandatory for all users|
|Commission for vendors||0 for 2/3 MS transactions, 5% for the Fast Pay (MS 2/2) or FE deals|
|Commission for the customers||Flexible, can be from 1% for the bulk purchases to 500% for buying a small digital item|
|Wallet-free payment||Yes (there is no built-in wallet, but you’ll still need your own e-wallet to pay)|
How to Access Versus Market
Versus Market URL:
If you could simply open darknet marketplaces URL addresses in your casual browser or access them through search engines, such as Google, it wouldn’t be a darknet market, would it? So, leave your Opera, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or even Microsoft Edge (if there are people who actually use it), and install the Tor browser. This software allows any user to remain completely anonymous because all the traffic routes through the Tor network.
This browser is suitable for both the clearnet and the darknet, but the links for the dark web resources are different. The dark market onion URL will have the .onion extension, so look for it if you’re a first time Tor user.
Of course, making a purchase on a darknet marketplace isn’t as dangerous as buying something from a mysterious person in a dark alley, but the consequences of such deals can still be pretty grave. If you’re not cautious enough, you might end up losing your money or even going to jail. So, here are some of the rules and preparation advice that you might want to follow to avoid being scammed or subjected to prosecution:
Is Versus Market Down?
Right now, Versus Market is alive and well. Yet, it had its ups and downs during the 3 years that it has been in business. Unfortunately, it seizes the operations from time to time due to malicious distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The first one was so intense that many people thought they were closed for good. However, they managed to come back, and now they’re one of the most secure platforms on the darknet.
Sadly, they still experience some inconvenience due to these continuing attacks, but now they are quick to recover. You can use the Versus Market Reddit blog to monitor the situation. Plus, they post plenty of other helpful info and updates there.
If Versus Market is down, check other darknet markets
Versus takes pride in being “a security driven” market. In addition, they claim that they value privacy and freedom, so it’s not just about selling drugs, it’s about making a statement. They want to become an oasis for those who need a hideaway and are tired of governmental oppression. Of course, this market is relatively young and achieving such ambitious purposes takes time, but let’s try to evaluate the progress they’ve made so far.
It’s hard to call the Versus Market’s registration process a simple one. Still, it is the marketplace that declared achieving the highest level of security to be its priority. Therefore, putting an extra emphasis on safety measures is completely understandable.
First, there are some steps you need to take before you can proceed with login or registration procedure.
- Compare the URLs to ensure that you have one of the two official Versus dark web mirrors.
- Download the Versus PGP key and store it.
- Download the .txt file with signed mirrors and validate them.
- Download the warrant canary file and validate the message.
- Seems a little too complicated, doesn’t it? Let’s see why these precautions are actually necessary.
- You need to check and verify the mirrors to ensure that the link you have isn’t contaminated with phishing or other malicious protocols.
- With the PGP key, all your communication on the platform will be encrypted.
- Warrant canary is a way to warn the market users that the government issued a secret subpoena to the provider, without actually disclosing it.
Now you’re free to proceed with the registration. Of course, the process is completely anonymous and doesn’t require any personal info. Yet, for the operational security purposes, you’ll need more than just a login and a password.
- Username (surely, it must bear no connection to your real identity);
- Password (2 times, and, again, don’t mention anything personal);
- Login phrase as a phishing protection measure. This phrase will appear every time you log into your account.
- Captcha to prove that you’re a real person.
- Mnemonic key, comprised of 16 words. You need to write it down or copy it because it is displayed to you only once. Make sure that you store it in a secure place, it’s the only way to restore your account in case something unfortunate happens.
On Versus Market, 2FA with PGP encryption is mandatory procedure for both vendors and buyers. So, what’s this for? You can decrypt and encrypt the messages using your public & private PGP keys, but you can also generate a PGP signature to verify your identity. This means that besides entering your username and password, you’ll have to sign an encrypted message using your PGP signature. This helps to avoid security breaches in case someone has your password.
You can set up a 2FA in the “Settings” section of your Dashboard. It might seem challenging, but the Versus Market’s administration prepared a detailed guide for those who aren’t familiar with this topic. If you don’t fell confident about your expertise, be sure to check the available materials.
Versus Market isn’t a small trading platform, yet, it’s not big enough to compete with the largest providers, at least for now. However, they compensate for the lack of quantity with their exceptional quality. The admission process is rough, the vendor’s bond is high, and they are about to become an invite-only market.
This means that the administration is serious about selecting the vendors that can trade on the platform. They even take product samples to perform harm reduction/drug quality testing. This indicates that the administration is invested in supplying customers with the quality product.
What can you buy?
Versus Market is the all-purpose marketplace. This means that they don’t have a specialization in drugs or credit cards, like many other platforms do nowadays, they are ready to offer you everything that the vendors are willing to sell. However, they charge a commission, and it might be really high. For instance, if you buy a small digital item, you’ll have to pay a 500% commission otherwise the deal wouldn’t be profitable for them. So, it’ll cost you less to place bulk orders. So, what can you shop for?
- Drugs (cannabis, benzos, dissociative, ecstasy, stimulants, psychedelic, prescription, alcohol & tobacco, steroids, etc.);
- Digital products (fraud software, e-books, game keys, erotica);
- Forgery (fake documents, money, etc.);
- Fraud (bank account details, CVV & cards, dumps);
- Guides & Tutorials (hacking, social engineering, security & anonymity);
- Software & Malware (botnets, exploit kits, security software);
- Security & Hosting (VPN, SOCKS, hosting);
- Services (social engineering, carding, etc.).
You can purchase certain legal products as well. For instance, here you can find legit software, jewelry, precious metals, electronics, and even antiques.
What can’t you buy?
Over the past 3 years, Versus Market has indicated clearly that they have certain principles and ethics they intend to adhere to. Hence, it’s not surprising that they adopted the harm reduction policy, advocate complete privacy, and have a strict moral code. Therefore, these products, services, and activities are prohibited on the market:
- Weaponry and substances that can cause serious damage to people’s wellbeing. Armor/paraphernalia is included in this category as well. Exceptions can be made for nonlethal, decorative weapons, fake or collectible items.
- Doxxing, extortion, or blackmail. Vendors are allowed to ask only the information that is relevant to the order.
- Services intended to harm other people. This is a broad category that includes murder, threatening, harassment, surveillance, hacking, phishing, DDoSing, etc.
- Fentanyl or related products.
- Synthetic opioids & cannabinoids.
- Luring customers to strike an FE deal, communicate in messengers (Wickr, Telegram or WhatsApp), or buy outside the market.
- Garlic bread. This one is strictly forbidden, don’t you dare even mention it, you’ll be banned permanently and immediately (well, isn’t it nice to have an admin with a sense of humor?).
Usability of the Interface
To make the selection process easier for buyers, the Vendor Market’s homepage welcomes you with several listings, like Top, Promoted, and Newcomer Vendors. Plus, it might be helpful to check the Recommended products’ section too. The site offers plenty of categories and subcategories. You can use a search bar and filters to speed up the process of finding the goods you want to purchase. You can narrow your search results using these criteria:
- Shipping from/to;
- Quality rating;
- Communication rating;
- Stealth rating.
Now you have a list of suitable products in front of your eyes. You can decide to click on or to skip an item, based on this data:
- price/bulk prices;
- shipped from/to;
- quantity in stock;
- vendor level & ratings.
If you open one of the listings, you’ll see a detailed description of everything, concerning the product, including payment, shipment, price, vendor, and rating. Don’t forget that prices are displayed in the base currency (you can choose between EUR, USD, and many others), but you have to pay in cryptocurrency.
Before placing an order, you should spend some time and do research. You can find all the necessary information in the Description, Terms & Conditions, and Feedback sections. Be sure that you’ve calculated the right price, gathered all the data on shipping & payment processes, and evaluated all the advantages & disadvantages of buying this product.
Versus Market strives to provide buyers with the realistic portrait of sellers and products, so you can see both feedback & ratings from the onsite users (Quality, Stealth, Communication) and Versus Points that combine ratings on Versus with other markets. The more Versus Points the vendor gets, the higher the vendor’s Level becomes. Analyze these parameters thoroughly to make sure that the seller is trustworthy.
How to Buy
So, you found all the items from your shopping list. What’s next?
- Add the selected products to your cart.
- Choose your shipping and payment options (make sure your vendor provides them).
- Don’t forget to fill in your Refund Address and encrypt your shipping details with PGP.
- Be prepared to transfer the exact amount of cryptocurrency to the wallet address stated in the automatically generated invoice. Remember, you should do it from your own e-wallet, and you should do it as soon as you receive the invoice because if you fail to do it within the time limits, the order will be cancelled automatically. The seller won’t see your order, unless you pay for it.
- The vendor has 72 hours to accept your order and 7 days to ship it. If the vendor decides to decline the order, you’ll get a refund within approximately 6 hours.
- You’ll receive a notification when the vendor marks your order as shipped.
- Don’t forget to finalize the order as soon as you receive it because the seller won’t be able to get the money until the order is complete.
- If you’re not satisfied with the goods or services you received, you can initiate a dispute, but you have to try resolving it with the vendor first.
How to Pay
As you might notice from the algorithm above, Versus Market incorporated the most advanced features to protect its users from hacking or exit scams. They use multisig escrow system and wallet-free payments. Yet, they try to be flexible and balance security measures with convenience and customer-oriented approach. Let’s find out how good they are at it.
The classic escrow system implies that the seller can’t get the money until the order is finalized. With the multisig feature, funds cannot be transferred until at least 2 parties sign the deal.
- The most secure option is 2/3 multisig escrow. This means that the transaction takes place between 3 parties (vendor, buyer, market) and require at least 2 signatures to release the funds. So, in case of any disputes or exit scam attempts, the seller won’t be able to get your money.
- 2/2 multisig or Fast Pay (FP) option is faster (funds are held on the market’s account for 3-5 days instead of the 14 days standard), but less reliable. This type of transactions takes place between a vendor and a buyer. So, you won’t be able to get a refund in case the seller exit scams. The market can force active vendors to give you your money back, but the risk of losing everything is still high. Of course, the administration monitors FP deals and the vendor bond is higher for the FP vendors. Still, agree to the FP transaction only with those vendors that you know and trust.
Finalize Early option means that the vendor can receive the money right after the order has been marked as shipped. This is the fastest way of competing the deal. It might seem convenient for both buyers and sellers for several reasons. However, you must keep in mind that with this option, there is absolutely zero possibility of getting a refund if something goes wrong.
Surely, the administration carefully review all the candidates before deciding on their eligibility for the FE status. Plus, they charge all vendors with a 5% commission for FE and FP transactions. Yet, your safety is your responsibility, so make sure that the vendor you choose can be trusted.
Versus Market allows customers to pay with the most common cryptocurrencies in the dark web, Bitcoins (BTC) and Monero (XMR). Obviously, Monero offers enhanced privacy capabilities, but it doesn’t have a viable multisig solution. Hence, if you select Monero as your payment currency, your transactions will be handled though the traditional escrow system without the multisig option. It might be disappointing in case you need a refund. In addition, vendors have the right to decide whether they accept payments in Monero or not. So, make sure that you check it before you place an order.
The payment process itself is pretty fast and easy, all you need to do is:
- Create a new e-wallet (standard, not multisig);
- Copy and paste the payment address from the invoice into your wallet;
- Enter the exact amount of cryptocurrency as stated in the invoice;
- Don’t forget to set the mining fee to at least ETA, otherwise your transaction can take days to be confirmed;
- As soon as your transaction receives 3 confirmations from the blockchain, your status will be changed from Paid to Pending.
- If the vendor approves the order (status changes to Confirmed), you just have to wait for your package to arrive.
Overall, the process is simple enough. However, the refunds can be complicated because they are handled through the multisig escrow. This means that you’ll need Coinb.in together with the Bitcoin Public & Private Keys. It might seem complicated at first, but at least you’ll get your money. Plus, Versus Market prepared a step-by-step guide, so users won’t feel confused and overwhelmed by the information.
The Versus Project
Versus Market isn’t just a trading platform, it cannot be narrowed down to commercial purposes. It has a mission to bring together all those who understand the importance of freedom and privacy. That’s why they are called the Versus Project. This means that Versus isn’t simply a darknet marketplace, it’s a community of people who share common values. The Versus Project puts plenty of efforts into creating the atmosphere of trust, safety, and mutual respect. That’s why they:
- Encourage users to leave honest reviews.
- Support the vendors who are active on the platform’s forums and are eager to interact with customers.
- Review negative, emotional, or outraged feedbacks to ensure that they aren’t fake or biased.
- Launch the Versus Ambassador Project. The Ambassadors need to perform an internal quality control and inform the community about its results.
- Address its users as “Dear Versus Family” or “Dear Community”.
Versus dark web reputation is almost impeccable, and, frankly, they deserve it. They can offer many advantages, including:
*outstanding security capabilities (mandatory 2FA, multisig, wallet-free payments, login phrase, mnemonic phrase, warrant canary message, etc.); *attentive attitude towards its users; *high standards for the vendors and their products.
It might be hard to deal with all the security measures, and there are many platforms that decided to become more simple and user-friendly in that aspect. Yet, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re willing to jeopardize your safety, so you could avoid studying a couple of guides and manuals.
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