Investigating the Different Types of Goods Available on Darknet Markets

Darknet markets (DNMs) are online marketplaces that operate via darknet such as Tor or I2P. They serve as sites for buyers and sellers to trade a variety of goods and services, including drugs, counterfeit currency, stolen credit card details, hacked accounts, and more.

How Do Darknet Markets Work?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of making a purchase on a DNM, it’s important to understand how these sites work. DNMs are hosted on darknets—encrypted networks that can only be accessed using special software such as the Tor browser. This makes it difficult for law enforcement to track down the servers hosting the marketplaces, as well as the buyers and sellers using them.

Darknets are often compared to the “surface web”—the part of the internet that can be accessed without using special software—but this is not an accurate analogy. The surface web is simply the part of the internet that is indexed by search engines like Google; the darknet is a separate network altogether.

To access a DNM, you first need to download and install the Tor browser. Once you have the Tor browser up and running, you can access any .onion site—including DNMs—by entering its address into the browser’s URL bar. Note that because DNMs are illegal, they do not use standard DNS servers; instead, they rely on something called Onion Routing to stay hidden.

Onion Routing is a system designed to allow anonymous communication over a computer network. It works by encrypting data multiple times and routing it through a series of nodes—also known as onion routers—before it reaches its destination. This makes it very difficult for anyone monitoring the network to trace the data back to its source.

What Can You Buy On A Darknet Market?

The types of goods and services available on DNMs vary from marketplace to marketplace, but there are some common items that are generally available on most sites. These include:

– Counterfeit Currency: There is a thriving market for counterfeit currency on DNMs. This fake money can be used to buy goods and services both on and off the darknet.

– Stolen Credit Card Details: Criminals often use DNMs to buy and sell stolen credit card details. These details can then be used to make fraudulent purchases online or in brick-and-mortar stores.

– Hacked Accounts: Similar to stolen credit card details, hackers will also use DNMs to buy and sell hacked accounts (e.g., Netflix accounts, Amazon Prime accounts). These accounts can then be used to access paid content or make purchases without having to pay for them directly.

Making A Purchase On A Darknet Market

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of how DNMs work and what kinds of things you can buy on them, let’s take a look at what you need to know before making your first purchase. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Making your first purchase on a darknet market can be daunting—but it doesn’t have to be! By following our advice above and doing your research beforehand, you can minimize your risk of being scammed or ripped off.


Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.