In this Castle Market review, I’ll discuss the market’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s a new market so keep your expectations in check.
I found the market in its Beta phase. So do not consider this review to be all-inclusive. A ton of features may be added after this piece is published (we’ll obviously update this article when that happens).
Point is, if you like reading/researching about darknet markets, here’s everything I’ll discuss in this piece:
- How good/bad is the user-interface?
- What products are available on Castle Market?
- What’s prohibited on Castle Market?
- Does Castle Market accept independent sellers?
- Which Cryptocurrencies can you use for payments?
- Is Castle Market wallet-less?
- Are funds safe on Castle Market?
- What are the account security features on Castle Market?
- Can Castle Market send automated alerts?
- Does Castle Market offer deaddrops?
- Is Castle Market search panel filter-rich?
If you feel the questions can clear some of your doubts, keep reading.
Disclaimer (MUST READ): This article is solely and exclusively to be used for research and education. You must not buy/sell illegal goods on the market. That’s a crime. Any and all of your actions, both legal and illegal are solely and exclusively your own responsibility.
Castle Market overview
- Onion URL: http://castlee5janmtc5h6jiorit7lzdhgfuy43po4oddgi3qpm52ljyljyyd.onion
- Multisig: Yes
- Cryptocurrencies: BTC, BTCH, DASH, ZCASH, DOGE, XMR
- Vendor fee: $200
- Buyer fee: 2.5%/sale
- Withdrawal fee: 2.5%
Let’s get you a closer look?
How good/bad is the User-Interface?
There’s nothing to be super excited about, however, I do have my own favourite moments.
It’s pretty traditional overall. The top-bar gives you options for settings, accounts etc. The left-sidebar gives you the product-categories.
If you’ve ever used any darknet market, you’ll agree that this is the most common UI for most and is pretty easy to understand, isn’t it?
I did love its little “icon-touch” though. If you notice the product-categories, they have icons for each category. I’ve never seen this before. While it’s nothing very “functional”, it still looks nice.
In a nutshell? The market is made for everyone, is easy to use and doesn’t require any prior experience.
What products are available on Castle Market?
Now, this is a (very) new market. So, let’s not get into the product “numbers”.
As for available types of products, it’s very impressive. Here’s a snapshot of the product-categories panel:
Obviously the snapshot above only shows the “primary categories”. We can expand each category to reveal its subcategories.
E.g. here’s what the “Digital” category shows when expanded:
Similarly, the “drugs” category when expanded shows Cannabis, Opioids, Steroids, Tobacco, and other drugs.
You can find guides about hacking, security, fraud, drug (harvesting, quality testing etc.) in the “Guides and Tutorials” section.
If you’re looking for malicious software (aka malware), or just cracked/premium versions of software, you find them in the “Software and Malware” category. It has everything from botnets, exploits, RATs, fraud software to many other things.
Maybe you’re into porn but can’t afford the expensive porn streaming services? The “erotica” category will help you out. In fact, it’s one of the very rare markets that sells not just porn accounts, but also direct photos and videos!
All in all, I’ll say as the products get stocked, the market wouldn’t be a disappointment for most.
What’s prohibited on Castle Market?
It’s a new market but not a market which completely lacks ethics and morals.
It has a few products on its “prohibited” list. In fact, there’s even a surprise! So, the following items can ‘t be sold on Castle Market:
- Contract killing
- And surprisingly the market also doesn’t allow selling personal information about “Russian” citizen.
While it’s not the first time we’re seeing this (Russian PI) restriction, it’s still pretty rare in the community.
Does Castle Market accept independent sellers?
Castle Market is just an escrow market. It only helps connect buyers to sellers and vice-versa.
In other words, yes, anyone can start selling on Castle Market.
Obviously, that doesn’t mean the market is completely free. There’s a $200 fee that vendor’s pay on registration.
Surprisingly, the market also demands a 2.5% fee from all buyers. This is pretty uncommon. On most other markets, only vendors pay the fee albeit that’s generally much higher than the 2.5% that Castle Market is asking for.
Which Cryptocurrencies can you use for payment?
This is one of the most impressive aspects on this Castle Market review.
Castle Market offers more options than most other darkweb markets out there.
You can pay using:
- BTC , LTC, XMR, BTCH, DASH, And ZCASH.
This gives users the choice between speed, anonymity, security and everything else.
Is Castle Market wallet-less?
No it isn’t and that’s probably the only part I don’t like about the market so far.
For all the Cryptocurrencies, you must deposit funds in advance. These funds are stored in a wallet that’s already attached to your account.
When purchasing items, you can use funds from this wallet till it runs out. Obviously you can keep depositing funds to retain your purchasing power.
Whatever funds are left can be withdrawn for 2.5%/transaction.
Are funds safe on Castle Market?
The reason I’ve highlighted this is because Castle Market offers something that’s very rare in the industry.
It allows “Multisig transactions”. These transactions basically involve 3 parties. The buyer, the seller and the market itself.
This is extremely strong because these transactions can only be processed if 2/3 involved parties agree to the transaction.
In other words, none of the three involved parties can individually scam the other two parties.
So yes, Castle Market transactions are pretty secure.
The market also has the not-so-rare “PIN” feature. It’s set during registration. It’s a 6-digit numerical combination.
Imagine you lost your password and someone gains access to your account. Fortunately, this PIN makes sure your funds can’t be touched without this PIN. The PIN is required both for withdrawals, as well as any other transaction.
What are the account security features on Castle Market?
The above section clarified that funds on the market are pretty untouchable. What about the accounts in general?
Well, the account security features on Castle Market are pretty standard. Neither wow nor duh.
You get the 2-factor authentication which can be enabled via PGP. It requires an additional decryption along with your password for logging in.
In case you lose both your password and PGP, you can still regain access using your mnemonic code. This code is provided just after registering on the marketplace.
Can Castle Market send automated alerts?
This is one of the most unique and rare features on this Castle Market review.
The market offers integrated “alert settings”. You can configure your Jabber to receive automated notifications related to:
- Orders and sales
- Alerts about balances
- Messages etc.
I’ve seen a few markets offer Bitmessage integration for notifications, however, this is a first as far as Jabber goes.
Does Castle Market offer deaddrops?
This is a new feature that I’ve only seen about 3 or 4 markets offers so far.
On Castle Market, it isn’t active yet. However, as the market ages it probably will be activated. If and when done, it’ll allow offline pickups and deliveries of items in a more anonymous environment.
I’d urge you to check this Castle Market review in a week or so for more details on this.
Is Castle Market search panel filter-rich?
The search panel is important because if it’s not filter-rich, you’d be lost for hours trying to find the right products.
Fortunately, that won’t happen on Castle Market. It has a pretty impressive search-panel, here are the available filters:
- Product type: Physical/digital
- Minimum-maximum price range
- Shipping destination
- Escrow type
When used right, these filters will display exactly what you’re searching for within seconds.
Castle Market review- Is it worth it?
If I’m being honest, it’s too early to say. The market sure shows a ton of green signals. Its UI, product-variety, vendor policies, security features etc. are all very desirable. Obviously, if it implements wallet-less payments that’ll be even better.
However, it’s literally less than a month old. It would be unfair to judge its potential today. Once the product-stock grows and more members join in, a better picture can be painted.
For now, I’ll say it does have the potential to climb to the top in the long run. That’ll be all for this Castle Market review folks.