Empire Market is one of the newest, most recent deep web marketplaces to pop up on the Tor network, so obviously we had to get this Empire Market review done.
Let me leave a fair warning though, it’s still in its infancy, still budding and there aren’t a LOT of products over there (although we will update this review with time).
The reason we’re getting this review done right now is to give you an idea of what the platform aims to achieve, its security features, trust-factors, and what its potential seems like.
Empire Market Overview
Empire Market’s most distinguished feature is that it’s almost like a clone to Alphabay. Yes, the formerly most popular, most used and arguably the most trusted deep web market that existed.
Even the Tagline that Empire Market uses is “In memory of Alexander Cazes”, and Cazes as we know was the owner and founder of Alphabay, who died tragically in a prison after being arrested.
So, Empire Market isn’t trying to hide the fact that it’s influenced by Alphabay, rather it seems more like a tribute to Alexander and Alphabay.
Other than that, it’s a regular deep web market which facilitates the buying and selling of products which are hard to get, illegal, or banned in most countries of the nation.
Here’s an overview of the marketplace before we get started:
- Empire Market total listings – 3000+ (as on 25.04.2018)
- Primary URL – http://empiremktxgjovhm.onion
- Subreddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/EmpireDNM/
- Universal Official Forum – http://empforumgfttfqnq.onion/
- Registration – Open
- Security – 2FA with PGP Key.
- Currency Support – BTC, LTC, XMR
And now, let’s get started with a more detailed breakdown of the features for this Empire Market review.
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Generally all the deep web market reviews I do start with an insight into the user interface.
Because hey, if you can’t understand the site, or its options or how to make a certain feature work, it’s no good.
As far as the user interface of Empire Market goes, it’s literally an “Alphabay Clone”.
Now I’d have marked that as a negative factor right here had they tried to hide it, but they didn’t so maybe they did so because Alphabay was popular, and was easily understood by users, so why re-invent the wheel?
Exactly like Alphabay, it too has a top bar with all the important links such as Orders, Balance, Messages etc.
The rest of the screen is divided into two major parts, the left-sidebar, which holds the:
- Profile Information for the user.
- Browse Categories section: Lets you browse the available product categories on the platform.
- Search Tab: Lets you perform a search to help you locate the products you’re searching for. (We will discuss its capabilities later).
- Bitcoin, Litecoin and Monero Exchange rates.
The right-sidebar has a number of featured listings just like Alphabay did, followed by a security precautions tab, and an invitation section.
So as far as my verdict goes, it’s no harder to understand than Alphabay was, if you liked Alphabay’s user-interface, you’d like Empire Market’s.
2. Services and Goods Offered
Any deep web market’s prime weapon, character of efficiency and everything else largely depends on the availability of products on the platform, don’t you agree?
This is an aspect Empire Market probably isn’t very impressive at yet, with just 3000+ products to be exact, you won’t find a lot of options here.
But that can be accepted considering how it’s only 2 months old and it’ll take time to stock its storage up.
The current product categories, which aren’t blank and have at least one product in them are:
- Fraud – 315
- Drugs and Chemicals – 1432
- Guides and Tutorials – 354
- Counterfeit items – 123
- Digital Products – 601
- Jewels & Gold – 7
- Weapons – 15
- Carded Items – 15
- Services – 29
- Other Listing – 8
- Software & Malware – 65
- Security & Hosting – 25
Drugs obviously being the most populated section like any other deep web market, have 1400+ listed products currently, and are further categorized as:
- Steroids etc
Even though it’s not superbly populated, it may well be the last straw for people looking for drugs which just aren’t available anywhere else.
The next most highly populated category on Empire Market is Digital Products with nearly 600+ items listed as of today.
The digital products are products which can be dispatched digitally and includes sub-categories such as software, erotica, e-books etc.
Basically, anything and everything which doesn’t need to be shipped via post can be found under this section.
Then is the “Guides and Tutorials” section with slightly lesser number of products than Digital Goods, i.e. 267 to be exact.
This too is a category related to digital goods, but it consists only of E-books or other educational material on “Drugs”, “Fraud” etc, teaching you how to either make your own drugs, how to hack into a credit card and stuff like that.
There are other sections available as well, such as Fraud, Jewellery, Security and Hosting, Hacking, and even weapons. But currently they’re all blank so not much I can scribble down for them in this Empire Market review.
Bottomline, if Empire Market stocks itself up as good as Alphabay, or any other established deep web market well in that there does seem hope for the marketplace.
Before taking any action with this marketplace, make sure take some research, like empire marketplace offering generic service or not, Is that protecting buyers from various type money fraud? and so on.
I am telling you that thing because these guys are still new to the dark web industry. and within a recent month, they got a lot of popularity on the tor network.
The other aspect I pay a lot of attention to when it comes to deep web marketplaces is their security.
Cause hey, they aren’t exactly “legal”, so you can’t go to the cops crying if you lose your accounts, are hacked, or any other mishap happens.
So it’s up to the marketplace to ensure that the platform is as secure as it can be.
Some of the security features Empire Market is currently offering are:
- PGP Encryption
- 6 digit PIN
- Mnemonic Code
- And 2 Factor Authentication
PGP encryption is literally the strongest encryption protocol existing out there which is extremely easy to use, as well as available to the common man, isn’t it?
A PGP key is mandatory for Vendors on Empire Market, and is optionally available as well as encouraged for buyers.
The encryption helps you verify a seller’s authenticity, keep your communications encrypted and lots more so yeah it’s a great feature.
After that, there’s the 6 digit pin which you create during Sign up. It acts as an additional layer of security making sure all major changes to your account are authorized by you, and need this 6 digit pin in addition to the password.
It also provides a 9-word long Mnemonic code during signup, which should be copied and saved somewhere safe. This Mnemonic code is the only way to recover a lost password or username, and being a kind of a “master-key”, this Mnemonic code can’t be recovered once lost.
And finally, they also support 2-factor authentication which can be enabled by the use of your PGP key, a message is displayed during login which needs to be decrypted using your PGP key, and only after successful decryption is login allowed.
They also have “login phrase” enabled, it’s a phrase which is set by you and is displayed on your homepage after you login to the marketplace. If the phrase changes, or isn’t displayed then it indicates you may be on a phishing site and not the original marketplace.
Availability of Escrow further boosts its security features as far as seller-vendor relationships go, Escrow makes sure your payments aren’t instantly delivered to the vendor without the product being dispatched, and for vendors it functions as a guarantee of getting paid once the product is dispatched.
I believe “trust-factors” are also an important part of this Empire Market review, as not just the marketplace, but ability to verify and trust other users and vendors also is important, isn’t it?
So, Empire Market has a $100 vendor bond in place, which makes sure that not every Tom-Dick and Harry can be a vendor, but only those who deposit this bond.
Additionally, every bit of information about a vendor can be obtained from their profiles, including:
- Vendor Level
- Trust Level
- Positive/Neutral/Negative reviews
- Total Disputes
- Total orders etc
So yes it’s transparent.
The one feature which it lacks as of now is “MultiSig”, but as per their official press release, they would soon be including that as well.
You probably have already noticed that most of these features are common, and are available on most other marketplaces as well, but it does mean that Empire Market is taking its security seriously.
4. Payment and Currencies
One of the prime differences between Empire Market and the other markets is its acceptance of different types of currencies.
Meaning, it doesn’t use only Bitcoin, but also lets you buy/sell using Litecoin as of today, and has plans of incorporating other currencies including Monero, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash etc.
The other currencies would surely bring down the transaction fee quite a bit, considering how it’s pretty high with Bitcoin.
Also, not everyone may have Bitcoin, so there too it’s options for them. Bottomline, the support for so many currencies is surely a feather in the cap of this Empire Market review.
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5. Search Functionality
Now for the last feature of this Empire Market review, the search functionality. Again, it’s identical to what Alphabay had, offering extreme filtration which was commendable.
It lets you search for a search term, and then distinguish between “Physical/digital goods”, and obviously you can select the origin country of the product, as well as make sure it ships to your country by using the “ships to” filter.
Also the vendor trust level can be set in the search tab itself, so that all the products which come up are guaranteed to be by a vendor who has the trust level demanded by the user.
So yes, the search functionality is impressive with Empire Market.
6. Other Information
Apart from the features, there’s some other information that I believe we should cover in this Empire Market review.
So, it also has an affiliate program which you can join and get a 20% commission on every purchase.
The commission of Empire Market is set at 4% for every product, and as for support they can be reached via tickets which can be opened from every account’s dashboard.
Final words about Empire Market review
So let me wrap this Empire Market review up folks. This is the section where I discuss my viewpoints and perspective on the market in question.
As for Empire Market, let me start by saying that as far as features, security or user-interface goes, they’ve aced it. Simply because it’s almost like an Alphabay clone, and Alphabay aced it, period.
Some may like their whole “knockoff’ thing and take it as a tribute, others may take this as “copying” and that’s completely your personal perspective I wouldn’t get into that.
As for availability of products, right now I’m obviously not very satisfied, but I’ll try not to judge and give it couple months before I update this article again with a more solid verdict about their products.
Currently, nope they aren’t product-rich.
It’ll be interesting to see the fate of the marketplace couple months from today, anyway that’s all I have to say in this Empire Market review folks.
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