Let’s explore what Empire Market is and why it is shut down.
Empire Market is one of the largest dark web marketplaces with BTC, Multi-sig, and PGP 2FA features. However, the market has been scammed following a series of DDoS attacks that made the market not possible to continue for the long term. But, it is unclear what happened to this darknet market.
The Empire market was famous for dealing with drugs, fake accounts, credit cards, etc. When the biggest markets, the Silk Road and AlphaBay, shut down, Empire became the most trafficked deep web marketplace. Instead of its amazing services, user-friendly interface, and huge variety of products, this market fell down by continuous cyber-attacks.
This blog will walk you through what empire markets holds, its history and how it works its downfall, and so much more.
Let’s get started…!!
Introduction of Empire Marketplace
Empire is the regular darknet market that assists the buying/ selling of products that are challenging to get, illegal or banned items which are banned or prohibited.
When the alphabay market falls, many users move towards the Empire market because it is designed similarly with AlphaBay as its base grounds. You will encounter that the design and interface of this market are quite similar to the alphabay market.
However, the products and goods on this market were exchanged for cryptocurrency and held in Escrow.
Here are the specs of the marketplace:
- Total Market Listings: In 2018, 3000+ & 55.1k as of 2020.
- Primary URL: http://empirez3ztqqze333ixnxs2kkwezibd6wves6cfs24hdfcin2a5xn2ad.onion
- Currency Support: BTC, XMR (Monero), and LTC.
- Security: 2FA with PGP Key.
- Current Status: Exit Scammed
Precautions Before Accessing Any Darknet Marketplace
If you plan to access darknet markets, you must take precautions. First, learn to access the dark web, use the Tor browser, VPN, know about crypto, etc.
- First, install any trusted VPN; we recommend you use NordVPN.
- Shut down all background apps & unplug your webcam.
- Connect VPN, enter your username & password, and run tor browser. Check tor network settings that should be on the “safest level.”
Disclaimer: trading of illegal products and services is strictly prohibited on Darkweb. This article is solely for educational purposes. We aren’t taking any responsibility for your activities.
User-Interface of Empire Market
If we talk about the Empire marketplace interface, it’s quite like an Alphabay. It, too, has an upper bar with all the necessary links like orders, Messages, Balance, etc. The page’s sidebar contains all the sorting and listing options that make it stand out.
Moreover, the messaging system and notifications remind you of the amazing days of alphabay. As empire owners are always in contact with the alphabay user base, they update and improve the overall experience.
The screen is comprised of two main parts the left sidebar, which holds the profile info for the user, the browser categories section (allows you to browse the available products categories on the platform), Search tab (allows you to perform a search to assist you in locating the products you are searching for.
Moreover, the right sidebar has lots of feature listings like alphabay did, followed by a security precautions tab and an invite section. The user interface is quite easy, and it’s no harder to understand.
Products to Buy on Empire Market
Any deep web market is popular for its products and availability of things. The empire market provides a huge variety of illegal products. Here are some of the things that were commonly sold on the Empire market before it was shutdowns
Some common things are fraud, counterfeit items, digital products, software, malware, security and hosting, gold jewels, drugs & chemicals, carded items, and others. The platform offered around 45,000 listings.
1. Drugs & Chemicals
However, drugs are the most wealthy section, like other deep web markets,s have almost 33137 listed products and are further divided as Benzos, Cannabis, Opioids, Steroids, prescription, etc.
2. Digital Goods
Digital products are the next populated product on the empire market, with around 6212 items listed. These products can be delivered digitally and include sub-categories like software, e-books, erotica, Netflix, PornHub, Hulu, etc.
Fraud mostly considers the sale of credit cards and different financial accounts, but what else it contains? In this category, you can find providers for proxies that are safe to bypass fraud checks when using cards, hacked, and sometimes authentic RDP providers for different activities and services, such as bank drops for cashing out.
4. Guides & Tutorials
Moreover, Guides & Tutorials with fewer products than digital goods, this category is quite similar to digital goods, but it consists of only E-books or other learning materials on Drugs, carding or cashing out from financial services, and guides on washing cocaine or fraud. Although the section is quite small and it is suggested that you don’t take the listings about making “1 million dollars in a month seriously.”
5. Counterfeit Items
Most listings contain counterfeit bills in different currencies, with lots of listings being about passing off counterfeit currency yourself in person. From other unique listings, products available are “mystery boxes,” which contain game keys on the gaming platform Steam, guides on playing Casinos, and passport templates for different regions.
This section contains content such as social media followers, likes, views, photos of identification documents for confirmation purposes, and tips on how to get free food from fast food restaurants that cannot be found anywhere else.
Security of Empire Marketplace
Now, here we talk about the security of the marketplace. Some prominent Empire market features are PGP Encryption, mnemonic code, Escrow, Mirror Verification, 2 Factor Authentication, and 6 digit pin.
PGP encryption is one of the most powerful security encryption protocols existing out there, which is extremely simple to use and available to everyone. This PGP key is important for vendors on the empire market and is optionally available as well as encouraged for buyers.
The encryption assists you in authenticating a seller’s authenticity and keeps your communications encrypted, so it’s an amazing feature.
If we talk about the 6-digit pin which you put during signup. It acts as an extra layer of security to ensure you authorize all major changes to your account and have this 6-digit pin and password. Moreover, it also offers a 9-word long Mnemonic code during signup, which must be copied and saved somewhere securely. The code is the only way to recover lost or forgotten passwords or usernames. But, if you forgot this code, you can’t be recovered.
Now, with 2-factor Authentication, which can be allowed using your PGP key, a message is shown during login, which must be decrypted using the PGP key. The market also offers “login phrase” enabled; it’s a phrase set by you and displayed on your home screen after you log in to the market. If the phrase changes or isn’t shown, or it indicates you may be on a phishing site, not the authentic market.
However, Escrow further enhances its security features regarding vendor relationships. Escrow ensures your payments aren’t instantly delivered to the seller without the product being delivered, and for vendors, it functions as a guarantee of getting paid once the product is delivered.
Payment Method of Empire Marketplace
Empire market supports Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Monero as payment methods. Both are amazing since they are the most valuable cryptocurrencies to be used on the dark web. Although, we recommend you use Monero instead since it comes with more secrecy and security. Users also use a mixer service to make their transactions undetectable.
However, bitcoin is the popular currency used on the dark web, and the Empire market also supports it along with other cryptocurrencies. Empire also has added a multi-currency feature to explore products in their user’s native currencies and pay at the checkout with bitcoin using current exchange rates updated often.
Search Function of Empire Marketplace
This search functionality feature is the key to finding the desired products you wish to get from the market. As we have already mentioned, the list of products you can find on the Empire market. You just have to type the product in the search bar to find your item.
The market also offers Autoshop, which lets you look for credit/debit cards easily. In the marketplace search, you will see similar filters such as the product type, original country, etc.
Market Support of Empire Marketplace
If we discuss the Empire market support system, which is categorized into three departments: Account support, Forum Support Team, and Dispute support, we will discuss individually.
1. Account support
This determines most of the issues related to the user’s account. They are operating to solve blocked/phished accounts. The team ensures users can easily recover their accounts using the mnemonic function. Moreover, they also hold situations where withdrawals may be blocked or not working properly.
2. Dispute Support
Working with dispute support is quite serious, which must be patience and intelligence to solve disputes so that the decision is balanced and doesn’t hurt the sentiments of both parties. Although this is the most serious job to resolve or ban serial scammers, the empire has proven
3. Forum Support Team
The forum support must ensure the forum runs smoothly without scammers. However, it was quite a tough job, so the empire market hired experienced forum mods. But now the forum is down because of the DDoS attacks.
Buyer’s Guide on Empire Market
Empire market is similar to the alphabay, so the buyer experience is also the same and simple. We will let you know in a few steps so that you know how to purchase from empire market securely without any issues:
- First, register your account and save your mnemonic & pin in the safest place.
- Open your profile page allows PGP, 2FA, and pin for buying.
- Get your desired product by going to the sidebar or using the search bar situated on the top-right of the page.
- Check the product descriptions, user reviews, and seller ratings (on the seller profile page).
- Now, you can easily purchase what you want, but you haven’t deposited money. So go to the wallet page, copy your Bitcoin address, and send the coins to this address. Wait for 3 verifications before the amount shows up in your account.
- Now finish your purchase, and don’t forget to encrypt your order details.
Empire Market Lottery
One of the most exclusive features of the Empire market is its lotteries. Each ticket costs $1.00 and allows choosing 6 numbers. The results are based on the blockchain. In short, 6 numbers are formed every day. If more of the numbers you originally chose match with the 6 digits drawn, then the amount of money you win will increase.
If you manage to match all 6 digits, you will get 15% of the current ticket pool (for today’s round, it’s $8000). Matching 5 out of the 6 digits will earn you 10% of the prize pool, while matching 4 and 3 numbers will get you 30% and 20% of the prize pool, respectively.
Things You Cannot Find on Empire Market
The dark web market trades everything that is illegal or rare to find on other darknet markets. It is strictly illegal to trade:
- Illegal porn
- Hitman services
Is Empire Market Wallet-Less?
Empire market is not a wallet-less like other darknet markets. Users are needed to deposit funds into their wallets on the marketplace before they can make any purchases. Although, some markets provide a wallet-less system where users can pay directly from their own Bitcoin wallets without depositing funds onto the market. And this empire market doesn’t provide this feature.
However, the wallet-less marketplaces seem a bit simpler to use. And the other darknet wallet-less marketplaces don’t have “centralized wallets” on the marketplace. Instead, users pay for each order individually on the checkout page. This ensures there are never any “excess” or “leftover” funds on the market.
Is it possible to Make withdrawals on Empire Market?
Well, this is not necessary that all marketplaces offer you withdrawals once you have deposited money. But here we are talking about the empire market. This allows its users to withdraw funds from their wallet on the marketplace by choosing the amount they want to withdraw and offering a valid Bitcoin address to get the funds.
It is essential to remember that withdrawals may have associated limitations and charges, and users should learn the marketplace’s guidelines and procedures regarding withdrawals in detail before attempting to withdraw any funds.
Exit Scam: DDoS on Empire Market
Dark sites often experience DDoS or cyber-attacks. This is because of several reasons, like law enforcement agencies cracking into them or trying to bring the sites down with large-scale DDoS attacks.
The empire market is one of the darknet markets that were reportedly seized, the biggest market which went offline on August 23. Reports say that the Empire market has been the subject of DDoS attacks, resulting in it going offline.
Although this results in the money of many vendors and customers on the marketplace being left in Escrow, a system employed by darknet marketplaces to act as a third party between vendors and buyers makes sure that no one ditches others.
It has also been reported that an anonymous member estimated that the owners of the Empire make a profit of $30 million or 2,638 Bitcoins from the 1.3 million users on the platform. Most users visit Reddit after the site falls down to discuss their loss.
The Downfall of Empire Market
The Empire market faced a lot of difficulties during its operation. Regardless of its popularity and success in copying the alphabay, this market ultimately falls due to many factors. One of the major issues that weighed down the platform was the continuous DDoS attacks that caused prolonged trouble to its services and users’ trust.
Moreover, the empire market was again hit by the exit scam in 2020, where the platform administrators disappeared with users’ funds, causing a loss of around $30 million worth of crypto. Empire Market faced strong competition from other dark web marketplaces, which played a major role in its decreasing user base and revenue.
However, the final blow came in May 2021 when the Dutch police seized control of Empire Market’s servers and arrested multiple people associated with its operation. Thus, Empire Market’s downfall resulted from various factors. It includes cyber attacks, competition from other marketplaces, law enforcement takedowns, and exit scams.
Now let’s cover the Empire market review; we must say that the markets have successfully replicated the features, security measures. And user interface of Alphabay, which was generally known as a top dark web marketplace. Hence, Empire Market has done an excellent job of copying Alphabay’s success in these features. Currently, the market status is inactive as it fell victim to cyber-attacks.