AlphaBay, a dark web market, began in 2014 and quickly became one of the most prominent markets of its time. The market was taken down by law enforcement in 2017. One of the admins was arrested in Thailand, but another, going by the alias “DeSnake”, was never apprehended. DeSnake announced on a dark web forum that the AlphaBay Market has been reopened and is ready for business. DeSnake claims the new market is extremely secure and has safeguards against disruptions caused by hardware failure, police raids, or seizures. DeSnake stated the goal of AlphaBay is to “create a fully autonomous, decentralized, and anonymous network which can support the creation of a marketplace brand by anyone.” The admin also advertised an automated system called AlphaGuard that “assures users/vendors can access their wallet funds at any time.
The original AlphaBay market was quite successful, and it’s estimated the market transacted nearly $1 billion in cryptocurrency. As with other markets and forums, AlphaBay advertised there will be no ransomware selling or recruiting on the market; and it is forbidden to sell or compromise the data of citizens from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan. Some users commented that the new marketplace is a law enforcement operation, looking to trap and identify illegal vendors.