AlphaBay, four years after being taken down by the FBI, is going to be resurrected by DeSnake, the former number two admin of the site, which is now located at alphabay522szl32u4ci5e3iokdsyth56ei7rwngr2wm7i5jo54j2eid.onion/
Monero will be used for all transactions to ensure privacy, and will be available via Tor and I2P, which DeSnake feels is more secure and less vulnerable to surveillance.
This news comes as over 3 million email addresses associated with the crypto market data website CoinMarketCap have reportedly been compromised and are now trading on hacking forums.
DeSnake runs a version of Tail that does not sore data, and has incorporated a USB kill switch which will wipe all memory from his work computers if necessary. He is obsessive about security, shutting down his PC every time he leaves the room, even if just to take a bathroom break.
In addition, he has moved to a country which does not extradite residents to the US, and the rumor is that he is staying or connected to Russia.
It appears AlphaBay has not yet attracted the interest or attention of users, given that it only has 500 listings, a far cry from the more than 350,000 at its height in 2017.
In the meantime, DeSnake is attempting to attract people with promises of an unproven AlphaGuard system that allows users to withdraw their funds even if the servers that run AlphaBay’s infrastructure are seized again.
The discussion revolves around whether or not law enforcement should have gotten to him and launched the new AlphaBay as a honeypot. The claim is that if authorities had simply reused the original AlphaBay’s code, he would be back on top. Instead, he claims that he rewrote it from scratch. Furthermore, he points out that restricting access to Monero only would make the site far less successful at catching unsuspecting dark web customers than one that accepts just Bitcoin.
Whether DeSnake’s opsec is better than the original founders’ remains to be seen. For now, it appears the cat and mouse game between dark web marketplaces and law enforcement is on once again.