According to a message on /r/Alphabay and /r/darknetmarkets, Alphabay developers are currently in the process of finalizing a framework for Ethereum transactions. Starting May 1, the marketplace will allow the sending and receiving of yet another cryptocurrency. In addition to its original Bitcoin support, Alphabay opened up support for Monero in 2016.
The value of ETH recently spiked in value. And the Alphabay message acknowledged the recent increase in value. According to the Alphabay staff, this increase in value showed a growing interest in the currency. Other entities attributed this spike to a growing interest too. However, Aurelien Menant, CEO of a blockchain based exchange, explained that the interest came from an added “legitimacy” to the platform.
Many Ethereum supporters hoped criminal activity would occur on Ethereum Classic. Ethereum Classic (ETC) naturally formed after the platform controversially hard forked into the Ethereum of today. To shortly summarize ETC: explanations of the original platform usually include the words “ghost town.”
Below is the text from the PGP signed message Alphabay staff wrote:
“Following the popularity of the new altcoin Ethereum and the recent price
hike showing a growing interest, Alphabay has made the decision to start
accepting Ethereum for marketplace listing purchases.
We are currently laying out the framework to make ETH acceptance possible,
and we will enable Ethereum deposits and withdrawals starting May 1st, 2017.
Vendors wishing to accept Ethereum can edit their listings and set the “Accept
ETH” to “On” in order to be able to be paid in Ethereum.
We have plenty of new stuff in the works, so expect more updates in the near
The news quickly spread beyond Reddit and hit mainstream news. With Monero, Alphabay’s adoption of the currency spiked the trading value and profited those who held Monero—consequently dubbed “the drug dealer’s cryptocurrency of choice.” The majority of the conversations taking place focus on either Ethereum’s monetary value or the platform’s lack of privacy. Monero (XMR) spiked from almost nothing to about $15. But Monero held little to no reputability in the community, and lacked name recognition. Users on /r/Ethereum argued that Ethereum’s current standing and corporate adoption will prevent darknet changes from making significant impacts on the platform and/or cryptocurrency value. Unlike Monero or Bitcoin for that matter, Ethereum provides more than an open-ledger payment system. Users called it “the next http.”
So that’s where we stand following the Alphabay announcement. Arguments surrounding the benefit this step provides—or lack thereof—dominate the Reddit posts. Darknetmarket enthusiasts at asking about the privacy. Ethereum backers debating the cost of an increased level of publicity derived from criminal activity.