AlphaBay is one of the largest dark-net marketplace in the world. In March 2017 it announced that they are working on Ether payment functionality in AlphaBay Marketplace and will start accepting Ethereum as one of its payment methods effective from May 1, 2017.
According to an announcement made yesterday on reddit, Ethereum transactions are now live in AlphaBay Marketplace with 250k+ listings. One can now deposit, withdraw and tumble Ethereum on AlphaBay. Additionally they have improved the search engine by allowing “-” (a hyphen) in front of words to exclude them from search.
As per the text,
"----- Hash: SHA512 We are happy to announce that Ethereum transactions are now live on AlphaBay! You can now purchase your drugs using Ethereum. The minimum deposit and withdrawal amount is 0.1 ETH. Just like Bitcoin transactions, addresses will change after each deposit and will remain valid for 7 days after the first transaction. Sending coins to an expired address will result in loss of your coins. We strongly advise against manually typing addresses since Ethereum, unlike Bitcoin, does not have a checksum validation in its addresses so a single wrong character will result in an expensive mistake. Withdrawal processing time is around 10 minutes. Fee is 0.01 ETH for withdrawals. It is also recommended to check the PGP proof of ownership of your address before sending coins to ensure that you are not using a phishing link or malware. Additionally, we have designed a mixer that will allow you to mix your Ethereum in order to hide the origin of the coins. The mixing is done automatically so simply depositing and withdrawing your coins will mix them. However, for a better obfuscation, you should use a second service as well. The mixer can only work as well as the number of users making use of it. As a bonus, we upgraded our search engine to allow adding an hyphen in front of a search term to exclude listings containing this word. You can now use terms like "-guide -ebook" to exclude unwanted listings. -----"
However, many people think that introducing Ether payment is not worthy because, it may not be used frequently. Looking at the current price spike of Ether, no one would be interested in paying Ether worth of $1000 at dark-net when they know that tomorrow he might realize that he ended up paying $1500 for the same product. Some people also give the reasoning that its not fair to consider Ethereum as currency at all and it should be considered as commodity and trading with commodity is certainly not a very efficient mode of transaction. This thought is in align to IRS guidelines for 'Virtual Currency'. It states that“Virtual Currency Is Treated as Property for U.S. Federal Tax Purposes; General Rules for Property Transactions Apply”. Some may have doubts that use in dark-net market may damage the image of Ethereum and this is one thing the Dash / Monero type coins seem better for; because this is not one of the best use cases of digital currency.
Positive aspect of this news is that there is another successful implementation of Ethereum. It is a very good example of decentralization also that it is not being controlled where and how it should be used. Though, few users think that it would be better to have waited till integration of zk-SNARKS for more privacy. Best part is digital currency is growing, people are encouraged to use Ethereum for transaction. How successful or unsuccessful payment implementation in AlphaBay is, will be something that we have to wait and watch.
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