This week we will discuss some of the most popular and reliable ways to make money online from sources you may or may not have heard of. These are usually referred to as the deep web or dark web because they are not meant to be accessible by the public. The reason these sites exist is because they allow individuals and businesses to purchase items that are normally unavailable or too expensive to purchase individually. Additionally, many of these sites allow for anonymous cash transactions which provides further security to the buyer.
The Silk Road
Perhaps the most well-known of the deep web sites is the Silk Road. Launched in 2011, the Silk Road allows users to securely trade various items, including drugs, malware and weapons. While the site offers a wide variety of products, most of the items are either illegal or restricted in some way. For instance, the site doesn’t allow for the sale of firearms or narcotics. Nonetheless, the Silk Road has become so popular that authorities have begun to raid the site on a regular basis. However, as long as you stay within the site’s rules, you are free to engage in all transactions as usual. The main disadvantage to the Silk Road is that, due to its popularity, it has become rather crowded and therefore less attractive to potential buyers. However, if you are looking to purchase a product from the site, you can usually find an employee there to help you out. Due to this, as well as the fact that the site is frequently raided by law enforcement, some people have turned to alternatives. One of these alternatives is the Valhalla Arms Armslist.com, an affiliate marketer of the famous firearms manufacturer. The advantage of this site is that it isn’t as crowded as the original Silk Road and therefore, in theory, should provide better results when it comes to finding a seller for your product. However, since Valhalla Arms is an affiliate of a gun manufacturer, you should exercise extreme caution before doing business with them. In some cases, this has caused problems for users who have had their identities stolen by hackers. Despite the occasional security breach on the part of the site, most users report that it is a safe and reliable place to purchase firearms.
Another popular online marketplace is the Dark Wallet. Launched in 2017, the Dark Wallet is a Chrome extension that allows users to make purchases from various sources without leaving the page they are on. This makes it much easier for individuals to purchase items from various platforms, including ClickBank, eBay and Shopify, as they don’t have to leave the site they are on to make a purchase. To use the Dark Wallet, simply open the extension and click the “Enable” button to enable the functionality. When you are viewing an item that you would like to purchase, click on the extension button to bring up the wallet. From here you can send coins (in the form of cryptocurrency, e.g. Bitcoin) to the seller to complete the transaction. The advantage of the Dark Wallet is that it is a free and open source tool that anyone can use to purchase goods online. However, due to its popularity, the Dark Wallet can be crowded at times. Additionally, since the extension is built into the Chrome browser, any user can have access to it, including potential hackers. Therefore, as long as you are using a secure connection (e.g. HTTPS) while browsing, you should be fine. If you are concerned about the safety of your personal information, you should look into alternative options to the Dark Wallet such as the Armory or Keepstore.
Another interesting option, at least from an entrepreneurship perspective, is the Evolution Marketplace. Launched in 2016, the Evolution Marketplace is a P2P marketplace that allows individuals to securely buy and sell various items. In terms of security, the site uses the Shamrock Protocol which uses “strong cryptography to prevent [the] data from being compromised and allow[s] transactions to happen seamlessly”. In plain English this means that your personal information is safe and secure while you are using the site. Additionally, the Evolution Marketplace is completely anonymous which provides further security to users. The site also has a built-in chat function which allows for communication between users, even when they are not physically in the same location. Due to its anonymous nature and focus on security, most people who use the Evolution Marketplace are most likely cryptocurrency users. However, regardless of your preferred payment method, the site provides a safe and easy-to-use option for purchasing various goods online. The main disadvantage of the Evolution Marketplace is that, since it is P2P, there is always the chance that someone could “spam” the system by creating fake accounts. However, since this is a rather technical matter that requires specialized knowledge, the chances of someone doing this successfully are rather low. Nonetheless, even if this does happen, the community-driven nature of the site should provide sufficient benefits to most users.
One of the first online marketplaces that we need to discuss is ClickBank. Launched in 1998, the purpose of the site is to “eCommerce Website Solutions”. Basically, it is a place where entrepreneurs, marketers, and web designers can come together to buy and sell products related to online marketing, blogging, and digital design. In terms of security, ClickBank uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) digital certificates to encrypt network traffic and authentication details. While this provides a safe and protected environment for users, it also makes it rather difficult for others to anonymously navigate the site. Due to its focus on security, many people choose to avoid ClickBank when paying for products. However, if you are looking for a place to sell your own products, or want to create & sell your own digital products, the site could be the right option for you.
Another popular choice among entrepreneurs is Shopify. Launched in 2011, Shopify is a P2P ecommerce platform designed for individuals, as well as small businesses. Built on top of Ruby on Rails, the Shopify platform offers various features, including a secure wallet for storing your payment and delivery information, as well as a built-in “marketing dashboard”. One of the main advantages of the Shopify platform is that it provides a safe and easy way for merchants to sell their products online. In most cases, users can have their products delivered to them in a short amount of time. Additionally, since transactions take place online, there is minimal risk of a security breach. Most importantly, since it is a P2P platform, it provides a level of security that is rarely seen in other online marketplaces. The main disadvantage of the Shopify platform is that, since it is P2P, there is always the chance that someone could “spam” the system by creating fake accounts. However, since this is a rather technical matter that requires specialized knowledge, the chances of someone doing this successfully are rather low. Nonetheless, even if this does happen, the community-driven nature of the site should provide sufficient benefits to most users.
Vegasin (formerly Spigit)
Another interesting site worth mentioning is the original incarnation of the Spigit platform, named Vegasin. Launched in 2012, the purpose of the site is to “help people easily find what they need, without having to sift through a bunch of crap”. What sets the site apart from others of its kind is that it doesn’t just provide a one-stop-shop for buying various goods online. Rather, it provides individuals with a way to connect with various businesses that offer various items and services that they might need, regardless of whether or not they are online marketers, bloggers, or web designers. Essentially, Vegasin provides a one-stop-shop for all things related to the internet industry.
In terms of security, the Spigit site uses a “multi-layered security model, combining SSL encryption with a hash-based message authentication code and a timestamp”. While this provides a safe and protected environment for users, it also makes it rather difficult for others to anonymously navigate the site. Additionally, transactions on the Spigit site are completely anonymous which provides further security to users. The main disadvantage of the site is that, since it is P2P, there is always the chance that someone could “spam” the system by creating fake accounts. Since this is a rather technical matter that requires specialized knowledge, the chances of someone doing this successfully are rather low. Nonetheless, even if this does happen, the community-driven nature of the site should provide sufficient benefits to most users.