Versus Market is proven to be a reliable contender for greatest market still operating after surviving all of 2020 when a number of other darknet markets shut down. It stayed modest and unnoticed for the majority of the year, but burst in popularity in the fourth quarter and continues to expand in listings in early 2021. Versus, like most darknet marketplaces, is largely oriented toward drugs in terms of listings, but it also has a diverse range of other categories, including a rarely seen “Legal Items” category.
Versus is a vendor-centric market, as seen by a list of top vendors appearing first on their homepage rather than the typical best-selling product listings. Versus is considerably more likely to agree with the vendor in disputes, giving them the benefit of the doubt in tight cases, according to users. This is not a negative strategy because it brings in higher-quality and more experienced vendors.
Versus Market’s selling point is that funds are never held directly by the exchange and are always handled through multisig escrow transactions. Because no funds are retained on the market, they are less likely to commit an exit scam or become victims of hackers as a result of this “trustless payment method.” Multisig transactions also allow a vendor and buyer to settle a disagreement without the market’s interference.
Customers who fail to properly comprehend how multisig transactions work risk losing funds refunded to them from a cancelled order or awarded to them in a dispute. Regardless, Versus has reaped the benefits of a no-FE, all-multisig escrow payment system, and they are now flourishing and more popular than ever.
Versus Market Quick Facts
- Versus Market Link: pqqmrifxej23sb5h4brmelbe25mpthkxabqfhte5jy3wijfllaktylqd.onion
- Founded: 2019
- Number of listings: approx. 12,400
- Listing categories: Drugs, Fraud, Digital Items, Services, Software & Malware
- Coins accepted: Bitcoin (BTC)
- Multisignature escrow: Yes
- Finalize Early (FE) Allowed: No
- Vendor bond: $200
Prior to Beginning
Before attempting to use Versus Market or any darknet market, it is important to have some basic knowledge on the following subjects:
- How to send, receive and store Bitcoin (BTC).
- How to create an Electrum wallet, locate the wallet’s xpub, and sign for multisignature transactions.
- How to use a Tor browser.
Versus suggests that customers exclusively utilize the Tails OS, a privacy-focused operating system that can be loaded from a USB device, to access the market. This can help to make your online movements more private, disclosing less about your browsing activity than if you were using a standard operating system, such as Windows or iOS.
Versus strongly advises downloading the Electrum wallet and creating a wallet exclusively for the market when sending Bitcoin for purchases. You will avoid mistakenly disclosing further information about your cryptocurrency spending habits this way. When creating a Versus Market-specific wallet on Electrum, make sure to create it as a regular wallet rather than a multi-signature wallet.
How to Make an Account
Versus has only had two official Tor links since June 2020, which can be found at darkfail. It is critical to constantly ensure that you are connecting to an official URL, otherwise you risk having the contents of your account drained, or worse. On your journey to the login screen, they should have a handful of distinct spam and phishing prevention techniques in place; if they don’t, consider it suspicious.
As the market is frequently subjected to DDOS attacks, you will most likely be met with a brief captcha once you arrive at the Login page of an official Versus Market link. After completing the captcha and proceeding to the next screen, follow the steps below to begin creating an account for the market:
1. Scroll down through the login boxes to the bottom left-center of the screen and select the “Register” option. You will be taken to the account signup screen, which is really simple. Simply submit a username (not related to your IRL identity), a password (at least 8 upper/lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols), and a login phrase that will appear every time you log in from an official market URL. Make a note of your username and password and keep them somewhere safe and easy to find.
After filling out all of the essential fields, including the captcha, click “Register” to continue.
2. A quick notification will display alerting you that your account has been created, and you will be prompted to check in. You can see how the 2-FA login works from here, and it’s an option worth considering to help limit the possibilities of hackers or phishers gaining access to your account.
For the time being, you don’t need to bother about 2-FA, so simply enter your login and password and click “Login.”
3. You will then be given a 16-word mnemonic that will serve as your account pass phrase. If you forget your username or password, or if you are locked out of your account, you can reset your password using this mnemonic. Keep this code with your login and password and never share it with anybody.
After you’ve stored the mnemonic somewhere else, click “Save” to proceed.
4. You will now be redirected to the market’s home screen. You can access account settings and order information from here, as well as a list of top-rated sellers and goods.
Although you are now free to start shopping, there are a few more steps you must take before you can make a purchase.
5. To prepare your account for order placement, hover over your username in the upper-right corner of the screen and select “Settings.”
6. First, you must enter a Bitcoin public key (also known as a “xpub”). This is required for Versus Market URL to generate a multisignature transaction for you to approve. To locate your xpub in Electrum, open your Versus wallet, select the “Wallet” menu option, and then select “Information.” This will display the Master Public Key for your wallet, which begins with the letters “xpub.” Copy and paste the key into the Versus Settings page’s “Extended Public Key” box.
7. Next, copy and paste your Bitcoin address into the BTC Refund Address box, which is just beneath the xpub key box. When both fields are correctly filled, they should appear like this:
You can also alter your preferred currency for listing display, which is set to EUR by default. After double-checking that the xpub and refund addresses are right, click “Save” to proceed. Before proceeding to the next screen, you should see a brief notification indicating that your settings have been updated.
Finally, in the account settings, scroll down until you reach the Change PGP text box. You will paste your PGP public key here. This enables you to receive encrypted conversations and is a must for doing business on Versus. When properly filled, the box should appear like this:
After entering your PGP public key, click “Continue.” The screen will refresh, and a new message will appear that says “Please sign the key with itself.” In your PGP client, copy your public key to the clipboard and then run the OpenPGP-sign command. Click “Change PGP” once you’ve signed your PGP public key with itself and pasted it into the Change PGP text box. If everything was entered correctly, you will receive a message verifying that your PGP has been updated.
And there you have it! Your Versus Market account is now activated. If you don’t mind conducting a PGP key verification every time you log in, you can activate the market’s 2-FA function, which will force you to produce a decrypted message when you try to log in. This implies that a phisher or hacker will need more than just your username and password to access your account (they will also need your PGP private key), thus there’s really no reason not to activate it if you plan on utilizing the market in any capacity.
Exploring Versus Market
Versus has a fairly simple layout and user interface. Versus is a vendor-centric market, which means it places more emphasis on individual vendors than products, with profiles for Top Vendors prominently displayed on the homepage. Below these are profiles for Promoted Vendors, Newcomer Vendors, and a section with recommended products.
Versus’ listings are separated into 18 primary categories, which are further subdivided (and even sub-sub-categories). To see all of the categories and listings, go to the homepage’s top navigation bar and click on the “All listings” link. Versus’s categories and significant subcategories are mentioned below.
- Benzos (Pills, Powder, RC)
- Cannabis (Buds & Flowers, Concentrates, Edibles, Hash, Prerolls, Seeds, Shake)
- Dissociatives (GHB, Ketamine, MXE)
- Ecstasy (MDA, MDMA, Methylone & BK, Pills)
- Opioids (Buprenophine, Codeine, Heroin, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Morphine, Opium, Oxycodone, Pills
- Other (Alcohol, Paraphernalia, Steroids, Tobacco, Weight Loss)
- Psychedelics (2C-B, DMA / DOX, DMT, LSA, LSD, Mescaline, Shrooms)
- Prescription (ADHDH, ED Sex Meds, MAOIs, Muscle Relaxers, Nootropics, Other Prescription, Pain Medication, Sedatives, Sleep Aids)
- Stimulants (2-FA, Adderal & Vynase, Cocaine, Crack, Meth, Other RCs, Pressed Pills, Speed)
- Digital Products (E-Books, Erotica, Fraud Software, Games Keys, Legit Software)
- Fakebase (Fake Documents, Money)
- Fraud (Accounts & Bank Drops, CVV & Cards, Dumps)
- Guides & Tutorials (Personal Information & Scans Fraud, Hacking, Security & Anonymity, Social Engineering)
- Legal Items (Appliances, Clothing + Jewelry, Digital, Electronics, Materials, Memorabilia + Antiques)
- Precious Metals (Gold, Jewels, Other Precious Metals, Silver)
- Security & Hosting (Hosting, SOCKS, VPN)
- Services (Carding, Social Engineering, Other Services)
- Software & Malware (Botnets & Malware, Exploit Kits, Exploits, Other Software & Malware, Security Software)
Versus’ search feature is located in the left side of the All Listings screen, above the listing categories. When running a search, you can pick several categories by holding down the CTRL button while selecting categories. Below these categories are filters that can be used to limit down the listings displayed on the page based on the following criteria:
- Shipping from / to
- Stealth rating
- Communication rating
- Quality rating
Each product listing in search/filter results displays a wealth of useful information about the product and seller, including pricing, bulk prices, quantity in stock, delivered from/to, vendor level, and vendor ratings. When you click on a product listing, the following information about the product is revealed:
This is followed by the tabs Description, Terms & Conditions, and Feedback. Before placing an order with any merchant, it’s a good idea to browse through all of these tabs. It will offer you an idea of what the product is all about, what you should do and what to expect in terms of shipment, and what other customers think about the product and/or vendor. Some sellers have unique shipping policies or require certain things from their clients when they place an order with them, so read the terms and conditions before making a purchase with them.
As previously said, Versus focuses a strong emphasis on their providers, making it easier to determine how probable an order is to go as planned. Click on the vendor name in the product listing to view more information about the vendor.
Versus assigns a variety of indicators to each vendor’s profile, including their own Versus Points, which are a combination of positive feedback from Versus and other markets. They also keep track of vendor Levels, which are dependent on Versus Point accumulation. If a vendor has a greater Level than the number of successful trades on Versus, it shows that their vendor experience is primarily from other markets. There’s nothing wrong with it, but you should also look at the vendor’s feedback and star ratings for the Stealth, Quality, and Communication of orders supplied to Versus customers.
When choosing between two vendors that offer a comparable product but at different costs, and one has a higher Level and more trades than the other, always opt with the more experienced vendor, even if it means paying a few dollars more. When it comes to new vendors with no experience, stick with trusted providers and let others be the experimental guinea pigs.
Making a Purchase
After you’ve selected a product or service you want to get, go to the listing page and select the amount you want to buy, then click “Add to Cart.” It is possible to continue shopping – even browse other merchants – before checking out, but for the purposes of this guide, we will limit ourselves to one product and one vendor.
You will select a Shipping Option, a Payment Option, and then update a BTC refund address from this screen (if applicable). Most suppliers only offer Multisig (2/3 MS), which necessitates an action on your part to release the funds from escrow to the seller after your order is received. Some highly reputable merchants additionally provide a Fast Pay (2/2 MS) option. This means that funds can only be moved by the market and the vendor, and they should only be utilized if you have complete faith in the vendor’s capacity to fulfill their half of the bargain.
Before pasting your shipment information into the shipping details text box and checking out, encrypt it using the vendor’s PGP key. Encrypting your personal communications with vendors is a must in 2021 and is deemed conventional in terms of OPSEC. To do so, launch your PGP client and import and check the vendor’s PGP certification. Versus makes this slightly easier by including a link to the vendor’s PGP public key directly above the shipping information text box. When correctly filled, the box should appear like this:
When you’re finished, click the big green “Checkout” button to proceed. You will now be taken to the invoice screen, where you will be given a payment amount in BTC as well as a payment address to which you will send the exact amount of BTC stated on the screen.
You will have 24 hours to finish payment, which is defined by the Bitcoin network confirming the payment transaction. Because Versus collects their fees in the form of a commission tax added to the order, the total to be paid will be slightly higher than the item price plus shipping.
After the Bitcoin network has validated your payment, the merchant will be alerted to begin processing your transaction. Your order will be listed as Shipped after it has been dispatched for delivery. If you do not mark your order as Finalized after it has been received and you are satisfied with it, your cash will not be released to the vendor. Signing a Bitcoin transaction that distributes the funds to the vendor is required. If you’re not sure how to accomplish this, instructions can be found at the bottom of the screen in the Versus Help area.
If you are dissatisfied with your order or did not receive it, you may register a Dispute on the order. In this scenario, you will offer the Versus moderators with as much relevant information as possible, and the seller will have an opportunity to express their side of the issue as well. The moderators will assess the facts given and then make a decision in favor of one party or the other. If you win a dispute, you must sign a Bitcoin transaction to release monies held in escrow to your refund address.
Of course, it’s usually preferable to avoid starting a dispute in the first place. Try to hash things out with the merchant ahead of time. Vendors will frequently replace customer orders that have been confiscated or lost in transit. Professional suppliers understand that reputation is vital, and the best ones will work with clients to resolve outstanding order concerns. Another reason to avoid starting a dispute is that there’s a considerable possibility you won’t win — as previously said, Versus is a vendor-centric market, and dispute moderators have been known to rule in their favor more often than not.
Versus, in general, accomplishes a lot of things that all darknet markets should do but don’t often. This refers to the relatively excellent attention to security aspects and the ability to conduct all transactions via multisignature. This makes it far more difficult for sellers or the market to steal huge sums of money from customers. Versus also supports PGP 2-FA and requires that all communications be encrypted. In terms of selection, it isn’t the best currently available, but their listing development has been tremendous, and it’s worth checking out what they have to offer.