The Russian Anonymous Marketplace (RAMP) is one of the latest among a growing number of fallen darknet markets.
RAMP is a strictly Russian site and therefore users who do not know Russian cannot use the platform, since it has no options for translation.
Now RAMP is gone, you will need a new market to use. The guys over at DarkWebNews have then best list of markets to buy stuff from. Go to the Market List here https://darkwebnews.com/dark-web-market-list/
The marketplace has been taken down by Russian authorities as a result of an ongoing crackdown in the country. Law enforcement seized the site in July around the same time AlphaBay was also shut down.
Dark web markets, in general, provide an exclusive hub of illegal products and services, many of which may have a negative impact on the lives of buyers.
Items regularly posted for sale include counterfeit money and jewellery, hard drugs, weapons, stolen credit/debit cards, malware and Trojans, just to mention a few.
These products and services are found in any major dark web market, and it is no doubt that the presiding authorities routinely launch investigations to apprehend the administrators and users of such sites.
Apart from an apparent shutdown from the authorities, other ways in which these markets can temporarily go down is through maintenance, where the site owners tend to add additional security layers or change servers for one reason or the other.
When this transpires, the whole site may go down, or at least a section of it. No wonder why users in site forums complain that they cannot access their accounts, as was the case with Valhalla Market.
Similar cases have been reported from time to time where the site is still up, but users cannot access their funds or have lost their funds.
Now that RAMP has gone down, it has joined the likes of AlphaBay, Hansa, the famous Silk Road and Outlaw, just to mention a few.
The AlphaBay and Hansa markets fell as a result of a comprehensive crackdown orchestrated collaboratively between authorities from different countries in the U.S. and Europe.
The first market to shut down was AlphaBay, and then Hansa closely followed only a few weeks later.
When AlphaBay went down, there were speculations as to what was going on behind the scenes.
On online forums, a subsection of users stated that it was an exit scam or perhaps a maintenance issue, whereas others believed the site had been taken down by law enforcement.
The move to close down AlphaBay first was purely tactical given the fact that Hansa was seized earlier on by the Dutch authorities.
The essence of the game plan was to monitor the activities of dark web users in the market. As expected, the closure of AlphaBay would, in turn, direct users to open accounts with other darknet markets to continue their operations.
Among the markets that experienced the influx of new users was Hansa, where the authorities who were working undercover noticed a peculiar trend in the opening of the accounts. Both sellers and buyers were opening accounts with the same usernames and passwords.
A spot check by DarkWebNews shows that many among AlphaBay’s base of vendors also owned accounts not only on Hansa but on other sites as well, such as Dream Market. What’s more is that even the description of the goods and services on their listings was the same.
This quickly tipped off investigators to a clear pattern, providing enough evidence to proceed with their investigations and ultimately bring down these user bases.
It got to a point where registration on Hansa was closed, and the reason provided upon visiting the website was that there was an influx of AlphaBay refugees. Now, this was because investigators were buying time to carry out their investigations and make judgments based on the available evidence.
When registration was open again, new users opened accounts on the platform while some existing users opened other accounts only to withdraw funds for fear the market would soon close down.
The other major dark web to be closed by authorities was the famous Silk Road which was seized after some blunders by the site’s operator, Ross Ulbricht, known under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR).”
Among the many errors that ultimately exposed his identity was to use his real name and email address to post on forums where he stated he needs help on how to code for his hidden site.
He also paid an undercover cop to assassinate a former site employee, and he also used his real photograph to rent servers for his website.
In the case of the RAMP market, perhaps its size and the fact that it’s only used by Russian speaking persons are the reasons why its closure hasn’t caught the attention of international media as was the case of other major markets such as AlphaBay, Hansa and Silk Road.
What Happens When a Market Goes Down
Whenever markets exit from the scene for one reason or the other, users lose their Bitcoins for good.
Because of this, users ought to take precautions to protect their funds while using the marketplaces on the Tor network.
First of all, users should only deposit funds in their accounts when they need it. And as such, if by any chance the Bitcoins are in excess, then they ought to withdraw them with immediate effect.
This way, if by any chance the market goes down, the user will not have lost their funds.
Secondly, users should not use their real names and addresses to open accounts, since this exposes their identity. One can learn from the mistake of the Silk Road founder.
And, last but not least, users should always ensure that they make use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), as these programs enable users’ activities on the dark web to be more anonymous.
On the issue of dark web markets, it is evident that despite one marketplace closing down, others will have room to grow.
This means new sites, and the administrators who run them, are likely to have learned from the mistakes of their predecessors to be extra careful in doing business on the dark web.
As it is, the industry is a multi-million dollar one, since the number of operations carried out on a daily basis involve thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people.
And as a result, the amount of money transacted is running into hundreds of millions of dollars, meaning that the site admins will get a substantial amount in the form of commissions.