How many different cryptocurrencies do you have in your e-wallets? Let’s see, there’s Bitcoin, you may have holdings in Bitcoin 2.0 technologies Ethereum or Ripple… and how about Bitcoin alternative Litecoin? Cryptocurrencies have steadily been gaining influence on world markets, but just where can you spend your hard-earned coins?
Well, in the case of Litecoin, if you’re a fan of deep web marketplaces, and you’re traveling to Russia or Eastern Europe, you might like to use them on RAMP – the Russian Anonymous Marketplace.
RAMP is the longest running deep web marketplace online and is a Russian language forum site that operates across Russia, with a presence in other Eastern European countries including Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Accessed via Tor, the site is a haven for drug vendors and buyers and is the biggest marketplace of its kind in the region. RAMP has evaded the grasp of organizations such as the FBI and CIA because it is run entirely by Russians, in Russia, where the US has no authority. In fact, Russia deliberately is non-cooperative with US operations in the space, which explains the market’s longevity.
The vast majority of deals done on the site are a one to one interaction between buyer and seller where the buyer places an order directly with the seller and then places the Bitcoin funds required directly into a seller’s wallet. After this, a “dead drop” occurs.
A dead drop is where the drug stash is hidden in a public location across the city somewhere, where the buyer has to travel to and pick it up. Some sellers will put the stash after that the order has been placed and then message the buyer to pick it up when they’re finished. And some sellers will have multiple stashes around the city already, so they can send a customer to a pickup spot as soon as the funds have gone through.
For a long time, Bitcoin was the only accepted cryptocurrency.
RAMP and Litecoin
According to the admin of the marketplace, Darkside, RAMP offers Litecoin alongside Bitcoin because of the fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin at various points in time. “Due to the extreme unpredictability of bitcoin on our site is now possible payment with LTC (with the administration, as well as with the dealers if they want to).”
Bitcoin is known to suffer from extreme fluctuations in its value, whereas Litecoin does not follow the same fate. This means, that if people are using Litecoin on the site, they won’t have to pay astronomical fees one month and then half that the next as they might with Bitcoin. With Litecoin, they’re offered a stable alternative.
How does it work?
The functionality exists within RAMP to pay for your vendor account with Litecoin. Vendor accounts cost a certain amount of cryptocurrency on each marketplace, which is how they make their money. In the overwhelming majority of markets, the accepted cryptocurrency to purchase vendor accounts is Bitcoin.
This is not the case on RAMP – not only do they accept Bitcoin, but Litecoin as well.
There is also the option to conduct transactions in Litecoin between buyer and seller. Although the marketplace is not setup to accept funds as an intermediary between buyer and seller, if both buyer and seller have Litecoin wallets, they can easily make a transaction between themselves in Litecoin.
The more each marketplace diversifies the methods of payment they allow, the better off they will be. By limiting themselves to just Bitcoin, a marketplace isn’t doing themselves any favors. People like options. Whether it’s Visa, MasterCard, or PayPal on the Clearnet, or Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum on the deep web, having choices allows people to conduct transactions in any way that they please.
RAMP is a hugely successful marketplace because they understand their market. Dead drops are easy, and you can get your drugs in just a couple of hours, multiple currencies are handy for those who don’t like Bitcoin, a forum-based marketplace without the Escrow system means that there is no point in “exit scamming” as no user funds are held in Escrow for the admins to pilfer, and running a purely Russian deep web marketplace will avoid the risk of coming into contact with the FBI or CIA.
Although RAMP may look simple to outsiders, this is where its beauty lies. The foundations of the platform are solid. So if you’ve got any Russian or Eastern European friends, or planning on taking a trip over there yourself, why not check out RAMP and see what it’s all about – especially if you’ve got a computer full of Litecoin!