The Top 5 Dark Web Marketplaces

Posted on August 20, 2020 by Ziv Fried

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What is a dark web marketplace? Which products are sold on these marketplaces? Who is buying and selling these goods?

Dark web marketplaces function as one of the most efficient methods for cybercriminals to sell and buy illegal goods and services on the dark web. These goods and services range from databases and credit card information to child pornography and advertisements for hitmen services.

We’ve already written about how dark web marketplaces continually rise and fall, often shutting down due to law enforcement. As a result, we often see reincarnations of old marketplaces in new marketplaces that are sometimes even more popular than their predecessors. The best way of keeping track of the constant stream of new dark web marketplaces is to invest in an advanced commercial solution that is continually adding these new marketplaces to its data extraction.

As experts in dark web data, the Webhose cyber team decided to create this overview of the top five dark web marketplaces. We ranked the popularity of these marketplaces according to the following criteria: reputation as trustworthy, usability, product category, site security, and size of user base.

Empire market dark web

Marketplace: Empire Market

Established: February 2018

Main Language: English

Statistics: 53K listings; 1M users; 4500 vendors

Product Categories: Drugs, digital goods, counterfeit goods, databases, jewelry, tutorials

Supported Coins: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Monero

Registration and Login: Username; password and CAPTCHA

Empire Market is the biggest marketplace on the dark web in the Western Hemisphere and dominates the English-speaking market. It is popular due to its diverse product offerings as well as its reputation in the darknet community as a reliable and anonymous market. Earlier in the year the site had trouble maintaining uninterrupted service due to various DDoS attacks, but Empire’s admin announced its continued commitment to fighting against the attacks. It also celebrated two years of service and a new team of market moderators dedicated to customer service.

Hydra marketplace

Marketplace: Hydra

Established: February 2015

Main Language: Russian

Statistics: 3M users; 100,000 daily deals; 500 vendors

Product Categories: Drugs, digital goods, counterfeit goods, physical goods, job offers

Supported Coins: Bitcoin

Registration and Login: Username; password and CAPTCHA


Hydra market is the largest marketplace on the darknet and most popular darknet marketplace in the Russian-speaking marketplace. According to the Project news outlet, it is responsible for 64.7 billion rubles ($1 billion) in sales through its 5,000 shops between 2016 and 2019. Although a wide range of illicit goods and services are sold, the site also has a few rules: no fentanyl, weapons, sale of hitmen services, viruses or porn.

Versus marketplace

Marketplace: Versus

Established: December 2019

Main Language: English

Statistics: 8400 listings; 500 vendors

Product Categories: Drugs, fraud, digital goods and services, software and malware

Supported Coins: Bitcoin

Registration and Login: Username; password and CAPTCHA

Established in 2019, Versus quickly gained a repetition for a user-friendly UI and intuitive search options. It has gained a lot of users and become a popular marketplace as it focuses on security. Buyers can purchase a range of digital goods and services which include illicit drugs, software and malware and services related to fraud. The marketplace has over 8400 listings and 500 vendors who communicate in English and accept Bitcoin for transactions between buyers and sellers.

WHM white house marketplace

Marketplace: White House Marketplace (WHM)

Established: February 2019

Main Language: English

Statistics: 15.3K listings; 175K users; 1500 vendors

Product Categories: Drugs, online business, software and services, counterfeit goods

Supported Coins: Monero

Registration and Login: Username; password and CAPTCHA

White House Market is a dark web marketplace that enforces the use of PGP  (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption to just browse the site. The site goes into detail about its security on the About page, and explains that it does not store Monero private keys on their servers, which can ease the mind of its users. Although White House Market is a smaller marketplace than the others on this list, it is possible that its ultra-security features and simple, easy-to-use UI will quickly attract more vendors.

Cannazon marketplace

Marketplace: Cannazon 

Established: March 2018

Main Language: English

Statistics: 2500 listings; 200 vendors

Product Categories: Drugs, specifically Cannabis

Supported Coins: Bitcoin; Monero

Registration and Login: CAPTCHA

The Cannazon homepage clearly states that its goal is to differentiate its drug selling from that of other dangerous, illicit drugs. It lists a number of items clearly prohibited from selling on its marketplace. It also prohibits shipping cannabis to and from the US. The EU drug agency, EMCDDA, reported Cannozon to have enabled transactions of over $5.9 million between January and March 2020 alone. Experts are quick to point out that these statistics don’t mean that people were using more cannabis during that period, but rather that dealers were stocking up for expected supply problems.

Keep Track of Evolving New Darknet Marketplaces

According to Webhose’s sources, there are approximately 20 active leading dark web marketplaces – and hundreds of smaller additional marketplaces that include shops. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but instead give you an idea of the types of marketplaces on the dark web and the different ways they distinguish themselves among their competitors. 

Here at Webhose we work hard to constantly add new marketplaces and shops to deliver you the most comprehensive dark web data coverage in the industry. 

Want to learn more? Contact a dark web data expert today!