It is not like black markets never existed, but Bitcoin technology indeed gave them a simplified and secure platform to trade in and flourish.
As developers continue to experiment with this new decentralised P2P payment network, some among them seem to be actually creating ills out of it. In this case, we are speaking about Darkleaks – a blackmarket running on the Bitcoin blockchain for leaking “confidential secrets, hollywood movies, software exploits and so on.”
Wikileaks or Darkleaks
Their introductory post describes Darkleaks as some tool that can trade any kind of confidential information using an ultra-secure and “novel” cryptographic mechanism. “The software uses Bitcoin’s block chain to encrypt files which are released when payment is claimed by the leaker,” it says. “Files are split into segments and encrypted. These segments are unlocked only when the leaker reveals the key by claiming his Bitcoins.”
From the look of it, Darkleaks seems more like an offspring of Wikileaks and Torrent services. Preserving its limited moral, the blackmarket avoids listing life-threatening products like drugs and weapons to its list of trade-able products. Instead, it more heavily relies on hollywood movies, government secrets, tax evasions proofs and dozen of other things that could literally piss off the tie-wearing criminals. Among the unethical trades are celebrities’ private pictures and military intelligence details.
But in the end, it is nobody but the people who are selling and buying information anonymously, with Darkleaks acting only as a medium in between. As Darkleaks itself claims, “there is no identity, no central operator, and no interaction between leaker and buyers.” At one point, this could be a great marketplace in the context of right-to-information; while on the other hand, it could boost serious crimes, as no one will be able to know what things people are exchanging exactly… Weapons, perhaps!
Image Credits: Flickr