The dark web drug trade has continued to evolve in tandem with the world of technology.
Looking back, the dark web ecosystem came in to ease the process of drugs dealing, as buyers and vendors were able to conduct business with ease. The years that followed were marked with the entry of social media applications to further granulate the dark web drug commerce.
Well, in latest news, there’s a new tool for dark web buyers to buy illicit stuff 24 hours a day using a system of robot drug dealers that provide the much-needed staffing for a number of darknet marketplaces.
Dubbed “Televend”, the automated digital retail system sells narcotic products to customers paying using Bitcoin through the Telegram encrypted messaging app. The service boasts of a strong base of 200,000 registered users and tens of thousands of active individuals.
How Televend Works
To understand just how Televend compares to traditional markets, the popular White House Market is marked by 100,000 active users and 2,000 active darknet vendors. Although we cannot fully verify Televend’s claims, the fact that the robot service’s Telegram channel has about 15,000 subscribers goes to prove the system’s popularity among underground platforms.
Point to note, a number of the Televend-run online marketplaces are reported to be providing lots of incentives to users, including discounts and special sales that appeal to various classes of subscribers.
In addition, the Televend system works to provide automated alerts and warning to customers whenever drug inventories run low. The same function extends to a highly advanced customer feedback mechanism that goes a long way to classify vendor performance.
Further, apart from providing updates on dark web stock levels, Televend generates invoices for customers who submit direct payments to vendor wallets. The lack of an intermediary or escrow account is a fundamental difference with traditional darknet operation.
Vendors receive alerts that a payment has been made as soon as a bot verifies customer payment. Essentially, the sellers can log into the system at their convenience due to the automated admin system that differs from the human-led mechanism that is typical to traditional dark web markets.
A complete transaction involves the vendor decryption of customer addresses, which is followed by drug packaging and eventual dispatch to designated postal addresses as soon as they secure buyer funds in their crypto wallets.
A Disruptive Technology for the Dark Web
The typical dark web market deal offers far slower transactions compared to Televend usage. Usually, buyers have to download the Tor browser, identify specific market URLs and find their way into a desired platform.
Once a prospective buyer creates a user account through a rather tedious process, the person looking to buy drugs online will then locate a vendor of their choice to supply the goods. A typical dark web transaction involves a complex transfer of crypto from the buyer to a vendor wallet, which is subject to an escrow system, which may take days to finalize.
If user feedback is anything to go by, it appears that Televend is here to transform how dark web drug dealers and customers interact.
According to a user post on the Reddit forum’s subreddit r/darknet, it turns out that the automated platform has been received well by a number of its users. One individual claimed that a dark web vendor shifted from peddling drugs on Icarus Market to using Televend.
Another comment reflected on “Televend’s greatness” as a highly reliable software program designed for drug dealers.
Further, another Televend user told VICE News that they had bought MDMA using a bot. The user reported that the transaction took only one minute, which contrasts sharply with the typical darknet market.