DISCLAIMER: The details provided in this article is meant for information / research purposes ONLY and should not be interpreted as advice to break local and international laws. Tape News will not be responsible for the actions of admins, vendors, buyers and any other online user.
Tape News gained exclusive access to the Ares Market admin and conducted an interview about the dark web platform. We sought to understand its short term and long term goals as it matches up to competing platforms online.
Figure 1: Ares Market landing page.
Here were the main responses, which you will find interesting from the personal perspective of the admin of the “fastest growing darknet market”:
Tape News: What's Ares Market, its vision, and what sets it apart from other Darknet markets?
Ares admin: Our mission is very straight forward. We want to provide a platform that was really build by Vendors for Vendors. Most market administrators from the past and present simply are not Vendors or have never been vendors.
By combining our knowledge as Vendors we decided to set up a market that knows all the ins and out a vendor faces. But we are not only there for vendors, also for the customers because we fully understand their needs.
The main points that sets us apart from other markets in our opinion are:
We have years of darknet experience under our belt. There is actually over 25 year of experience between all involved parties.
Compassion is one of our core values. We think it’s very important that we all treat each other with the same respect as we used to back in the days of SR1. Back then we would rarely see people insulting each other as we see now especially on one of the main forums, where the level of respect top each other has dropped terribly over the last 2 years.
Why should Vendors be excited to use Ares, you may ask?
Well we really try to make sure all our Vendors get sales. We don’t believe in any friend politics, this is also another reason why we started Ares together. Also in our opinion the most important thing for Vendors is that you make them feel part of something great.
In addition, we have provide 24/7 assistance to all Ares users this being Vendors or Customers; there is always a staff member watching that everything goes well and works fine. Since our launch we actually did not have a minute of downtime and we aim to keep it this way.
Further, we will continue to improve on multiple points regarding Ares.
Apart from the noticeable improvements to the design of Ares, we’ll reinforce the back end of the system as well as enforce more advanced security protocols.
Tape News: How does Ares Market fill the currently-existing gaps on the dark web?
Ares admin: Ares is actually a very classic market in design and use. There are no magic things and this is something we chose right from the beginning. The last thing you want is something that is totally different as a lot of vendors and even customers
don’t have time to navigate through strange environments.
We preferred to offer something that would be easy to understand and work with for all users.
We do offer XMR and BTC on checkout. This is in addition to encrypted inboxes, and kind of a cool design when it comes to the color palette. We opted for nice underground colors as we feel it suits what we all love to do much more.
But as we mentioned before we have a lot of new things coming, or call it old things in a new style that will give all users a refreshing experience. The updates are coming up in the next couple weeks or sooner.
One of the darknet market weaknesses we did overcome with Ares is that we have a very strict policy when it comes to accepting new vendors – even some Vendors who paid to become an Ares Vendor got their Vendor status removed and fee refunded.
We just feel that by being so selective we will provide all users with a better platform where scams are reduced to a bare minimum.
All Vendors are screened when they apply for a free vendor account on multiple platform such as Darknet Trust and Recon. But we also take the time to look at all other markets where they are active before taking a decision to see if they would be a good fit for Ares.
Here’s a surprising fact; we have had to handle ONLY 3 disputes since the launch of Ares Market – goes to show that we are doing a lot of things right!
Tape News: What are some of the OPSEC measures in your platform to ensure that users operate anonymously and safely?
Ares admin: We have a good server set up that is well secured. We have deployed around the globe in good data centres that respect privacy a lot. When it comes to Ares itself for the users, we give all recommendations to the users when they sign up or sign in.
PGP is a must and so is 2 Factor Authentication. The checkout experience is very safe also for buyers. Quite obviously, we believe that the online users of today are smart enough to use both these tools when using a darknet marketplace.
We also want to shift slowly to a XMR only marketplace as we feel BTC days are numbered.
For now we still offer the option for Vendors to choose this as a payment option, but we do not encourage it.
We actually encourage Vendors that use only BTC to make the shift towards XMR. We are also working on an I2P version that should launch soon enough.
Another point we are very happy with is the speed of Ares. Users will not often have to suffer long waiting times for a page to load.
Tape News: Any thoughts about the recent White House Market (WHM) exit? Also, do you have benefits that you may be offering WHM refugees?
Ares admin: Sugar in my coffee!
Well we never really were very active on forums where the boss Mr White of WHM was active. But we did always read a lot what he had to say.
We honestly think the Darknet will be a better place without him. The way he treated his users is just plain disrespectful. Now he is most surely enjoying the sun somewhere warm with a lot of money he earned on the back of the same people he treated so disrespectfully.
What they called a graceful exit turned out to be a plain delayed exit scam nothing more.
Also it’s clear as day he did grow big because he was backed by certain admins from a large
We are happy that more and more Darknet users are starting to notice that there is some kind of bad friend politics going on. Without them he would have never gotten far.
In our opinion something must have spooked them and that’s the reason the plug was pulled on WHM. We have never been fans of WHM and of Mr White, we always had the impression is was a spoiled teenage kid that enjoyed to insult people.
So no respect towards him what so ever.
We have already welcomed a good number of WHM Vendors to Ares. And we are grateful that they chose Ares to set up shop and help us grow. We are positive all those Vendors will stay with us for a long time.
We genuinely are here to stay as long as it’s safe for all parties involved; Customers, Vendors and ourselves.
It’s time for a change!
Ares Market Mirror Links