Markets Jan 29, 2020

Valhalla Market

Brief history about Valhalla market before seizure

Valhalla market, also known as Silkitie was was a darknet market established in 2013. Silkitie in a Finish Word meaning Silk Road.

The market had its door open to Finnish citizens only but later rebranded to Valhalla to accommodate people from different parts of the globe.

However, Valhalla kept its access policy until its downfall in 2019. By then, it had gained the reputation of being the oldest invite-only site.

During its time, Valhalla was familiar within the community but it never at one point became the biggest darknet market.

Since it was invite-only, new members could not easily join the market as they needed an invite link, this sort of limited the registration.

In summary, Valhalla had slow growth but its popularity gradually increased with time as other markets fell.

While these websites took a nose-dive, Valhalla became more popular. This, in turn, increased the number of vendors and product listings.

Valhalla Market Seized

When the site was taken down alongside WallStreet, there were more than 30,000 listings of which 50% were drugs. This is the reason why Valhalla was mostly known as a drug marketplace.

On May 3, 2019, the Finish Customs along with Europol and the French police cybercrime center closed Valhalla for aggravated narcotics-related offenses.

As the three organizations seized the servers, the website was shut down, and a seizure notice was displayed. The investigation of Valhalla and WallStreet also led to a significant seizure of Bitcoin and multiple arrests across Europe.

Valhalla Market News Summary

2013: Silkitie is established for the citizens of Finland only
2015: Silkitie, then renamed Valhalla, goes global after releasing an English version and opening doors to international users as well
June 2018: Valhalla rapidly grows, increasing the number of products by 100%
May 3, 2019: The Finnish customs, Europol and the French anti-cybercrime department shut down Valhalla, seize the servers and put up a police notice on the website

Some Notable Features

While it was simple to obtain vendor account, the registration process remained strict as every vendor had to be verified and trusted in other markets to be approved. This increased the reputation of the site.

Just like any site on the dark web, Valhalla had PGP encryption, and it was mandatory for both buyers and sellers.  To set up 2FA one had to have PGP.
Another feature is buyers were permitted to save payment passwords. This was different from usual account passwords and do not allow transactions to be made without it.Even if a hacker succeeds in getting the primary password of a user, it was not possible to access the funds as there was a need to enter a second password.

Valhalla also included MultiSig in the sense that each payment transaction required 2-3 signatures. With this, a single party cannot have full control over the funds, which ultimately helps in preventing loss of money.

Payments were made via Bitcoin.

Lastly, the market deposit address could be used over and over. Though not recommended as it could compromise security. Other markets tend to use create a system where a new address is generated after every deposit.



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