In the light of the terror attacks in France, Nucleus Market, a darknet marketplace that supports bitcoin, litecoin and dash announced in their homepage that they would henceforth be removing the “weapons” section and banning the sale of weapons altogether. It is also interesting to note that Agora, another large online marketplace on the dark web, has also stopped the sale of lethal weapons on their website from the middle of July last year.
Nucleus Market Ends Weapon Sale
In November last year, the Nucleus Market made an announcement that it would no longer be selling weapons. The reason cited was that it was no longer secure for them to sell weapons in the wake of the terror attacks that happened in France. The stoppage of weapon sales in the darknet markets seems to have been triggered because of increased vigilance on the part of law enforcement agencies. It appears as though that the online marketplaces on the dark web specialize in selling weapons as much as illegal drugs and banned pornography. It was alleged that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine saw weapons being purchased using bitcoin by both the warring sides. An anomaly that exists is that those who advocate free drug trading on darknet markets still resist sales of weapons and find them to be controversial. It is worth noting at this point that the Silk Road avoided sale of weapons on its website. Before its shutdown, Agora also stopped listing lethal weapons. In the case of the Nucleus Market that removed the sale of weapons from its website, users opined that the sale of weapons is a controversial subject and that some would agree to the decision whereas some others would strongly disagree to the move on the part of the darknet marketplace. Comments also lent credence to the fact that darknet markets such as the Nucleus Market were not the big sources from where weapons for events such as the Paris attack were sourced.
Before Nucleus Market removed its “weapons” category, Agora, one of the largest darknet markets, when it was still active, stopped the sale of weapons in its website altogether. The site administrators, at the time, had cited that their website was not the right place to sell weapons and that the format was no longer suitable for the same. They also noted that shipments were not only difficult, but also expensive. In addition, the sale of weapons inspired scams and dishonest vendors to deal with them, according to Agora.
In general, the opinion is that banning the sale of weapons by Nucleus Market is a smart move considering the number of individuals who have been arrested when purchasing weapons from vendors and the negative attention that these purchases/products were attracting.
Nucleus Market, a normal escrow marketplace, has been active since it was founded in November 2014. The fact that they accept Darkcoins and Litecoins in addition to Bitcoins is what separates them from other players in the field.
The registration process on Nucleus is similar to that of any other darknet market. It involves prospective users choosing a username and a password followed by captcha verification. Listings are displayed in separate fields. Each category is identified with its image. Vendor names are also displayed along with a reputation rating, the highest rating being five. Title of the product and price are also displayed and a short description comes up when users click on them.
The Nucleus Market can be categorized as a centralized market. It has a concept and a staff team for maintaining the website. It offers all the features to both vendors and buyers. A percentage of all transactions are taken as commission and a bond is taken from vendors to prevent scammers from signing up on the site. Admin has absolute power over the funds of users.