The dark web is very fond of hidden markets where persons can easily obtain various types of goods and services, legal and illicit alike. There are more than a dozen well-known markets, and in this case, we’re taking a look at Lunacy Market.
For one to access the marketplace, the standard procedures for accessing dark web markets and other sites on the Tor network are followed, including the recommended use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) before running the Tor Browser.
The Lunacy market, though not often talked about since it is not as famous as other marketplaces, is an avenue for dark web users to purchase widely illicit goods and services. Rather, Lunacy is more advertised on the login page of Silk Road 3.1 (SR3.1).
Accessing the Marketplace URL
To access the darknet market, prospective users can go to the link http://lunacycipxdcd5rp.onion/ in the Tor Browser, or alternatively visit SR3.1 and copy the link at the bottom of the login page (as shown in the screenshot below) and paste it in the Tor Browser.
Once on the login page of Lunacy, a page similar to the picture below appears. If one is new to the marketplace, they can create an account, but those who have existing accounts can quickly login with their SR3.1 credentials. This is made possible because Silk Road 3.1 and Lunacy were created by the same developer, who made it so that the login details on SR3.1 can be used on Lunacy and vice versa.
Just as Silk Road 3.1 has a link to Lunacy, Lunacy too has a link to Silk Road 3 at the bottom of its login page. Upon visiting the site, the picture below is what one will see.
Registration of the account is straightforward and just like any other dark web account. Not much information regarding personal details is needed in this case, but rather a username, password, pin code and a Captcha challenge to confirm that the account is being created by a real human and not a bot.
Users ought to ensure that their selected username is in no way related to their actual names or other personally identifiable information, because in the event of a crackdown, their identity will be exposed. Likewise, it is generally poor operational security practice for dark web users to have their online presence tied to themselves and not a pseudonym.
If one has an account on Silk Road 3.1, then there is no need to register for an account on Lunacy because they are an automatic member. If they still wish to proceed and open an account, they a different username will be needed because the system will reject the name with an error saying that the username is already taken. With this, the risk of new vendors posing as well-known vendors is also eliminated.
Upon registration, the below image will appear with an account recovery key. In the event an individual loses access to their account, the only way they can recover access is by use of the recovery key consisting of alphanumeric characters.
Different marketplaces have their methods of enabling users to recover access to their account and withdraw funds, and some of the most known ways include using a password recovery phrase and the use of a pin, among other single and two-factor authentication measures. A market like Alphabay, which was seized by authorities, used a recovery phrase, known as a mnemonic, given to users by the site.
In the event one forgot their PIN for their Alphabay account, they would contact the admins and provide the mnemonic to receive a new PIN. Failure to provide a PIN meant that users would not receive assistance.
It is vital for frequent users of the dark web, and most especially those who make numerous purchases via darknet marketplaces, to store such data safely as it is the only way to recover an account in the event they forget or lose their password.
Once all of the above steps are completed, new users can successfully login to their account. The first part of logging in requires one to choose a desired theme as shown below
There are two themes: one showing a person cloaked in black, who eerily resembles a character from a horror movie, and one of a stylized innocent-looking girl playing in the woods, an image that is similar to those witnessed in fairy tale animations and fan art.
Based on users’ tastes and preference, they will choose either of the above two themes in their account. Of course, this can be changed at will by visiting the settings page and clicking on the ‘Change Theme’ icon.
After choosing a theme, the account setup process is complete and the new user can browse through their preferred goods or services as shown in the image below.
The list is hardly any different from other markets on the Tor network. Ranging from hard drugs and counterfeit items to digital goods such as credit card details and PayPal transfers, users have a wide selection to choose from.
Taking a look at the marketplace, it is clear the site only promotes verified vendors from Silk Road 3. The criterion used is verifying the reputation of the seller on Silk Road and having them sell on Lunacy.
With this, if an individual is having issues with choosing a vendor on Silk Road, they can switch to Lunacy where they will have alternative options to choose from.
The site has a section where they talk about the owners. Lunacy is owned by site operators from Silk Road and CryptoMarket who go by the pseudonyms Paragon and AlphaWaves.
From what is written for the users to read, the site can serve as a backup for Silk Road and CryptoMarket. Therefore, if one is considered to offer dubious services, they face the possibility of getting banned from all three markets.
The beauty of Lunacy is that it enables anyone to become a vendor, but on the condition that they use an escrow until they become trusted. In the event one is determined to offer dubious services, they face the possibility of getting banned from the market.
There will always be more aspects to cover, such as selecting vendors and navigating the purchase process, but this article should provide just what you need to get started whether you’re new to the dark web marketplace scene, taking a look before you register, or are just looking for the .onion address to reach the site.