Grams, the very first search engine for darknet markets, started in April 2014 promising an all-round search engine and all sorts of exciting features. It was created to help users make an informed decision on where to buy certain products and from which vendors based on their reviews, prices, country, and more –promising even the possibility to earn some cash along the way with
It was created to help users make an informed decision on where to buy certain products and from which vendors based on their reviews, prices, country, and more –promising even the possibility to earn some cash along the way with Gramswords.
Grams resembles Google in more than just its looks and simplistic feel, which is really a big deal – it can be safely assumed that it takes some serious skill to replicate even the tiniest aspect of the giant, world-renowned search engine made by a host of scientists of various profiles. Many users think of Grams as “Google of the Darknet,” while others have dubbed it “Google’s Evil Twin.”Many users think of Grams as “Google of the Darknet,” while others have dubbed it “Google’s Evil Twin.”
Due to its unfinished state, one gets a bit of a haunting feeling when using Grams; but, despite the feeling that something went a bit wrong and not-quite-as-expected, Grams remains a work in progress and is one of the most useful tools for users who browse darknet markets hoping to buy something at the best price and from the most reliable vendor. This is all the more so for a first timer on the darknet.
How to access Grams
To access Grams, you need to at least use the Tor Browser (if not a VPN as well), as it’s a Tor-based search engine with a URL characteristically ending in .onion – http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion/, meaning that you won’t be able to access the service using conventional browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Do note that it is not against the law to use Tor, or even to browse the multitude of darknet markets. However, it is against the law to purchase illicit goods or regionally-defined contraband from these markets, the same way it is illegal to buy them in person. So if this is your intention, be sure to have all of the precautionary measures in place before the actual purchase. This means that you should always use a VPN and Tor at the same time in order to conceal your true IP address.
As an additional note, while you’re getting ready to go through with your purchases or make other contact with vendors, it’s a good idea to use PGP to encrypt all of your messages to your darknet “pen pals” – some will even require it for them to respond in the first place.
Registration on Grams is not necessary, although you have that option and it can be quite useful. You can additionally register for Grams’ ad services, or simply to leave a review of a market or a vendor, but we’ll talk about that a bit down the text.
To register, however, there is a fee of 0.01 BTC, which is deposited to your account balance after the registration.
How to use the Grams search engine?
It’s not that different from when you’re using Google.
- First, go to Grams’ webpage.Type in the desired keyword, and hit Enter! It should return the most relevant results for your keyword, right? Well, no.
- Your keyword should be as specific as possible; otherwise you’ll get tens of thousands of results, which is hardly helpful to anyone. If you opt to do that, it would probably be simpler and quicker to just visit all of the marketplaces and do the search on each of them. In other words,do not type in just “marijuana.”
Instead, if you have preferences, type in the specific type of marijuana to get the best results from Grams.
- Advanced Search – To narrow down your Grams search even more and get the results you can actually use, click the Advanced Search option. It is quite similar to Google, only here you can specify:
- the market you wish to see the results from,
- country (preferably on your continent to speed up the delivery), and
- you can choose how you want your results to be sorted – by vendor rating, relevance, or price.
Once you type in your specific target keyword, the Advanced Search will immediately show the number of listings matching your query on each of the markets and countries.
There are only 152 results matching my search, displayed in US dollars and sorted by price (lowest first); and NOW it’s a helpful tool and we have the results we can work with!
- Set Currency – You can further customize your search results by setting the currency you wish. The prices shown in Grams’search results are displayed in bitcoins by default, but you can go to the Set Currency section on the right and select the one you prefer. At the time of writing this article, you could choose BTC, USD, EUR, GBP, and AUD.
- Results of your search on Grams are displayed similarly to how Google displays them – you can see the product’s thumbnail, if it’s available, its title, market where the product is listed shown in line with the URL of the listing, a short description, vendor’s name, the number of reviews, price, and location.
- You’ll also notice the I’m feeling lucky button (sound familiar?), which will take you to a specific website. At least, that’s what Grams’ function should do, but it seems that the button is a bit buggy, so I couldn’t really figure out what it does or why.
Technology behind Grams
How does Grams work to collect the requested info? It’s fairly simple – it matches the keyword to listing titles, descriptions, and vendors’ info. What’s neat is the fact that Grams can return even encrypted information, as it can also use PGP keys to retrieve those. This only applies to big markets, though.
We said in the beginning that Grams started out as quite an ambitious project – it was intended to scrape and display results from all of the darknet markets. 3 years later, however, it scrapes just a handful of markets including:
- Dream Market
- Hansa Market
- Wall Street Market
- Tochka Free Market
Frequency of indexing depends whether the market has implemented the Grams API – if it has, then it’s on a 24-hour basis. If not, the market gets indexed every three days.
- Market Chart
- Market Alerts
- Market Status
- Helix and Helix Light
- And last but not least – BitBall.
Let’s explain them one by one.
InfoDesk is a feature that both newbies and veterans can find useful. It’s a simple collection of scammers as well as top vendors and their reviews on various markets. It includes links to vendors’ profile pages on markets they’re doing business on, see their PGP keys, recent reviews, etc.
Flow enables users quick access to darknet websites, which is quite convenient because you don’t have to memorize, store, or bookmark the complex .onion addresses composed of random numbers and letters. Flow-words are basically keywords for various websites and markets on darknet. So, essentially, if you type “dream” on Grams’ Flow then it will land you on Dream Market. You can find the list of Grams’ documented flow-words here.
Market Chart – is displayed on Grams’ search results pages and here you can find markets’ ratings. It is quite handy to have an account registered on Grams to be able to leave your review of a market and thus help other users in making a decision. In this feature, Grams should retrieve information from Darknet Stats and other sources to show all of the information in one place.In reality, it refers users to these services. This feature is clearly “under construction,” but can serve as a starting point even as it is.
Helix and Helix Light are advertised as “the definitive darknet bitcoin cleaner.” So, what Grams is offering is not simply a Bitcoin tumbler; what you get are brand new bitcoins which have never been used on the darknet before. Your bitcoins are traded for new ones and then tumbled using their proprietary technology. You have to open an account on Grams to be able to use Helix bitcoin cleaner, and for that you have to pay the aforementioned registration fee of 0.01BTC.
Helix is very intuitive and user-friendly:
- Simply load your bitcoins into your account.
- Find a Withdraw form and enter the amount you’d like to withdraw and the address you want to withdraw it to.
- The system will do the rest using the bitcoins on your Grams account.
On the other hand, Helix Light doesn’t require you to register for an account on Grams, nor does it require any fees and or PGP key verification; it only asks that you enter your Bitcoin address. You will be provided with the address to send your bitcoins to and, once cleaned, you’ll receive your bitcoins at the previously specified address.
Gramswords offers the possibility to advertise your business on darknet, which is the first service of its kind. Basically, vendors and markets will be able to advertise their products and services in Grams’ search results similar to how Google Adwords functions.
Some notes about Gramswords:
- Instead of bidding on clicks, you bid on impressions with Grams.The search results display only the top 2 campaigns.
- Choose a keyword you wish to bid on and calculate how much the campaign would cost you using their Keyword Calculator.
- There are two ways to create an ad to be displayed in Grams’ search results: 1) If you are a vendor on any of the darknet markets, you can simply create an ad from your existing listings. When creating an ad, your listings will be shown, so simply choose any of them. Grams ads created with this method are pre-approved. 2) Otherwise, you can create an ad from scratch by entering a name or a title for your ad, description, and link. Optionally, you can specify the market, vendor, and price you wish for your product. These ads must be approved before proceeding with creating a campaign. Click Create Ad The process will be very familiar for those who have used Google’s search engine marketing tools.
- To create a campaign, simply fill out the form with the name of the campaign; select an ad from the drop-down menu, keyword to bid on, and bid price. Click Create Campaign.
- In order to start a campaign, you have to have some bitcoins of course. Once your Grams account runs out of bitcoin, all of your campaigns will be paused or stopped.
TorAds – Grams has collaborated with the Tor Project to launch another feature. TorAds allows advertisers and publishers to generate some revenue and increase their exposure on the deep web. Publishers can simply designate a space for ads, after which they will be given an iframe code. Once they copy the code to their website, the ads will start showing up. As for advertisers, they will have to create image ads. The procedure is additionally simplified, since you can link your Helix account to TorAds and fund and withdraw money using Helix. To go to TorAds simply follow this link – http://toradsc6vvmtugty.onion/.
BitBall is a Tor-based Bitcoin lottery service! BitBall also donates funds to the Tor Project in an effort to support and popularize the use of Tor, which is a great gesture that contributes to internet privacy and anonymity.
Basically, it is a bitcoin lottery that’s based on the U.S. Powerball lottery in the sense that the winning numbers of the official lottery will be the same winning numbers for BitBall, only the first four numbers drawn from the Powerball. Players buy tickets for 0.01 BTC, and each ticket has four numbers 1-59, and if those numbers match the first four drawn on Powerball, the player is the winner of BitBall Jackpot.
What does that have to do with Grams’ services or functionality? Nothing, really. It is intended that users can buy tickets directly from their Grams accounts if they so choose.
Mind you that Grams, the first search engine for darknet markets, is still a work in progress. However, even unfinished, it is still invaluable when it comes to finding your way around the dark web and darknet marketplaces, especially for first-timers. Grams is imagined very ambitiously as one comprehensive search engine platform that’s a collection of everything you’ll ever need on the darknet – invaluable resources (markets’ news, status, and vendors) and tools that help users manage their darknets businesses effectively.
- Grams URL: http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion/
- Grams Sub Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkNetMarkets/search?q=grams&restrict_sr=on&sort=relevance&t=all
Latest posts by Richard (see all)
- New Tor Project Executive Director - May 4, 2018
- Artificial Intelligence on the Dark Web - April 25, 2018
- UK Gov’t Launches £9M Funding in Fight Against Dark Web Crime - April 22, 2018