How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream | Jamie Bartlett | Summary and Q&A

September 24, 2015
YouTube video player
How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream | Jamie Bartlett


The dark net, a hidden part of the internet accessed through Tor, offers a range of anonymous markets, including drugs and illegal services, but also serves as a platform for innovation and privacy protection.

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts

Key Insights

  • 💻 The dark net anonymous markets are a key location for buying high-quality, low-price cocaine and other illicit goods.
  • 💳 The Tor browser, originally a U.S. Naval intelligence project, allows users to browse the internet without revealing their location and is the key to accessing the dark net.
  • 🛡️ The dark net operates using an encryption system that makes it incredibly difficult to shut down the thousands of sites that exist there, creating a censorship-free world.
  • 🌐 Innovation thrives in the dark net, as those on the fringes often have the most creative ideas due to the need to survive in inhospitable conditions.
  • 💰 Dark net markets use a user review system to establish trust between buyers and vendors, resulting in lower prices, higher product quality, and attentive customer service.
  • 🔒 Payment on the dark net is done using the cryptocurrency bitcoin, which offers a high degree of anonymity to users, facilitated by multi-signature escrow payments and tumbling services.
  • 🔎 Tools like the search engine Grams help users explore trending drugs on the dark net, while other vendors offer fair trade organic cocaine and promise to reinvest profits into education programs.
  • 🌐 As concerns about online privacy grow, the dark net's creative, secure, and difficult-to-censor nature is predicted to be the future of the internet, appealing to a wider audience beyond just dealers and whistle-blowers.


If you want to buy high-quality, low-price cocaine, there really is only one place to go, and that is the dark net anonymous markets. Now, you can't get to these sites with a normal browser -- Chrome or Firefox -- because they're on this hidden part of the Internet, known as Tor hidden services, where URLs are a string of meaningless numbers and le... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the dark net and how can it be accessed?

The dark net is a hidden part of the Internet where anonymous users can access various websites, including dark net anonymous markets. It can be accessed using a special browser called the Tor browser, which encrypts the user's IP address and routes it through multiple other computers around the world.

Q: What kind of content can be found on the dark net?

The dark net is a diverse space where you can find a range of content. Besides whistle-blower sites, political activism blogs, and libraries of pirated books, you can also find illegal drugs markets, illegal pornography, commercial hacking services, and more.

Q: How do dark net markets ensure trust and quality?

Dark net markets maintain trust and quality through user reviews and feedback. Vendors use pseudonyms and build a reputation by receiving positive feedback from other users. The introduction of competition and choice also drives prices down and improves product quality, making vendors attentive, polite, and consumer-centric.

Q: How do dark net markets handle transactions and privacy?

Dark net markets use the crypto-currency bitcoin for transactions, providing a degree of anonymity to users. To ensure secure transactions, multi-signature escrow payments are used, where the buyer sends bitcoin to a secure digital wallet, and the vendor only receives it after the product is delivered. There are also techniques like bitcoin tumbling to enhance privacy and avoid identification.


The dark net anonymous markets on Tor hidden services provide a platform for various activities, including drug markets, illegal pornography, political activism blogs, and pirated books. The anonymity and encryption offered by the Tor browser attract users looking to hide their online activities. These markets leverage user reviews, competition, and choice to offer high-quality products at lower prices. Despite concerns about the availability of drugs and illicit activities, the dark net also offers a certain level of consumer protection and guarantees product quality. The constantly innovating and decentralized nature of these markets makes them difficult to shut down and suggests that they may represent the future of the internet. More people are turning to privacy-protecting tools like the Tor browser and engaging in distributed computing and powerful encryption to ensure their online privacy. The dark net is no longer limited to dealers and whistle-blowers but is becoming more mainstream with the involvement of musicians, social media companies, news outlets, and architects.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the dark net and how can it be accessed?

The dark net is a hidden part of the Internet that can be accessed through Tor hidden services. To access these sites, one needs Tor browser, which encrypts the user's IP address and routes it through multiple computers around the world that use the same software.

Q: Why is the dark net a natural place for those with something to hide?

The dark net provides anonymity and encryption, making it difficult to trace users' online activities. As a result, it attracts individuals with various purposes, including whistleblowers, political activists, and those seeking to engage in illegal activities.

Q: How do Tor hidden services ensure the difficult shutdown of dark net sites?

Tor hidden services use a clever encryption system that makes it challenging to shut down sites operating on the dark net. The encryption and routing of IP addresses through multiple computers worldwide make it nearly impossible to pinpoint the physical location of these sites.

Q: Why do dark net markets have user reviews?

Dark net markets utilize user reviews to build trust and reputation. Since vendors use pseudonyms, buyers rely on positive feedback from other users to determine the reliability and quality of vendors' products and services.

Q: How do user reviews impact dark net markets?

User reviews create a competitive environment within dark net markets, leading to lower prices and higher product quality. Vendors strive to maintain positive feedback by offering special deals, providing attentive customer service, and ensuring consumer satisfaction.

Q: What role does bitcoin play in dark net transactions?

Bitcoin is the primary currency used in dark net markets to facilitate transactions. It offers a higher degree of anonymity compared to traditional payment methods, as it can be easily exchanged for real-world currencies and does not reveal the buyer's identity.

Q: What issues did the dark net markets face in terms of bitcoin transactions?

Initially, unscrupulous dealers would receive bitcoin payments without delivering the purchased products. To address this, dark net markets devised a solution called multi-signature escrow payments. This system involves using a neutral digital wallet where the buyer sends bitcoin, and the vendor can only access the payment after the buyer confirms receipt of the product.

Q: How do dark net markets address the issue of traceability in bitcoin transactions?

Dark net markets employ tumbling services to enhance the anonymity of bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin is pooled together from various sources, mixed, and then sent to the intended recipients using different bitcoins, thus making it difficult to trace the flow of funds.

Q: What are some innovative features and services offered by the dark net markets?

The dark net markets constantly innovate to stay ahead of authorities and offer improved services to customers. Some examples include Grams, a search engine specifically for drugs on dark net markets, and vendors offering fair trade organic cocaine or reinvesting profits into local education programs.

Q: How do privacy concerns impact the future of the internet?

Increasing privacy concerns, particularly surrounding data security and surveillance, have led to a growing interest in privacy-enhancing tools. More individuals are utilizing the Tor browser and engaging in distributed computing and encryption to protect their online privacy.


The emergence of dark net markets showcases the innovation and adaptability that often arises from the fringes of society. These markets, while associated with illicit activities, provide a platform for anonymous, competitive, and consumer-centric transactions. The dark net is not limited to drug markets and illegal activities but is increasingly being integrated into mainstream platforms. This blending of light and dark aspects reflects the changing nature of the internet and the growing concern for privacy and freedom online.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The dark net anonymous markets are the main place to buy high-quality, low-price cocaine

  • Accessing these sites requires using the Tor browser, which allows anonymous browsing

  • The dark net offers a variety of content, including whistle-blower sites, political activism blogs, pirated books, drugs markets, illegal pornography, and hacking services.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from TED 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: